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DID YOU READ

Tim Burton heads Cannes, highbrow spleen flows.

Tim Burton heads Cannes, highbrow spleen flows.  (photo)

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Sundance? Nah, we’re done. The festival circuit (which, unlike awards season, I never get tired of) rushes on with the announcement that Tim Burton will be heading up the 2010 Cannes jury. The news was instantly greeted with sarcasm and outright venom by most of the highbrow folks I know (and, I suppose, more or less claim affiliation with).

Discounting the die-hard Burton fans, a lot of people seem to agree that after an incredible first run, his work veered into self-parody and diminishing returns, though where you cut off is up to you. I’m on board till “Sleepy Hollow” (seriously), with everything but “Sweeney Todd” being pretty unwatchable after that. That doesn’t explain the disdain. I think it has something to do with the sense that Burton’s become more of a hollowed-out brand name than an auteur, and “Burtonesque” has become an adjective normally indicating someone biting off more gothic whimsy than they can chew.

But what does this mean for Cannes? Probably absolutely nothing; filmmakers normally go out of their way to avoid awarding movies similar to theirs, except for Tarantino, who did it his way in ’04 by making sure “Oldboy” got the Grand Prix. That, I think, is where the bulk of the real disdain is coming from. For all his lowbrow affectations, Tarantino named his production company A Band Apart after Godard’s “Band of Outsiders” and his jury gave what’s roughly third prize to Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Tropical Malady” — as highbrow (and, it must be said, lovely) a film as can be, defending it against the initial philistine attackers.

01262010_dinos.jpgTarantino, in short, has his highbrow cred in order, which is important when it comes to Cannes, a festival that still, miraculously, has room for the punishing and mystifying. Burton has no such thing. The currently running MoMA series of films that left their mark upon Burton includes at the high end of the spectrum, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” and Roger Corman; way down at the bottom, we have “When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth” and “The Swarm.”

Considering Cannes juries are volatile and unpredictable anyway, Burton shouldn’t register as cause for too much concern, though he did quite clearly express a worldview in “Mars Attacks!” that the world would be a better place if all the snots were gone and we were left with Jim Brown, Tom Jones and some guy rambling about teepees. Let’s hope an international jury of his peers can keep him in check, because there’s a good chance that he’d give the prize automatically to Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” (if it gets in) just for casting Stephen Dorff, you know?

[Photos: “The Melancholy Death of Oystery Boy and Other Stories” by Tim Burton, published by HarperEntertainment, 1997; “When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth,” Warner Bros., 1970.]

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…