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DID YOU READ

Why film festivals should be more like Coachella.

Why film festivals should be more like Coachella. (photo)

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This year saw the third iteration of the Küstendorf Film Festival. Küstendorf the town and Küstendorf the festival were founded by oft-controversial filmmaker Emir Kusturica, who came to the area while filming “Life Is A Miracle.” Then it was just a mountain in Serbia. Talking to Geoffrey Macnab at Screen International, Kusturica describes how he took an uninhabited hill and somehow singlehandedly jump-started what he describes as “a medieval age economy,” complete with produce and 50 cows.

Kusturica notes that — despite being a four-hour drive from Belgrade — the town gets 250,000 visitors a year and the festival is prospering. “When I started building, everybody told me I was fucking stupid,” he said. “I don’t know why but people come here like crazy.” And the festival works: this year’s retrospective (charmingly entitled the “Retrospective of Greatness”) featured none other than Johnny Depp, who worked with Kusturica way back on 1993’s “Arizona Dream.” There’s music and deals: Kusturica speaks of not wanting a commercialized atmosphere, but at the same time he brought together a Japanese student director and a German producer.

Let’s think about Sundance for a minute, with all its dispatches about more-than-usually-cataclysmic snowfall, bad wifi and packed screenings. Or the expense of going to Cannes, assuming you can get accredited. And so on. It’s a given that our biggest film festivals are primarily for industry and press only. And so, perhaps not so oddly, going to film festivals has never captured the imaginations of most Americans the way that that music fests do.

02032010_arizonadream.jpgKusturica’s made a good connection for his festival between pain-in-the-ass isolated locale and enticingly friendly feel. Sometimes it seems like most people who go to music festivals positively relish the challenge of traveling to Coachella or Burning Man or whatever; it’s like everyone wants Woodstock all over. And people who don’t necessarily care all that much about movies per se (certainly not to the extent of traveling for them) tend to love “events” like camping, music, nights, most likely illicit activities.

That helps gestate an atmosphere of enthusiasm and engagement. (Tilda Swinton got it too: she brought cupcakes to her one-off festival in Nairn. Do you know how far I’d travel to try a cupcake baked by Tilda Swinton?)

And yes, there are already far, far too many festivals in the U.S., but many of them are mediocre, stuck in museums and weird venues that try to layer some excitement over a basically municipal function that’s only for die-hard local cinephiles who know how to parse the schedule. Let’s make more room for novelty to engage civilians! It’s always nice to have a chance to engage non-film-obsessive people feeling mellow enough to watch something non-commercial. It probably wouldn’t be as much fun as All Tomorrow’s Parties, but we can try.

[Photos: Küstendorf 2010 Film Festival poster; “Arizona Dream,” Warner Bros., 1993]

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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…