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Watching your younger self on screen.

Watching your younger self on screen. (photo)

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In an interview with the Independent, Shirley MacLaine reveals what might possibly be the only interesting thing about the big, bloated “Valentine’s Day” monster coming our way. During an argument with her husband (played by director Garry Marshall’s good-luck charm Hector Elizondo), the 1958 film “Hot Spell” screens in the background — representing the couple’s on-screen marriage, sure, but also showing us how much/little MacLaine’s changed in fiftysomething years of acting.

It’s an effect that’s not nearly as common as you’d suspect — using the camera to show us icons changing and aging up to the movie that they’re in now. It can verge on outright bathos and exploitation, but it never fails to spark my inner morbidity. Seriously. Yesterday, I had to watch “The Spy Next Door” for work — the lousy Jackie Chan for kids vehicle currently exiting theaters in a hurry. But for two minutes I didn’t begrudge it, in its opening montage establishing Chan’s spy bona-fides by briskly montaging together his entire filmography.

The earliest example I can think of is “What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?,” which (pretty cruelly) has Joan Crawford watching herself in the ’30s on screen. Then there’s “Space Cowboys,” with its Photoshopped depiction of the young crew of Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner all together, young and fresh-faced and probably the most effective thing about the movie.

02052010_spacecowboys.jpgThere was a moment in “Up In The Air,” where George Clooney takes Vera Farmiga back to his high school and shows her what I presume are photos of the real young Clooney playing basketball — but Clooney’s hardly old enough for this to be tearjerking; it’s mostly curious.

The only other example that’s coming to mind right now, really, isn’t is a movie: it’s Mark Romanek’s video for Johnny Cash’s “Hurt,” which is almost emotional porn. But surely there’s more out there. What say you readers? What kind of on-screen aging within the body of the movie freaked you out?

[Photos: “Valentine’s Day,” New Line Cinema, 2010; “Space Cowboys,” Warner Bros., 2000]

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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

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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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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

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