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Going Hollywood.

Going Hollywood. (photo)

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Relax, America: “Paranormal Activity 2” has a director.

After a protracted and ugly round of corporate infighting about who was helming the next “Paranormal” and “Saw” films, the gig has passed out of the hands of the genre stalwarts entirely and into the hands of Tod Williams, best known as the writer/director of the mildly regarded indies “The Adventures of Sebastian Cole” and “The Door in the Floor.”

This is a lateral move — from mild indie dramas to genre franchising — but not an uncommon one. One of the strangest consistent phenomenons of festival alums of the last decade or so is what you could call “Journeyman Drift,” when seemingly distinctive out-of-the-gate indie guys (who often turn out to be just festival slot-fillers once you move away from the initial hype) quite comfortably hunker down for a lifetime of directing the kind of movies that, 70 years ago, would definitely have been on the bottom half of the double-feature.

There is, for example, Gary Winick, of the upcoming “Letters to Juliet,” a movie about Amanda Seyfried finding true love that somehow isn’t based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. Winick formerly made middling indie dramas with interchangeable casts and titles — “Sweet Nothing,” a movie about dealing drugs with Michael Imperioli and Mira Sorvino, “Sam The Man” starring Fisher Stevens — before getting to the Sundance bigtime with “Tadpole,” starring Sigourney Weaver. That means he can now make movies like “Bride Wars.” Everyone needs to eat.

03262010_myth.jpgThere’s also Bart Freundlich, who was briefly taken seriously with his solemnly named first feature “The Myth of Fingerprints”; now he makes stuff like “Catch That Kid” and the forthcoming Catherine Zeta-Jones MILF-younger man romcom “The Rebound.” Not even the wildly successful are immune: Seth Gordon made the widely acclaimed documentary “The King of Kong,” routinely cited as a great documentary for people who hate the stereotypical “documentary.” Then he moved on to “Four Christmases.”

Such crossovers aren’t to be confused with the likes of Sam Raimi or James Mangold, independent filmmakers whose work has arguably strengthened when they started to play the game. Raimi may never make another “Evil Dead 2,” but his management of the “Spider-Man” franchise was admirable and a leap forward (mostly, anyway). The difference is between taking more money to up your ambition — as in Mangold’s surprisingly decent “3:10 To Yuma” reboot — and taking the money to drop some nonsense in January.

[Photos: “The Adventures of Sebastian Cole,” Paramount Classics, 1998; “The Myth of Fingerprints,” Sony Pictures Classics, 1997]

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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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