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Russian nationalism comes up against the internet.

Russian nationalism comes up against the internet. (photo)

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Nikita Mikhalkov — whose “Burnt By The Sun 2” is part of the competition line-up of this year’s Cannes — is that increasingly rarest of creatures, a genuine nationalist filmmaker whose loyalties are so old-school and patriarchal it can be difficult to like him.

Mikhalkov boasted in his official bio for his last film, “12,” of his ancient noble lineage and the fact his father rewrote the words for the Soviet National Anthem twice and updated it for the Putin era in 2000, something plenty of others wouldn’t necessarily be proud of. When asked by a journalist whether McDonald’s or Stalinism was preferable, he responded it depended on the person. And his “12” turned “12 Angry Men” into an allegory for strong leadership in Putin’s Russia, with an approving ending in which Mikhalkov himself (playing the chairman) takes charge and begins issuing summary justice ducking around the judicial machine.

So it’s not entirely surprising that the poster for “Burnt By The Sun 2,” which features Mikhalkov (who also stars) and the grandiose tagline “A mighty film about a mighty war,” has been the source of much derision on the web. It’s spawned a meme, led by blogger Artemy Lebedev, of spoofs of the poster, with variants comparing Mikhalkov to a Nazi or changing the tagline to “A mighty piece of shit about a mighty war.”

Mikhalkov has not taken this well. According to a report from March 26th (I’m afraid you’re just going to have to trust my translation) his daughter, in an interview, claimed Mikhalkov is upset and contemplating a lawsuit — which seems like an overreaction to a bunch of folks with above-average Photoshop skills and no real power, but what do I know.

04162010_youmyjoy.jpgAll this is worth keeping in mind at Cannes, where “Burnt By The Sun 2” will represent Russia in competition alongside “You, My Joy,” the first narrative film by documentarian Sergei Loznitsa, which chronicles the life of a truck driver whose life “seems to be a never-ending nightmare, a spiral of violence and abuses of power […] A dark parable about the situation in deep Russia today.” Which definitely marks it as the kind of film Mikhalkov would never make. Those watching the two at Cannes might want to remember which is state art and which — with what looks like foreign funding — is an actual independent voice.

[Photos: “Burnt By The Sun 2” poster, Studio Trite, 2010; “You, My Joy,” Sergei Loznitsa, 2010]

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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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