This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


The controversies of Cannes.

The controversies of Cannes. (photo)

Posted by on

If you’ve been following the news lately, you may have noticed that the world’s been going to hell at a slightly faster clip than usual these last few weeks (presumably making up for time lost while all the planes in Europe were grounded) — so much so that one of the weird things about this year’s Cannes isn’t that it’s generated a few controversies, but not nearly as many as you’d expect.

The big news — still, and heartbreakingly — is the ongoing imprisonment of Iranian master Jafar Panahi. There was once a time I hoped Panahi would be recognized first and foremost as a master of urban filmmaking, a producer of films that were masterful immersions into crackling environments first and polemics second; this, alas, is becoming increasingly unlikely. He’s announced a hunger strike that concludes with “My final wish is that my remains be returned to my family, so that they may bury me in the place they choose.” This is very grim territory: J. Hoberman reports on an “unconfirmed announcement” that Panahi may be released in time to arrive for a public screening of Kiarostami’s “Certified Copy.” The reasons are shaky: Kiarostami, having publicly criticized Bahman Ghobadi and basically kept his mouth shut until recently calling for Panahi’s release, could be the only Iranian director still even vaguely on negotiating terms with the government. It takes guts to decide to return to Iran at this moment for his next film.

05192010_uncle.jpgAll the (much-deserved) attention shone on Panahi may, however, taken the spotlight slightly off the strange case of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, whose “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” remains the last great hope of highbrow cinephiles for this year’s competition. Known to his followers as “Joe,” it’s taken Weerasethakul four contentious years to follow up 2006’s “Syndromes And A Century,” whose Thai release was censored, leading Weerasethakul to spearhead the Free Thai Cinema Movement. With Thailand in turmoil, it’s unclear whether Weerasethakul will be able to attend, though an unknown Twitter is now claiming he will. The stakes are lower, but still high.

Weerasethakul doesn’t make overtly political protest films (unlike Panahi), and he’s unlikely to see jail time. But the absence of both filmmakers, even potentially (Panahi was invited to be on the jury — his empty chair is a pointed reproof) adds to a sense of looming political menace and gloom — along with Godard’s cryptic absence due to “problems of a Greek type”. Not to mention “Draquila: Italy Trembles” — an anti-Berlusconi film that led Italy’s culture minister to boycott the fest — and Rachid Bouchareb’s “Outside the Law,” a film about post-war Algerian refugees in Paris denounced by government ministers as “an insult to France.” It’s punchy and grim out there. Who says Cannes has nothing to do with the real world?

[Photos: “Certified Copy,” MK2 Productions, 2010; “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives,” Kick The Machine, 2010.]

Watch More

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

Posted by on

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

Watch More

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

Posted by on

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.

Watch More

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

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

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

Watch More