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David Gordon Green latest trick involves going animated.

David Gordon Green latest trick involves going animated. (photo)

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David Gordon Green is this close to getting his very own animated MTV show — “Good Vibes,” 12 episodes about “two high school surfer dudes living near the beach in California.” This after “Pineapple Express” (and preceding “Your Highness,” a medieval-ish action fantasy), which means Green’s work is getting awfully stoner-friendly these days.

“Good Vibes,” if it makes it to the air, will be the first significant non-reality show to make it onto MTV in quite a while. Unfortunately, it could join the roster of weird animated ’90s shows like “The Maxx” and “The Head” that survived just long enough to acquire small cult followings.

More interesting is the news that Green is now apparently committed to working within the studio system until they kick him out; he’s not a one-for-me, one-for-them kind of guy. He’s even still trying to get a “Suspiria” remake off the ground.

That tinkering mode makes David Gordon Green an heir to the Steven Soderbergh mad scientist school of cinema. Both seem determined to check off every micro-genre from the checklist while remaining stylistically distinctive. (Sort of: “Pineapple Express” was deliberately anonymous, in the spirit of the mediocre ’80s movies it was so deliberately courting.)

The difference is tonal: Soderbergh is instinctively a chilly, cerebral filmmaker who’s unconcerned with what audiences want (the “Ocean’s” movies are pleasing because that’s part of the concept), while Green — even at his artiest — is instinctively a populist (the lushness of “George Washington” and “All The Real Girls” is there to dilute the sting of the more painful material).

04302010_tango.jpgThe problem may turn out to be that Green is a little too committed to playing within the genre rules as much as possible. It’s hard to imagine Soderbergh paying such scrupulous homage to the likes of “Tango & Cash” (one of Green’s favorite movies) without trying to tinker with the formula. But there (and on “Eastbound and Down,” where Green flawlessly imitated Jody Hill’s style while he was out of town), Green demonstrated his willingness to purge everything interesting about his work if necessary.

That would be fine if he had Soderbergh’s command of genre tinkering, but Green’s best moments are instinctual rather than conceptual. Still, it’s interesting to watch him try to turn himself into a studio hand marrying his sensibility to the goal of turning Hollywood movies back to the ’70s and ’80s populist films he loves so much.

[Photos: “Pineapple Express,” Columbia Pictures, 2008; “Tango & Cash,” Warner Bros., 1989]

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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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