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Liam Gallagher takes a bite out of the Beatles’ Apple.

Liam Gallagher takes a bite out of the Beatles’ Apple. (photo)

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Amidst all the groaning and disappointment currently emanating from Cannes, there was a bright spot: Liam Gallagher — he of the ferociously entertaining interviews and, oh yeah, Oasis — arrived at Cannes, fresh from the dissolution of his band, to talk up his forthcoming movie “The Longest Cocktail Party.” Advance rumors have pegged this as a film about the last days of The Beatles, but this, he told The Guardian‘s Xan Brooks, was untrue. It’s about Apple Records, the mostly unsuccessful record label they founded, and it’s based on Richard DiLello’s memoir, which appears to be one of those reasonably amusing tell-all accounts from inside a failure and a warm-up to all those burning-your-industry-bridges autobiographies to come.

It’s worth clicking on the Brooks link just to watch the video, where Gallagher manages to say “You know what I mean?” 20 times in three minutes. Still, he has his lucid moments: he says he’s only going to make one film and then get out (“I’m not gonna be doing films about whales or unkempt eyebrows”), which is a mild shame insofar as musicians don’t have much of a history of making films about other musicians. Then again, critics have long pointed out that Oasis owes a debt to The Beatles, and to make a film even tangentially about them seems to be the logical culmination of a lifetime.

Nonetheless, when Brooks asks about what it means to make a film about The Beatles, Gallagher snaps that this movie won’t feature the band in any way because “that’s been done” and biopics suck. All of which is true. But there’s another reason a Beatles biopic would be redundant, despite the fact there’s never been a full-on, career-spanning one — more so than pretty much any other band, The Beatles meticulously documented themselves to make sure no one would ever have to conjure them up again.

05182010_yellow.jpgThough at first they were content to just be subjects (in the Maysles brothers’ bright and bemused “Meet The Beatles”), the band quickly figured out that image self-management was the only kind that worked. That’s a simplification: they weren’t happy with “Help!” and “Yellow Submarine” and “Let It Be” were only done to fulfill their obligations to United Artists. Still, they’re there on screen, in roughly all of their incarnations; even when they were hiding in the studio, they were on-screen one way or another. If they hadn’t been trying, there still couldn’t have been a more effective way to discourage future filmmakers than flooding the market with their own productions. (It’s no coincidence that all their biopics have focused on the early, relatively undocumented days.)

In fact, “Yellow Submarine” did fictionalize them while they were together more neatly than any post hoc movie could. They admitted long after the fact that they were actually pleased with the film, as well they should’ve been. It gets the balance right between the clean-cut wit of their early incarnation and the later period, when the band was venturing into weirder psychic terrains and…well, you know all this stuff, but the movie splits the difference so genially that it kind of sums up everything lovable about the band without all the garbage. The animation remains genuinely surreal, so much so it can make over-familiar songs seem momentarily strange again.

Liam Gallagher doesn’t want to mess with the Beatles’s legacy; he just wants to use their record label to show why the record industry doesn’t work, or to champion an underappreciated aspect of the band’s oeuvre. (The book looks like terrific source material, honestly.) Good for him.

[Photos: “Yellow Submarine,” MGM/UA Home Entertainment, 1968.]

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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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