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What Steven Soderbergh and prog rock band Yes have in common.

What Steven Soderbergh and prog rock band Yes have in common. (photo)

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By my count, by 2010’s end Steven Soderbergh will have released or began work on no less than six separate films. Even by his own prodigiously prolific standards, that’s a personal best. “And Everything Is Going Fine” — his fine video memorial for Spalding Gray — is still making the festival rounds, poised to play at Edinburgh next.

While in Australia directing a play he swore he would never restage or film, he found the time to shoot a movie called “The Last Time I Saw Michael Gregg” that he may or may not release, apparently based on his mood. He’s also preparing to direct a horror movie for Warner Bros. (“Contagion”), shooting new footage for a director’s cut of “Kafka,” has finished the mixed-martial-arts thriller “Knockout” and — in his spare time — is still prepping for his long-awaited 3D “Cleopatra” rock musical.

This is complete lunacy — when you’re working so fast you can afford to make movies people may not ever actually see, you’re working at a level most people have never heard of, let alone achieved. But what’s really impressive about Soderbergh is how spread out over the distribution landscape his work ranges, from the widely available and cable-ubiquitous to work that takes real cunning and patience to get your hands on.

To see “And Everything Is Going Fine” (at least until someone decides a 90-minute video montage of Spalding Gray talking is commercially viable — IMDb has it slated to be released direct-to-DVD by Magnolia in 2011) requires proximity to a festival and patience. Being a Soderbergh completist might not actually be possible. You’d need to track down the two TV episodes of mid-’90s Showtime series “Fallen Angels” he directed, take in his TV show “K Street” and find down his 1987 short film “Winston,” not to mention his concert movie 1985 “Yes: 9012 Live.”

06012010_yes.jpgYou could make an analogy between Soderbergh and Yes, a band that has produced approximately 20 million notes in its career in the name of very technical (read: long-winded) goals, collating all of which would basically be a task for a panel the size of the Warren Commission. But I’d rather compare him to a band like The Smiths that would throw away many of their best songs on B-sides and making finding them part of the challenge. Lots of people like to talk these days about telling a story in multiple formats and making viewing more interactive, but the very process of watching Soderbergh’s work is more than enough interactivity to go around.

Here’s the intro to “Yes: 9021 Live.” It’s weirder than you’d expect:

[Photos: “And Everything Is Going Fine,” Magnolia Home Entertainment, 2011; “Yes: 9021 Live,” Image Entertainment, 1985]

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Rev Up

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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Give Back

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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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