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Clooney going to court vs. the Mel Gibson tapes.

Clooney going to court vs. the Mel Gibson tapes. (photo)

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There was something refreshingly old-fashioned, in this week of Mel Gibson, in the sight of George Clooney arriving at a Milanese courtroom to a press corps cluster so big the judge had to get a bigger space to accommodate all the journalists and paparazzi.

Clooney showed up in his usual natty style, offering 90 minutes of testimony about the three men who’d allegedly forged Clooney’s signature to fraudulently promote a clothing line in his name. He gave a few good lines — “Nice to meet you,” he said to the only defendant in court, “it’s the first time” — and told the courtroom they could laugh after reciting all the products he’s endorsed, including Martini, as directed by Robert Rodriguez in this commercial:

The interpreter was Valentina Gianoli, a 32-year-old who — as the Telegraph‘s Philip Willan Rome notes — “gave up a day at the beach to be present in court.” She “admitted that yes, Mr Clooney was ‘bello,’ but he wasn’t her favourite Hollywood actor.” Clooney was annoyed at questions implying he’d been romantically involved with one of the defendants, taking the opportunity to snipe against paparazzi. When he was done, the judge noted Clooney had been speaking as long as a feature, and the carabinieri escorted him out.

Even Clooney’s political opponents couldn’t have found anything to complain about here. And, despite the regrettable circumstances, it was far more pleasant than the simultaneous Polanski/Gibson noises going on in the background. Once again, it was proved that when celebrity gossip stops being merely trashy and approaches something like genuine tragedy, people don’t know how to discuss it.

Polanski getting off the hook and Gibson hanging himself on it happened in quick succession, but — unbelievably — Gibson managed to give Polanski the cover to basically slink back into production on his next film (of the play “God of Carnage,” no less).

07162010_thebeaver.jpgThere’s been something awfully unnerving about the daily release of The Gibson Tapes, which have been dripped out like a daytime soap opera for the internet, especially after the not-precisely-shocking news that the files had been professionally recorded and edited.

Like Tom Cruise, Gibson had managed to make much of the country dislike him even before these developments. The true extent of the damaging tapes, though, made the Cruise thing look mild (which it was!). No matter how much Gibson was at fault, it’s still disturbing, the way the tapes went to the public before the police, and the way they were released in the middle of the day for maximum news cycle consumption and redistribution.

There’s nothing really “tragic” about celebrity problems that don’t affect anyone but those near and dear. Still, Gibson’s meltdown is one of the biggest ones in years, and perhaps one of the most fatal ones, careerwise. People instantly turned it into a kitteh meme!

[Photos: “Intolerable Cruelty,” Universal Pictures, 2003; “The Beaver,” Summit Entertainment, 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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