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Tilda Swinton’s Return to “Orlando”

Tilda Swinton’s Return to “Orlando” (photo)

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In the 18 years since Tilda Swinton and Sally Potter first collaborated on “Orlando,” Swinton has hosted a film festival in a ballroom with beanbags for seats and Potter doled out her last film “Rage” in seven episodes on mobile phones. Now, the only audacious thing left for this truly dynamic duo is to indulge in something as old fashioned as a revival of their much-beloved 1993 film in theaters.

“It looks like it was made yesterday!” exclaims Swinton, who claims to have been lobbying for a theatrical rerelease of the film for years. “Every time I’m in a city, at least five people on the street will tell me that it’s their favorite film, which makes me go to Sony Pictures Classics and say ‘You’ll make some cash if you put it in the pictures. Just go on, put it out there.'”

Indeed, Sony Classics chiefs Tom Bernard and Michael Barker heeded the call, dovetailing a MoMA retrospective of Potter’s work in New York that ends this week with a rerelease of “Orlando” in a newly struck digital restoration on the coasts on July 23rd.

While the Oscar-nominated art direction and costume design has never looked more pristine, “Orlando” itself remains as timeless as the Virginia Woolf story it is based on, which spans 400 years in the life of an Elizabethan nobleman who shuttles between centuries, artistic pursuits and genders to finally find peace in the 20th century.

07202010_TildaSwintonOrlando2.jpgIt was a natural fit for the chameleonic Swinton back in 1992 and is a notable touchstone today for the actress since it returns to theaters as she is enjoying the success of “I Am Love,” the melodramatic festival favorite that she produced, something she does on many of her films even it without a proper title.

In fact, “Orlando” was one of the first she worked on in such a capacity, after enjoying a fruitful partnership with Derek Jarman in the late ’80s and appreciating the feel of “familial production work.”

“I’ve never been that aware of wearing an actress hat. That’s not something that I’ve ever aspired to,” said Swinton, when asked about juggling her many roles on a production. “You talk about a producer hat as if it’s something you can take off. That’s my hair, that’s no hat.”

Which is why it’s no surprise to see Swinton glow with a mother’s warmth when referring to both “my babies” in “I Am Love” and “Orlando,” the latter of which she developed from scratch with Potter over the course of five years. (In her words, “there was a book, there was Sally and there was me.”) She’s currently doing the same for Lynne Ramsay’s adaptation of the Lionel Shriver novel “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” but she appears to be equally interested in preserving cinema as a whole.

“It’s possible for people to say of “I Am Love,” oh, it’s the kind of film they don’t make any more and you look at “Orlando” and it looks fresher than most films that are made this year,” said Swinton. “It does give one pause and makes one realize that this kind of film, this kind of filmmaking is ever current and it may not be possible to make billions in the first weekend from a film like this, but they last forever.”

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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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