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Gus Van Sant’s ‘Last Days’: A Beautiful Tragedy

Gus Van Sant’s ‘Last Days’: A Beautiful Tragedy (photo)

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Gus Van Sant’s film ‘Last Days’ takes an anonymous look at the final days of a very famous rock star.

Blake, played by Michael Pitt, is an eerie stand-in for Nirvana’s lead singer Kurt Cobain. He looks like him, he dresses like him, and he acts like him. Blake is the leader of an unexpectedly successful rock band who has no idea how to handle the newfound and possibly unwanted fame and fortune. He is clearly depressed and isolated, even though the large rundown mansion he lives in is filled with so-called friends. He wanders the halls of his home avoiding interaction and barely speaking.

The movie is languid and low-key to the point of almost being reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s movies. But instead of watching someone sleep for three hours you see a man looking for something, anything, to set himself free. The pace of the film is so slow that the audience ends up waiting for something to happen almost as much as the angst-filled protagonist. We all know how the movie ends, but as we travel with Gus Van Sant on his directed meditation on those sad final days, the journey almost makes sense of that tragic finale. Almost.

The film is beautifully shot, heartbreaking, but enjoyable, but not nearly as beautiful, heartbreaking, or enjoyable as the bittersweet beauty of the real Kurt Cobain in concert:

‘Last Days’ is on IFC at 4:15 p.m. EDT and again Sunday, Aug. 29 at 10:15 AM EDT and
Monday, Aug. 30 at 4:20 AM EDT.

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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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