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The Coen Brothers at Their Quirky Best in ‘Barton Fink’

The Coen Brothers at Their Quirky Best in ‘Barton Fink’ (photo)

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When Joel and Ethan Coen (perhaps better known as the Coen Brothers) go dark and quirky, they go all the way. In their fourth film, 1994’s Barton Fink, combines comic moments with pervasive anxiety and increasingly tense interactions between neurotic and (seemingly) normal characters. They top it all off with a horrific dramatic twist that will leave the audience scratching their heads, in a good way.

In ‘Barton Fink’, John Turturro stars as the title character, a screenwriter struggling with writer’s block after being lured to 1940s Hollywood from a successful career on Broadway. He sits in his bleak room desperate to come up with something, anything, to say. Through his door comes a cavalcade of characters, including the straight-laced and jolly insurance salesman played by John Goodman. Also joining Barton in his seemingly increasingly small room, is a pesky mosquito and a package that may or may not contain a severed head. It’s a story that could only come from the minds of the Coen Brothers and is far darker than any Twilight Zone episode.

The movie is a rarified piece of comedic yet horrifying filmmaking from the Coen Brothers, and while it is not as funny as “Raising Arizona” or as complexly morose as “Blood Simple”, it is a triumph for the brothers and audience members alike.

Watch the trailer and then tune in at 6 p.m. ET tonight:

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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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