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Why? Why? Tell Them That It’s ‘Human Nature’

Why? Why? Tell Them That It’s ‘Human Nature’ (photo)

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Much like the Lord (or Buddha or Santa Claus), minds work in mystery ways. Especially the strange minds of Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jonze, and Michael Gondry. Jonze and Kaufman hit mainstream success with the incredibly meta and bizarre yet brilliant Being John Malkovich, where John Cusack and a remarkably unattractive Cameron Diaz found an entrance to actor John Malkovich’s mind and body via a mysterious floor in a drab office building. Who thinks of that?

Their 2001 follow-up work is just as strangely genius and kneedeep in the oddball. In Human Nature, Tim Robbins stars as a scientist who is, unfortunately, dead. We know this because the film opens with him in the afterlife’s waiting room with a giant hole in his head. How he got like this and why Patricia Arquette’s Lila is locked in jail and Rhys Ifans’ Puff is testifying before Congress makes up the bulk of the film. The cast of characters is compellingly quirky: Lila is the quintessential circus freak who is looking for love but her full-body hirsuteness is impeding her relationships until she meets a devoted electrolysis guru. Puff was raised in the wild but his socialization becomes the pet project of the virginal scientist. Tim Robbins’ Nathan Bronfman is so repressed that he is more interested in teaching mice proper table etiquette than his sexy French lab assistant, Miranda Otto.

While the film never quite reaches the hilarious heights of Being John Malkovich, the production team of Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman works well with Michael Gondry directing. Under his watchful eye, Tim Robbins and Patricia Arquette deliver committed performances to some very strange people in extremely odd situations. The film is a beautiful romp through the minds of some very quirky characters and we don’t mean the actors– We mean the producers.

‘Human Nature’ airs on IFC at 9:35 p.m. ET

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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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