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James Joyce and ‘The Dead’: A Quick Education

James Joyce and ‘The Dead’: A Quick Education (photo)

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It’s long been a rule that if you want people to think you are smart, carry around a copy of James Joyce’s “Ulysses”. While “Finnegan’s Wake” or “Dubliners” will do in a pinch, the real smartypants all tote “Ulysses” while riding public transit or prop it up on a table at a coffee shop. The mere presence of such a hefty tome works as a neon sign to say: I AM SMART. This works in two ways: 1. If someone has read it, they will think you are “one of them” (in a Freaks kind of way) and 2. If they haven’t read it they will feel cowered by your greater intellect and not question you about it. Win win, right?

If carting books isn’t your cup of tea — or you don’t think anyone will notice if you are reading Joyce on your Kindle — then gather enough Joycean quotes to pass muster at Bloomsday by watching one of these films inspired by the life and work of James Joyce.

Angelica Huston stars in her father’s final film, The Dead, which just happens to playing on IFC today. John Huston’s film is based on the final story in James Joyce’s “Dubliners” and was co-written by John Huston’s son, Tony Huston. Here’s the trailer for The Dead, which airs on IFC at 2:35 p.m. ET.

Next up is “Ulysses”. No, not that Ulysses, but the 1967 version starring Maurice Roëves as Stephen Dedalus, Milo O’Shea as Leopold Bloom, and Barbara Jefford as Molly Bloom. Dedalus also quotes Nietszche in the clip, so you can double the bang for your lazy man’s educational bucks. If you watch the whole clip you are entitled to tell people your IQ is two full points higher than it really is:

In 2000, Ewan MacGregor starred as James Joyce himself in Nora, which took a look at the love of Joyce’s life, Nora Barnacle (played by Susan Lynch). This is an important addition to your film roster because it will allow you to sprinkle anecdotes about Joyce’s personal life into your daily conversation ensuring that people know you are much smarter and more worldly than they are:

Bloom garnered a lot of praise and a handful of Irish Academy Awards for its interpretation of Joyce’s Ulysses. It stars prolific Irish actor Stephen Rea as Leopold Bloom who goes about his day vaguely following the structure of Homer’s Ulysses. While Stephen Rea generally makes every movie better, the trailer for Bloom does not make the movie seem any more accessible than the book.

The Dead airs on IFC at 2:35 p.m. ET today and on Monday, Nov. 1 at 4:30 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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