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DID YOU READ, Now a Movie Studio?, Now a Movie Studio? (photo)

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Amazon — you know, the online shopping site that brought you that “21 Jump Street” Season 3 box set at such an irresistible price — has launched Amazon Studios, “a movie studio for today’s world” and a venture that seems to be half crowdsourced development company, half competition.

Users can upload screenplays or “test movies” (which Amazon describes as “an inexpensive, full-length movie that tells the whole story of the script in a compelling way, has very good acting and sound, but that doesn’t necessarily have polished production values”). Others vote on the projects, give feedback and offer revisions. Participants will have the chance to win (not inconsiderable) cash prizes, and, theoretically, a chance at a production deal. Per the site:

Amazon Studios has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Pictures, which means we’ll be presenting our top projects to Hollywood’s biggest studio for consideration as theatrical feature films. And winners of the Amazon Studios Annual Awards won’t just get money–they’ll also get a meeting with Warner Bros. development executives.

Here’s the all-important fine print, which includes the $200,000 purchase price Amazon has set for any projects it ends up optioning, along with info on exclusivity rights and licensing periods. With development executives scanning YouTube for the next big thing and Paramount having announced its embrace of microbudget films, this move from Amazon isn’t crazy — and they have a huge community from which to draw. But as Andrew Pulver at the Guardian notes:

This isn’t the first time a major internet operation has involved itself in movie-making: in 2008, the film Faintheart was released after a development collaboration between MySpace and British film outfits Film4 and Vertigo, but it had minimal impact and the experiment was not repeated. Large-scale retailers have also dabbled in the area: Tesco recently initiated production on an adaptation of Jackie Collins novel, Paris Connections, designed for sale in its stores, but it has yet to see the light of day.

It’s all well and good to get idealistic and cheery about the “gate guard”-free internet-enable future of entertainment, but I’m saving the cheerleading for the first good movie that comes out of it.

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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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