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How Kim’s Video Brought Together a Film Crew

How Kim’s Video Brought Together a Film Crew (photo)

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Over at the Wall Street Journal, Bruce Bennett chats with Robert Greene, the director of the low-budget indie documentary “Kati With An I,” one of the nominees in the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You category of the Gotham Awards, which take place tonight. Greene shares that his journey toward making the film, which follows his half-sister as she approaches her high school graduation in Alabama. It turns out the late, lamented Kim’s Video in the East Village played a significant role in the film getting made.

The Kim’s staffer who hired Mr. Greene to work in the now shuttered St. Mark’s Place store was future “Kati With and I” principal photographer and co-producer (along with Mr. Greene, Susan Bedusa and Douglas Tirola) Sean Price Williams. “I walked in and made a [iconic French filmmaker] Jean Eustache reference, and Sean pretty much hired me on the spot,” Mr. Greene said.

Mr. Williams recalled the moment. “You’re able to judge people very quickly on something as superficial as their movie tastes,” he said. “You know if you’re going to have something to talk about at least.”

The video store’s rental floor eventually became a talent pool. “Everybody felt like we should be making movies instead of just talking about them and watching them,” Mr. Greene said. So he tapped Mr. Williams to shoot his City College thesis film in 2001. The pair then filmed unrelated casual interviews with Mr. Greene’s half-sister, Kati Genthner, introducing her to the filmmaking process and laying the groundwork necessary to document her life truthfully years later in “Kati With an I.”

Though I treasure my Netflix streaming account, I miss the ever more rare video stores, most of all for the idea that they were havens for die-hard cinephiles and aspiring filmmakers who traded likes and dislikes and plotted future projects between checking out rentals and handing out jobs based on Eustache references. Kim’s, a New York institution, surely figures into other stories just like Mr. Greene’s.

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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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