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Disturbing the Universe with Michael Moore

Disturbing the Universe with Michael Moore (photo)

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“I don’t want people who see my films to be scared. I want them to act,” Michael Moore told a post-screening audience last night at an event presented by the Center for Constitutional Rights, Chicken & Egg Pictures and Indies Direct. That’s why, he said, 2009’s “Capitalism: A Love Story” is his last film “until I see that happen. I’m not going to provide entertainment for people who can leave the theater going ‘Right on!'” But taking a break from filmmaking himself hasn’t stopped Moore from supporting his fellow documentarians, including Emily and Sarah Kunstler, whose “William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe” is on this year’s Oscar shortlist.

The film’s a portrait of the pair’s father, self-described “radical lawyer” William Kunstler, as well as a yearning look back at a turbulent but far more politically active and fiery era. In his career Kunstler represented everyone from the Black Panther Party and the Chicago Seven to more controversial figures, like convicted terrorist El-Sayyid Nosair and members of the Gambino crime family. Yusef Salaam was once one of the latter, one of the five teenagers convicted but years later cleared of the 1989 rape and assault of a jogger in Central Park. Salaam joined Moore and Emily Kunstler on stage after a screening of the film, along with William Kunstler’s widow and the directors’ mother Margaret and the CCR’s Vincent Warren.

“Social justice was religion in our house,” Emily Kunstler said, and it’s a claim that probably rang true for plenty of people in the crowd, which included fellow filmmakers Alex Gibney, Joe Berlinger and “Gasland”‘s Josh Fox. But there was also a sense in the room of the scope of the struggle that involves, of how difficult it has become to engage people and to encourage them to, as Moore hopes, act. Moore mentioned his recent appearance on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” and the health insurance industry’s desire to “push [him] off a cliff” after “Sicko,” and pointed out that Berlinger is still engaged in a legal battle with Chevron over his film “Crude”: “It becomes incumbent upon all of us to make sure he doesn’t fall down — we’ll raise money to stop this.”

Still, Moore remains optimistic, saying that “my fellow Americans, they get misled, they’re easily swayed” thanks to a lack of education in critical analysis so “they don’t know any better, but when they learn the truth, watch out!” And he still managed to tease Emily Kunstler about what she was planning to wear to the Oscars: “Versace?”

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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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