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Lou Reed’s Directorial Debut, “Red Shirley”

Lou Reed’s Directorial Debut, “Red Shirley” (photo)

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On the eve of her 100th birthday, Shirley Novick, sat down for an interview about her storybook life with her first cousin (once removed), Lou Reed. A staunch unionist and social rights activist since emigrating to the US, Ms. Novick, dubbed “Red Shirley,” for her left leaning inclinations, first fled her home in Poland during WWI after her home was destroyed by a dud shell. She came to Canada at age 19, and New York soon after, where she as lived since, avoiding the fate of the rest of her family in holocaust that followed in WWII.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Lou Reed commented, “I’ve said to her, ‘Shirley, how do you deal with all these things? You don’t get angry, how do you deal with this?’ And she said, ‘Eh! I take what’s given.’ And she means it. Doesn’t complain, doesn’t try to get away. It’s amazing. I think it’s a form of enlightenment.”

The film is the Velvet legend’s directorial debut, a portrait of the feisty Novick, who still lives in the Chelsea Garment Worker Project apartment she’s lived in for almost 50 years.

“This was an act of love,” Reed said. “I realized if I didn’t do this, a connection to a lot of things would be lost forever. So there was great impetus to do this.” But he told the Journal that this didn’t mean he was about to start making movies left and right. “The only other thing I would like to do is make a movie about martial arts. Like, travel around to different teachers and tournaments, compare techniques and training,” Reed, who’s found a passion for Tai Chi, revealed.

“Red Shirley,” shot by portraitist Ralph Gibson (directed by and featuring Lou Reed) gets it’s New York premiere this Saturday, at the 2011 New York Jewish Film Festival. It screens at the Film Society of Lincoln Center at 9:15pm.

Here’s the trailer for the film:

And a few words from Shirley, a dedication to her one thousand year old town, that the Nazi’s “wiped off” the face of the Earth:

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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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