This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.

DID YOU READ

“Last Days Here,” Reviewed

“Last Days Here,” Reviewed (photo)

Posted by on

Though it wouldn’t necessarily be fair to label Don Argott and Demian Fenton’s latest film “Last Days Here” as a bookend to their wonderfully inspiring 2005 doc “Rock School,” there are definitely parallels between the two. Covering both ends of rock ‘n’ roll spectrum, the latter featured pre-teens picking up guitars and discovering the joys of Black Sabbath while the former depicts the painful descent of Bobby Liebling, the lead singer of the heavy metal band Pentagram who looks like death when we first meet him after drugs, alcohol and a host of bad decisions have left him in his parents’ basement with little hope for recovery at the age of 54.

Liebling’s story certainly isn’t how all rock star stories turn out, but it’s also not exactly atypical, which is why “Last Days Here” would appear to be a more nuanced episode of “Behind the Music” at first, except for the fact that Liebling’s journey probably wouldn’t immediately warrant much interest amongst the mainstream since the singer was too self-destructive to ever allow Pentagram to break through to a mass audience and he is far too gone to speak for himself. Yet Fenton (an editor on Argott’s previous project who gets a co-directing credit here) and Argott spent six years waiting for the story to reveal itself and that patience has been rewarded with a tale that’s sad, sometimes frustrating and ultimately triumphant.

Commitment runs throughout those closest to Bobby since it has to- Diane and Joe Liebling, his parents who look spry in comparison to their son, bring him fig newtons on their couch without complaint, and Sean “Pellet” Pelletier, a metal fan who compares meeting Liebling to “being a devout Christian and you bump into Jesus,” has kept the flame alive for one of his favorite bands by putting out compilation albums and steadily urging Bobby to clean up his act so he can get back in front of the mic. This is, despite the fact, as one interview subject puts it concisely, “Everybody who helps [Bobby] gets crapped on,” but even in his frail condition, each of them can somehow see the promise he had a young man when his trembling body was a result of some powerful pipes as opposed to a drug-induced symptom.

But then a funny thing on the way down Bobby’s downward spiral when he meets Hallie, a young fan from Philadelphia who, like many others in her generation rediscovered Pentagram in the early aughts when doom metal made a comeback with acts like Queen of the Stone Age, and somehow allows Bobby into her life. A May-December romance ensues, one that Hallie insists isn’t about money since “Bobby has none,” and it’s at this point that “Last Days Here” becomes something special as it separates itself from the tragic narratives of most rock docs or even the ones that have a happy ending.

“Last Days Here” could involve both of those things, but it never tips its hand and asks its audience to care for a central figure who is thoroughly unsympathetic because of what others see in him. As has usually been the case in Argott and Fenton’s work to date, it’s their ability to bring the stories out of the supporting characters, like the infectious passion of Pelletier, that make the film worthwhile, even as everyone on screen seems to more or less accept that Bobby is a lost cause. But “Last Days Here” isn’t weighed down by history, or much of anything for that matter as it uses a traditionally straightforward, slightly shaggy narrative to tell of Liebling’s rise and fall. Instead, it’s always looking forward as one strange turn in Liebling’s life after he meets Hallie begets another until ultimately, the film does reach a more traditional “will he or won’t he perform?” climax before surprising the audience one last time.

It would’ve been enough for “Last Days Here” to reintroduce Pentagram into the cultural lexicon since, in fact, their music is worthy of rediscovery, but the film goes far beyond that. As Pelletier remarks late in the picture, “Anything bad Bobby Liebling will do for his heart, he’ll do it – love, drugs, bacon pizza.” Seeing his story is good for everybody else’s.

“Last Days Here” plays once more on March 18th and currently does not have U.S. distribution.

IFC_Portlandia-S8_best-of-skits_subaru-blog

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

Posted by on

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 IFC.com

IFC_Portlandia-S8_pick-a-lane_subaru-blog

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

Posted by on

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.

Uncle-Buck

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…