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Starting With “Beginners”‘ Mike Mills at SXSW ’11

Starting With “Beginners”‘ Mike Mills at SXSW ’11 (photo)

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Before I even read a word about Mike Mills’ new film “Beginners,” I had a feeling it was based on his own life. The film’s too heartfelt, too truthful not to come from a deeply personal place. And sure enough, Mills’ own father came out of the closet as a 75-year-old widower and enjoyed five years of gay life before passing away, just like Oliver’s (Ewan McGregor) father Hal (Christopher Plummer) does in the film. “Beginners” is a sweet and sad portrait of love, loss, grieving, and healing, and it cuts back and forth between past and present in a way that very effectively mimics the way moments in our lives dredge up moments from our memories.

Mills and I chatted about why he wanted to tell this autobiographical story, what it’s like to cast someone to play yourself, and how to deal with a dog with separation anxiety issues (like the adorable Jack Russell Oliver inherits in the film, and like the dogs Mills and I have in real life). At the end of the interview, you’ll also hear us discuss Mills’ blog for the film, which is filled with weird pictures and YouTube videos and is totally fantastic. You can find that right here. “Beginners” opens in select cities on June 3.

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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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