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Can’t Be At Cannes 2011, Friday Edition

Can’t Be At Cannes 2011, Friday Edition (photo)

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It sucks not being at the Cannes Film Festival. To keep you up-to-speed on all the latest developments with the minimum amount of pain and jealousy, we’ll be providing frequent roundups of all the biggest news and best reviews. This is the second; for additional installments, along with all our Cannes coverage, can be found here.

We start on this fine Friday with that bastard Tim League, creator of the Alamo Drafthouse and founder of Fantastic Fest, who has a seemingly endless supply of awesome, I-sold-my-soul-to-the-devil-at-a-crossroads-in-Mississippi-caliber ideas. His latest, announced yesterday at Cannes, is an anthology film he’s producing with Ant Timpson of Timpson Films and Magnet Releasing called “The ABCs of Death.” It’s just a concept at this point, but what a concept: twenty-six short films by twenty-six horror directors each about a different method of killing, one for every letter of the alphabet. So a is for asphyxiation, b is for blugeoning, c for cranial leakage, and so on. If you’ve ever been to Fantastic Fest or you’re a fan of indie horror, you’ll know a lot of the names signed up for shorts: “Timecrimes”‘ Nacho Vigalando, “Kill List”‘s Ben Wheatley, “Red White and Blue”‘s Simon Rumley, “The House of the Devil”‘s Ti West, and many more. Production’s scheduled to begin next month and conclude by January of next year. For more info, and a better look at that great poster I’ve sampled above, you can go to TheABCsofDeath.com.

But “The ABCs of Death” wasn’t the only bit of absurdly cool movie news emanating from the south of France last night. Screen Daily, reported that Lars von Trier, he of “Antichrist,” “Dogville” and assorted other batshit crazy/beautiful movies fame, is teaming with Martin Scorsese, he of movies so famous they needn’t be mentioned fame, to remake von Trier’s 2003 film “The Five Obstructions.” In the original film, von Trier challenged one of his filmmaking inspirations, Jørgen Leth, to recreation his 1967 film “The Perfect Human” five different times, each with a different set of “obstructions.” So, for example, in one version he couldn’t have use any shot that lasts longer than half a second; in another he had to remake it as a cartoon and so on. If the collaboration alone isn’t exciting enough, Screen reports that “it is believed that ‘Taxi Driver’ will be the film that von Trier asks Scorsese to revisit.” In other news, I have already declared “The Five Obstructions 2: You Talking to Me?” the best film of 2012.

Back in the world of completed movies, the big release that’s ran the critical juggernaut since yesterday is director Gus Van Sant’s “Restless,” which opened Cannes’ Un Certain Regard sidebar. Here’s Karina Longworth in The Village Voice with an excerpt from her less than positive review:

“The story of the doomed romance between a funeral-crashing rebel dreamboat (Henry Hopper, son of Dennis) and the terminally ill sprite (Mia Wasikowska) whose calm (if highly affected) stroll towards death teaches him a little something about life, is essentially a Nicolas Sparks flick given a Van Sant aesthetic makeover… It’s also a film with absolutely nothing on its mind, and sub-teen-TV quality dialogue (the script is the first produced screenplay by Jason Lew) that elicited chortles from some critics in Thursday morning’s screening.”

Ouch. Kevin Jagernauth has a similar take over on The Playlist, saying it’s “easily the first hard flop of the Cannes Film Festival” and that “almost every element of ‘Restless’ feels like the script needed another pass.” This seems to be the early consensus on the film, though a couple reviews I’ve read online were a little kinder; Simon Gallagher from Film School Rejects compared his reaction to the film to his discovery of “Blue Valentine” at Cannes last year, calling it “a tender and touching portrait of a fleeting love affair tempered by, and leading towards tragedy.” But unfortunately the majority of critics weren’t impressed and by the end of the film were, y’know getting, uh, what’s the word for when you’re bored by something, and you’re uncomfortable, and you’re like fidgeting in your seat and stuff? Eh, it’ll come to me.

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Final Countdown

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 IFC.com

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Rev Up

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.

Uncle-Buck

Give Back

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

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…