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Can’t Be At Cannes 2011, Wednesday Edition

Can’t Be At Cannes 2011, Wednesday 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 third; for additional installments, along with all our Cannes coverage, can be found here.

So today at Cannes, Lars von Trier called himself a Nazi and said he sympathized with Hitler. But it’s all okay, because he was joking. Oh, that hilarious rapscallion!

The comments came at the press conference after von Trier’s new film “Melancholia.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, von Trier was asked a question about his German roots, when the director opened his mouth and shoved his entire leg and part of his lower torso into it. But surely the whole thing was taken out of context, right? Right?

“For a long time I thought I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew… Then I met (Danish and Jewish director) Susanne Bier and I wasn’t so happy. But then I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family were German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler…I sympathize with him a bit… I don’t mean I’m in favor of World War II and I’m not against Jews, not even Susanne Bier… In fact I’m very much in favor of them. All Jews. Well, Israel is a pain in the ass but… now how can I get out of this sentence? Ok. I’m a Nazi.”

I, um, oh. So, not out of context. All righty then.

You do have to take anything von Trier says with a grain of salt — a grain of hateful, anti-Semitic salt. von Trier loves to mess with the press with provocative and borderline crazy statements — at his last trip to Cannes, with the film “Antichrist” in 2009, von Trier infamously boasted that he was “the best filmmaker in the world” — but this is excessive even by his batshit standards. Even if they weren’t meant seriously, these comments are pretty horrible (and I didn’t even include the part where von Trier “jokingly” suggested he might make a film version of “The Final Solution.” This guy’s a regular Jonathan Swift!). Hopefully at some point in the near future von Trier will realize what he’s done, and offer a clarification (I wouldn’t hold my breath for an apology). Chaos is supposed to reign, Lars, not stupidity.

So while its director has me in a melancholy mood, let’s turn to the reaction to “Melancholia.” A lot of comparisons are being drawn to Malick’s “The Tree of Life,” with their similar conflations of family and cosmic dramas, and the divisive reactions they’re drawing from critics. It kind of looks like battle lines are being drawn: Team Malick and Team LVT. THR‘s Todd McCarthy, a major “Tree of Life” partisan, dismissed “Melancholia,” saying it turns “the end of the world into a bit of a bore,” while Jim Hoberman from The Village Voice, a major “Tree of Life” hater, says that von Trier’s apocalyptic film made him feel “light, rejuvenated and unconscionably happy.”

Reviews look split about 65-35 in von Trier’s favor, but everyone seems to agree the movie looks amazing. Movieline‘s Stephanie Zacharek:

“These are somber, glorious images: They incite both dread and shivery anticipation — the effect is that of gazing deep into the sugar Easter Egg of doom. What, exactly, is von Trier trying to say here? ‘Antichrist’ was a scream of pain; ‘Melancholia’ is more like a heavy sigh, a gasp at the horrible wonder of it all. It isn’t nearly as somber as its title would lead you to believe, and it’s so beautiful to look at that it feels decadent, almost luxurious.”

Decadent, luxurious and, no doubt, very German.

UPDATE: The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s blog has a statement on von Trier from the Cannes Film Festival, which also includes an apology. It reads:

“The Festival de Cannes was disturbed about the statements made by Lars von Trier in his press conference this morning in Cannes. Therefore the Festival asked him to provide an explanation for his comments. The director states that he let himself be egged on by a provocation. He presents his apology. The direction of the Festival acknowledges this and is passing on Lars von Trier’s apology. The Festival is adamant that it would never allow the event to become the forum for such pronouncements on such subjects.”

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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.

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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…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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