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Get Ready For New Malick With A Game Of “Name That Thistle”

Get Ready For New Malick With A Game Of “Name That Thistle” (photo)

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Today I humbly bow in admiration at the feet of Slate’s Brow Beat for dreaming up something so funny, I wish I had thought of it.

They’ve decided to celebrate the impending release of Terrence Malick’s new movie “The Tree of Life” (read my review here) with a little quiz with the awesome title “Name That Thistle.” First off, anyone who makes Malick thistle jokes is okay in my book. But on top of that, it’s really an outstanding and surprisingly tough little quiz (I will confess: I did not get a perfect score. Damn you dreamlike giant grasshoppers!). They’ve prepared eight different anonymous YouTube clips and it’s up to you to determine whether they’re from a Terrence Malick movie or from a nature documentary. So, for instance, take a look at the image at the top of this post (thistles!). Whaddya think: did I take it from a movie directed by Terrence Malick or did I find it by screencapping a documentary on Netflix? The answer’s below.

Name That Thistle is an especially appropriate appetizer for “The Tree of Life” because Malick is, in fact, planning on turning extra material he shot for the film into its own nature documentary. As you’ve probably read by now, “The Tree of Life,” which is predominantly about a family in Texas in the 1950s, includes an extended sequence chronicling the birth of the universe and the origins of life on Planet Earth. According to The Los Angeles Times, Malick is working on an IMAX film called “Voyage of Time” that would expand that sequence into a full-blown documentary. It will be narrated by Brad Pitt and cover “the whole of time, from the birth of the universe to its final collapse.” The plan originally called for “Voyage of Time” to open simultaneously with “The Tree of Life,” but out of fear that the two films could “confuse audiences,” the documentary has been delayed to “an unspecified future date.”

With Malick, who routinely takes half-decades to make one film, that means it could be a long, long wait for that “Voyage.” But we’ll cross our fingers that maybe some day down the line we can look forward to a Name That Thistle sequel: Name That Pulsar. In the meantime, go test your knowledge of meditative close-ups of waterfalls.

(Photo Credit Answer: “Days of Heaven,” Paramount, 1978 — OR IS IT??? Okay, it is.)

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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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