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DID YOU READ

“Page One: Inside The New York Times,” Reviewed

“Page One: Inside The New York Times,” Reviewed (photo)

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I don’t know if it’s a rule or just a cliche, but it feels like every movie about newspapers begins with a scene in the printing presses. I get it: they’re visually interesting, they’re something we never get to see anywhere but the movies, and they represent the end of the process that we’re about to watch unfold. And sure enough, the documentary “Page One: Inside The New York Times” starts with a printing press montage. Not an original choice, but a particularly appropriate one in this movie, since the process that’s ending in this case is not just another issue of a newspaper, but perhaps the entire system of gathering and reporting news that has been in place for over a hundred years.

Whether he originally intended to or not, director Andrew Rossi, who was granted unprecedented access to the Times newsroom for an entire year, wound up with a documentary that is less “inside the Times” than “The Times inside the modern media landscape.” You won’t see how the paper covers sports or local government or, for that matter, how their film desk works. Though we meet a few reporters and editors from around the company and we get to sit in on a couple pitch meetings for the paper’s front page, Rossi primarily looks at the Times through the prism of its own media desk, which is edited by Bruce Headlam and staffed by smart, dedicated journalists like David Carr and Brian Stelter. The stories they report all connect in some way to one of the seismic shifts currently rocking the news industry. WikiLeaks and their release of classified combat videos leads into a discussion about the line between journalist and activist, and the role the Times plays in a world where almost every citizen has access to incredibly powerful communication tools. NBC Universal and Comcast’s merger introduces questions about media consolidation. The bankruptcy of the Tribune company forces us to reconsider whether newspapers should be run as a benevolent public trust, or as a money-making enterprises whose only responsibilities are to its owners and shareholders. To me, these are fascinating issues. If they’re not to you, this movie may not be your cup of tea.

Rossi bounces between news stories, interviews with Times staffers, and media critics and pundits. The structure he’s found — a series of loosely collected snapshots rather than a detailed portrait — reminds me of the way someone might casually read a newspaper, glancing at headlines, flipping back and forth from one section to the next. You don’t necessarily get the best sense of how the Times works but you do get a feel for why it works: because men (and the subjects of “Page One” are almost exclusively white men) like Headlam and Carr believe that The New York Times means more than just something people read on the subway in the morning, and they work their asses off to uphold the values of that have always been at its core. The movie doesn’t burrow too deeply into the nitty-gritty of their work, but if, as many in “Page One” speculate, The New York Times is nearing a period of massive upheaval for itself and for all newspapers, this film will serve as a superb document of this hugely important moment just before it happened.

I may be making the film sound dry, and it’s not. Under Rossi’s gaze, the Times reporters practically become rock stars. Carr, a former drug addict and single father, emerges as the Times‘ unofficial spokesman and biggest cheerleader. He dresses down the arrogant editors of Vice who think their coverage of the Middle East is hot shit. He openly mocks Michael Wolff and his Newser.com for claiming the Times is a dinosaur while ripping off its content. Even though he’s chronicling the collapse of the very business he’s in, Carr makes his job look so freaking cool. Forecasts of financial doom and all, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if in ten years there are young people working in journalism who credit “Page One” as their inspiration. That is, of course, if there’s anyone actually making a living at journalism in ten years. Those printing presses are starting to look mighty archaic.

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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.

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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…