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Five Reasons to Watch “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai” Tonight

Five Reasons to Watch “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai” Tonight (photo)

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Director Jim Jarmusch knows how to spin a tale, so when he tackles the life of a modern day samurai, you know the story will be unforgettable. In “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai” Forest Whitaker stars as Ghost Dog, a hit man living in a run-down city in a film that may be an homage to the 1967 film “Le Samouraï.” Known for his gift of being able to come and go without people noticing him, Ghost Dog is a self-taught samurai who is obsessed with order and his strict personal moral code, drawn from the philosophies of the Japanese warriors. As every samurai needs a leader to whom he swears loyalty, Ghost Dog has devoted himself the service of Louie (John Tormey), a low-level crime boss who once saved his life. When his leader is threatened, Ghost Dog leaps into action to defend him, despite the personal risk.

If the delectable combination of Jim Jarmusch, Forest Whitaker, and a modern samurai story aren’t enough for you, here are five reasons to watch “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai” at 10:20 p.m. ET tonight:

1. Forrest Whitaker. While he won an Oscar for his portrayal of Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland,” his performance as Ghost Dog, the lone warrior on the path of the samurai, is just as searing, full of quiet depth, and deeply haunting.

2. RZA. The Wu-Tang Clan member’s first foray into the world of soundtracks is the pitch perfect complement to Jarmusch’s slowly surreal samurai film.

3. Pigeons. Way before anyone was putting on birds on things, the Ghost Dog was up on his roof top guiding his carrier pigeons into flight. The imagery is far more beautiful than any throw pillow with a bird on it.

4. The Ice Cream Man. Ghost Dog’s best friend is a Haitian ice cream man named Raymond (Isaach De Bankolé). Ghost Dog doesn’t understand Raymond’s French and Raymond doesn’t understand English, but the two understand each other perfectly.

5. Rashomon. A copy of the 1915 Japanese tale of survival in brutal times is passed from hand to hand, from character-to-character during the film. The movie also eerily parallels some of the book’s major themes.

Watch the trailer, then watch the film:

“Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai” airs tonight on IFC at 10:20 p.m. ET;
Friday, Aug. 12 at 3:15 a.m. ET; Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 10:30 p.m. ET; Wednesday, Aug. 17 at 3:30 a.m. ET; Sunday, Aug. 28 at 2:15 a.m. ET

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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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