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Fantastic Fest announces another year of Fantastic Debates

Fantastic Fest announces another year of Fantastic Debates (photo)

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One of the highlights every year at Fantastic Fest is Fantastic Debates, where feuds between filmmakers, critics, and festival runners are settled during a night of public debates and boxing. Oh and alcohol. But really every night at Fantastic Fest is a night of alcohol, so that one ought to just go without saying at this point.

Last year’s Fantastic Debates was a particularly outstanding event, with a stellar card that ran the gamut from a comedy undercard (the Zellner Brothers, David and Nathan, throwing down to decide whether video games are art) to a battle of the sexes main event. That’s where Alamo Drafthouse president and Fantastic Fest co-founder Tim League squared off against “Avatar” star Michelle Rodriguez, a professionally trained boxer from her time starring in the film “Girlfight.” You’ve heard of the Rumble in the Jungle and the Thrilla in Manilla. This was Kickin’ Ass in Austin, Tex-Ass. Here’s our report of the night:

Ah, good times. Today Fantastic Fest announced the first details of the 2011 Fantastic Debates. This time League’s decided to fight another well-trained boxer, this one a man, this one a professional. At the main event of Fantastic Debates 2011, League will fight professional — and undefeated! — bare-knuckle boxer James Quinn McDonagh. McDonag is one the subjects of the Fantastic Fest selection, “Knuckle,” a documentary about the sport of bare knuckle boxing. In a few weeks, he’s also going to become the man who murdered Tim League. In a statement, League said “Fantastic Debates has become the most anticipated special event of the festival.  Last year I beat “Girlfight” star Michelle Rodriguez in the ring.  Perhaps this gave me too much confidence.  This year in a fit of incredibly poor judgment, I have challenged undefeated Irish bare-knuckle brawler James Quinn McDonagh to a fight.”

Indeed, very poor judgment, Also, maybe my memory’s fuzzy (remember: every night at Fantastic Fest’s a night of alcohol), but I don’t remember League “beating” Michelle Rodriguez. As you see in our video, it was really more of a draw. Unless he’s counting the moral victory that she didn’t knock him unconscious as a win. Maybe that’s it.

League and McDonagh also sent along pre-fight video messages to each other. These are hilarious, assuming you find a lunatic willingly marching to his execution funny. First, League:

And here’s McDonagh:

You can watch Tim League’s assassination live at this year’s Fantastic Fest, which runs from September 22-29.

Who are you betting on in the epic League vs. McDonagh debate? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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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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