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SXSW 2012: Robin Tunney on what makes South By Southwest special


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It’s no secret that the Sundance Film Festival has become a bit more mainstream over the past few years. When it comes to the defining moment when celebrities seemed to realize that the festival was more about promotion than it was filmmaking seems to universally be the year that one company was handing out free washing machines. It seems as though celebrities and filmmakers are flocking to South by Southwest in Austin so much because it is a less commercialized alternative to Sundance.

IFC caught up with “See Girl Run” actress Robin Tunney during SXSW, and she admitted that she’s seen a definite change in Sundance over the many years she has attended it.

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“I’ve been going to Sundance for so many years, like 15 years, and I think it’s more like what that was when it started before like Paris Hilton came down on it and started getting free washing machines,” she said, going back to the fan-favorite Sundance anecdote. “I was offered a free washing machine at Sundance! They’re like, ‘Will you sit on a washing machine to get a free washing machine?'”

And that’s not the only instance of weird freebies Tunney has had to deal with. “I think there was one time that someone asked me to pose with their cookie and they said they’d give me a cookie,” she said. “You end up with this enormous garbage bag filled with like underpants, like really bizarre promotional things, and there’s really horrible pictures of you on the internet wearing free sunglasses in 1996.”

Bottom line? Sundance has changed, while SXSW is still hitting its stride.

“[Sundance has] become about promotion, and here it just seems like it’s about the movies and it’s not so overrun,” Tunney admitted.

Do you agree with Tunney’s sentiments about SXSW versus Sundance? Tell us in the comments section 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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