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DID YOU READ

Exclusive Premiere: “Ghost of Old Highways”

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Ben Lovett doesn’t believe in taking it easy. But that’s not a surprise. Last year we wrote a profile of Lovett and his wildly ambitious project to make videos for each of the nine songs on his self-published album, Highway Collection.

Inspired by the reception of the songs, Lovett tapped into the Hollywood community of directors and cinematographers — a group he knows well from his work as a film composer — and embarked on his enterprising idea. Lovett collaborated with a cadre of talented directors to bring the idea to fruition. The collaboration resulted in a series of wildly different yet equally remarkable videos from “The Fear,” a heart swelling ode to the city of Atlanta, to “Eye of the Storm,” a densely atmospheric steampunk-inspired eyeful. Go watch them, we’ll wait.

Now comes Lovett’s most ambitious project to date. “Ghost of Old Highways” was meant to be the next video in the series, but instead of crafting a video for the song, inspiration took hold. The project went from a song to a script, from a script to a film, from film to a score and then from score back to a song. The result is a stunning short film crafted between Lovett, director Dan Bush, and a crew of ambitious, dedicated and determined volunteers willing to put up with extreme conditions for weeks in order to bring the film to light.

The project began as a conversation between Lovett and director Dan Bush (“The Signal”, Magnolia Pictures) about the meaning of the song. “It sounded like one man’s ride into a labyrinth of personal darkness and ultimately, a return from it,” said Bush. “The journey against one’s own demons, grief, and regret, like all real quests is often one as honest and brutal as it is mythic or heroic. “Ghost Of Old Highways” reminds me of that struggle in each of us.” The question of how to capture those heady emotions and distill them into a video was the challenge. You see they had no budget, but that didn’t stop them from dreaming big. Really big. Bush explained, “We wanted this to feel epic – wanted a grand scale – but we had no money and few resources. I knew if we had the right crew, kept sets to a minimum and made use of vast, remote landscapes – we could really immerse ourselves and the audience in a rich and timeless dreamscape to tell this story.”

So they set out to capture that ageless and eternal feel, despite the obstacles of little time and no money. The crew and the cast headed to the mountains outside of Asheville, North Carolina. Each day they filmed, each night they hoofed it back to Asheville, the gear carried up and down the mountain by the volunteer crew. “This production was literally carried on the backs of each and every one of us,” said director of photography, Christopher Campbell, “There were no department lines, we all did everything – the producer and director, even Ben himself, carried gear up and down just like everyone else.”

While this labor of love started out as a video, it became much much more. The result of the effort is a visually stunning short film, “Ghost of Old Highways,” an eerie and unsettling, yet hauntingly beautiful tour de force. “I’ve never been a part of anything quite like it,” said the director, Bush. “We were truly the crew that went uphill to make a music video and came down the mountain with a movie.” While Lovett’s original four-minute song inspired the film, once the project evolved into a movie, Lovett created an entirely new 15-minute musical score for the film, bringing the project back full circle.

“Ghost Of Old Highways” has now screened in 20 cities, four countries, and won nine film festival awards in 2012 including Best Film, Best Score, and Best Cinematography and, most recently, a Best Soundtrack win at the Madrid International Film Festival.

We are thrilled to be able to share the film “Ghost of Old Highways” with you:

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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…