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DID YOU READ

Five cool things about “Prometheus” marketing: A post-mortem

Prometheus

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The build-up to “Prometheus,” or, as I like to call it, Geek Christmas, was pretty amazing. The film’s subject is artificial intelligence. The anticipation of the film involves the artful release of trailers and websites which has led, not surprisingly, to much social media conversation, magnifying the impact two months before the release date. In the future — because this is what this film is about — Hollywood will probably try to figure out and reproduce just how Scott managed, with little precedent, to build so much buzz around this project. Here are five things about “Prometheus” that, in a really personal way, made this film, after Batman, the thing I — and many avids — most wanted to see this summer:


1. Ridley Scott returns to science fiction

Ah, the prodigal son returns. God bless Ridley Scott and his many incarnations — one involving a story of the Crusades as the West went off to war in Central Asia and modern day Babylon — but it is in his role as a master of science fiction in which he can do no wrong. From the infamous Apple 1984 commercial, where he cut his chops creating arresting video, to “Alien,” where Scott once and for all proved his geek bona fides as a master of the genre.

2. Who is Sir Peter Weyland?

Forget Howard Roark, Ayn Rand’s cartoonish Creator. Weyland, the founder of the Weyland Corporation, which caused so much trouble in the “Alien” films, has always been a bit of a mystery. Is Sir Peter a bit of a Sir Ridley, and vice versa? Both, clearly, have been fascinated by mythology and by science. Sir Peter, according to his fictional TED Talks biography, is the son of an Oxford educated Professor of Comparative Mythology and a self-taught software engineer. And Sir Ridley, like Stanley Kubrick, seems obsessed by the intersect between science and art, between artificial and artistic intelligence.

3. The Weyland Corporation

With a 218 trillion dollar valuation, the shadowy Weyland Corporation’s ambitions are more than international in scope — they are, indeed, galactic. “There are other worlds than this one,” Sir Peter boldly declared, “And if there is no air to breathe, we will simply have to make it.” Hello?

The company’s “website” is just masterful, the stuff that social media geek conversation is made of. There is actually an Investor Information page on the site, the sort one would find on any corporate website, only this one has fictional — but fascinating — charts (“Weyland Employee Satisfaction Rate”) as well as graphs of data that, no doubt, added value to the whole “Prometheus” experience. It only heightens the excitement.

Hello? If Weyland Corporation had a fictional LinkedIn account, how many people would apply? Which brings us to …

4. The viral marketing strategy

They had me at the fictional TED Talk, given in 2023. It was, of course, an instant social media success — to date over 6,000 re-Tweets and over 21,000 Facebook likes. There were also viral movie posters. This viral video campaign has been studiously calculated to tickle the g-spot of every tech geek, every aficionado of science fiction practiced at the highest levels. Sir Scott is best when he allows his creativity full reign, creating whole worlds out of thin air (for further reference, see “Blade Runner”). In the video, douche archcapitalist Peter Weyland chews up the scenery, giving an epic, Gordon Gekko-ish speech full of hubris about the Greek Titan Prometheus and a big technological breakthrough by his Weyland. At the end of the video — conceived and designed, incidentally, by Ridley Scott, Damon Lindelof and Luke Scott — we get the fully fake corporate logo of the hubristic Weyland Corporation..

5. The Stars

Nooni Rapace, Michael Fassbender and, of course, Sir Ridley. I. Was. So. There.

What made you stoked for the release of Prometheus? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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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…