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Film & Television


L-R: “Lance’s mom” (Gretchen Corbett), “Lance’s mom’s boyfriend” (Justin Long), “Lance” (Carrie Brownstein) and “Nina” (Fred Armisen); image courtesy Portlandia from “The Fiancée” episode 

As a business which started in the #upperleft corner of these United States, we at Nordstrom have a special appreciation for IFC’s Portlandia. That would be the sketch comedy TV show where stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein basically teach a master class in how to mock life in Portland, OR. It’s all there: the passive-aggressiveness, the self-righteous savior complex, the questionable style choices. And yet the show, currently in its fifth season, is a love letter.

“The Fiancée” episode aired Thursday, Jan. 15, and was partially filmed at the Lloyd Center Nordstrom. (That location is now closed, with every employee who wished to be relocated given a new home at a nearby Nordstrom.) Key scenes in the episode occur at Nordstrom and feature Armisen’s character Nina, with makeup done by Jessica Needham and overall style created by her sister, two-time Emmy winner Amanda Needham.

We spoke with the sisters while the two native Portlanders sat in their car in deadlocked traffic. Topics discussed: Nina, Portlandia and good versus bad style.

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’Twas the season to indulge, friends, but now ’tis the season to atone. Throughout the month of January, we’ll be bringing you all sorts of Wellness Realness—information and inspiration you can use to get out of lax mode and into good-for-you mode. Or, at least stop, eating cookies for lunch and skipping your morning run.

Just coming clean here: We’re not exactly ready to start working out yet, but we would like to think about working out while laying on the couch for just a little while longer. And ideally, the thinking we’d like to do on the topic of working out would really be creative thinking. Like, what can we do that counts as working out but isn’t exactly working out? Call it six degrees of separation from actual exercise, but right now, rollerskating sounds a lot better than running laps. Here are ten movies that might just put these sweats we’ve been wearing to actual use … someday.

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September 24, 2014

The Big Lebowski, in Pizza Form

Galaga in the break room. Views of the Space Needle. Meeting interesting people. There are plenty of perks to working at Nordstrom HQ, but topping the list would be our stellar employee café, where culinary delights like huevos rancheros, fire-grilled flank steak and wood-fired pizzas are made to order while you wait.

If you hit up the pizza oven as frequently as we do, you’ll notice daily specials—sometimes odd (we ate one with charred lime slices once), unfailingly tasty, and cleverly named after notable figures from history or fiction. We dug “The Beast Mode” during Seahawks week and “The Agent Dale Cooper” during Twin Peaks week. But it was only recently, upon realizing we were in the flavorful midst of Big Lebowski week, that we knew we had to dig deeper.

Keep reading for five Dude-approved pizza recipes you can re-create at home—and words from sous chef James Edmunds on the process behind the pies.

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Woohoo! (Or d’oh, for those of us without a valid excuse to stay home, glued to the tube.)

In case you haven’t heard, the FXX network is currently in the midst of a 12-day, 552-episode marathon of #EverySimpsonsEver. That’s 25 years worth of arguably the best animated sitcom (and officially, the longest-running scripted primetime series) of all time. This immediately made us think of our colleague Andy Comer—Men’s Creative Strategy Director here at Nordstrom HQ—who recently decided to introduce his eldest son, 7-year-old Wilfred, to the show that he himself holds dear.

Keep reading for four tips (and warnings) for passing The Simpsons down to a new generation—compiled in collaboration with a man who, for better or worse, has tried it firsthand.

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If you’re an avid reader of our sister blog, The Thread, you might have caught our recent coverage of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)—including a Q&A with its organizers, photos from its opening-night Jimi Hendrix flick, and a look at menswear mastermind Raf Simons’ new gig.

SIFF is the biggest festival of its kind—this year’s consisted of 435 films screened back-to-back at multiple venues during the course of 25 days—and while we hit upon a few highlights, we couldn’t come close to seeing it all. Which is why we asked our Nordstrom colleague Liz Marklewicz (a film buff whose fiancé gave her a SIFF pass as a gift—take note on that one, guys) to catch us up.

Keep reading to preview Liz’s three favorite SIFF flicks—which encompass Australian musician Nick Cave, Dazed & Confused director Richard Linklater, Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men and more.

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“Hey hey, my my. CAMOUFLAGE will never die.” If designer Mark McNairy’s Twitter declaration didn’t make his opinion clear enough, the T-shirt he shut down his show with last year (on the chest of rapper Pusha T of Clipse and Kanye West’s GOOD Music fame, no less) could not have provided much louder an encore.

Curious why his position on the pattern is so resolute, we asked McNairy, “Why will camo never die?” He replied simply (and in all caps): “BECAUSE, UNFORTUNATELY, WAR WILL NEVER DIE.” Keep reading to see McNairy’s top-five camo icons of all time, culled from decades of menswear’s form-meets-function lineage.

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The men at this year’s Golden Globe Awards Sunday night were full of surprises. Jared Leto, once dubbed the worst-dressed man in the world by GQ (and with good reason), turned up in the event’s most stylish tux. SNL alum Andy Samberg took home a statue (no one was more shocked than him). And serious-seeming Bono even played along winningly with co-host Amy Poehler’s fake-makeout schtick.

The ladies, on the other hand, were utterly predictable: hilarious, intelligent and talented, in addition to easy on the eyes—as per usual. Nothing wrong with consistency. Keep reading to see a few of our favorite photos from the night, via Instagram.

[Above: Emma Roberts, niece of screen legend Julia,
shows fans how to pre-func, Animal Style.]

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As you bask in the afterglow, and shredded Christmas gift wrap (and enjoy your spoils like Ralphie here), you might find yourself in the mood for the time-honored pleasure of ye olde Xmas movie. While basic cable is at the ready with a multitude of traditional yuletide standards, leave it to our friends at Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF for short) to subvert expectations.

Keep reading for three new, interactive twists on Christmas flicks from SIFF—which include swashbuckling, olfactory stimulation and chinese food—each of which you can re-create at home.

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Time flies when you’re having fun-ukkah—and with the final night of Hanukkah sneaking up fast, even heroic dads might find themselves short a present or two. We have just the intergalactic ticket: a galaxy of Star Wars-themed gifts, from Darth Vader Pez dispensers to a Lightsaber night-light to a C-3PO phone case ideal for Dark-Side selfies.

Keep reading for our Star Wars gift picks—for kids large or small.

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It’s become de rigueur these past several years for major fashion houses and acclaimed directors to collaborate on short films that blur the lines between advertisement and art. Prime example: Prada. Last year, we saw Ben Kingsley and Helena Bonham Carter team up for a therapy session. And now, we have Wes Anderson transforming wunderkind Jason Schwartzman into a mustachioed, introspective race-car driver. (Continue reading to watch the video.)

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