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Links for the Day: Alec Baldwin Says Goodbye to Public Life, Alice Herz-Sommer R.I.P., Richard Brody on Method Acting, Trailer for HBO’s Silicon Valley, & More

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Links for the Day: Alec Baldwin Says Goodbye to Public Life, Alice Herz-Sommer R.I.P., Richard Brody on Method Acting, Trailer for HBO’s Silicon Valley, & More

1. “Alec Baldwin: Good-bye, Public Life.” The actor tells Joe Hagan that he gives up.

“Am I bitter about some of the things that have happened to me in the past year? Yes, I’m a human being. I always had big ambitions. I had dreams of running for office at some point in the next five years. In the pyramid of decision-making in New York City politics, rich people come first, unions second, and rank-and-file New Yorkers come dead last. I wanted to change that. I wanted to find a way to lower the cost of the city government and thus reduce New York’s shameful tax burden. I would have decentralized the schools. My father was a public-school teacher. He always told me that although you could encourage a child to work hard, you could only go so far; that half the goal had to be achieved at home. As progressive as I’ve been in my politics, there are other things I don’t think of as liberal or progressive, just common sense. Of course, another thing I would have done—and this will not surprise anyone—is change the paparazzi law.”

2. “Alice Herz-Sommer: pianist and oldest known Holocaust survivor dies aged 110.” Concert pianist said that optimism and discipline helped her survive two years in concentration camp.

“Tributes have been paid to Alice Herz-Sommer, a renowned concert pianist who was believed to have been the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor, after she died in London at the age of 110. She was born into a German-speaking Jewish family in Prague at a time when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and endured the city’s ghetto following the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia. She then spent two years in Theresienstadt (Terezín) concentration camp, where nearly 35,000 prisoners perished. In an extraordinary life, which was the subject of film nominated for the best short documentary at next Sunday night’s Academy Awards, she counted Franz Kafka as a family friend when she was young and carried a devotion to music that sustained her in the camp.”

3. “My boobs, my burden.” I thought that with cleavage came power. But as my breasts swelled to a 32G, I found the opposite to be true.

“Large breasts aren’t a fun burden to carry. For years, my breasts have been spoken to (but as yet, they haven’t talked back). Not only that, they’re sometimes touched without my permission—not by men but usually by smaller-chested women curious to know ’what if feels like’ to have big breasts. One of my girlfriends can hardly have dinner with me without peeking at my breasts between sentences, or announcing ’Chloe! Your boobs!’ to the restaurant. Then there was that charming guy at a bar who thought it would be a swell idea, on first meeting me, to pellet popcorn at my cleavage. And when a friend heard I was writing this story, she told me, because I have ’great tits,’ it’s ’unfair’ for me to write about them. Why can everybody talk about—and hell, to—my breasts, but me?”

4. “Is Method Acting Destroying Actors?” Richard Brody on the torment in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s art and more.

“Hoffman had a fury for acting and a virtuoso technique that he yoked, brilliantly, to it. He found his characters’ passions within himself, took their passions upon himself, and then created, with an uncanny gift for impersonation, a set of gestures and inflections that embodied them. But that supreme artifice became, in turn, a block to the expression of passion, and to make it real he dug deeper and burned brighter—and, then, found the gestures to show it. The connection of his inner life and outer skill generated a sort of emotional short circuit that overheated him terrifyingly, resulting in the justly admired intensity that he brought to every role—which was also, however, a sign of an actor giving more of himself, moment by moment, than an actor should ever be called upon, or need, to give.”

5. “Everyone Who Met Her Fell in Love with Her.” A Letter From Susan, the Secretary of Joan Fontaine.

“Perhaps the most discussed part of Joan’s life was her relationship with her sister, Olivia de Havilland. As with many siblings, their relationship was one of very serious ups and downs. At the time of Joan’s death, she and Olivia had not spoken for a long time. Joan is often maligned for this, and Susan tells of countless letters from fans advising Joan to ’mend fences’ with Olivia, and chastising her for not attending the ceremony when Olivia was awarded the Legion d’Honneur (Joan never received an invitation and didn’t learn of the event until after the fact). However, Susan wants to make it very clear that Joan had no hard feelings toward her sister and that she ’never saw any animosity toward Olivia.’ Susan tells me that Joan was once approached about the possibility of an on-air interview with her and Olivia together, and Joan agreed to it. Unfortunately, the interview never came to pass and the sisters never had the opportunity to come face to face again.”

Video of the Day: The trailer for HBO’s Silicon Valley:

Links for the Day: A collection of links to items that we hope will spark discussion. We encourage our readers to submit candidates for consideration to ed@slantmagazine.com and to converse in the comments section.

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Let Your Sanity Go on Vacation with a Trip to the Moons of Madness

If you dare, ascend into the horrors of the Martian mind and check out the trailer for yourself.

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Moons of Madness
Photo: Rock Pocket Games

The announcement trailer for Moons of Madness opens with an empty shot of the Invictus, a research installation that’s been established on Mars. The camera lingers over well-lit but equally abandoned corridors, drifting over a picture of a family left millions of kilometers behind on Earth before finally settling on the first-person perspective of Shane Newehart, an engineer working for the Orochi Group. Fans of a different Funcom series, The Secret World, will instantly know that something’s wrong. And sure enough, in what may be the understatement of the year, Newehart is soon talking about how he “seems to have a situation here”—you know, what with all the antiquated Gothic hallways, glitching cameras, and tentacled creatures that start appearing before him.

As with Dead Space, it’s not long before the station is running on emergency power, with eerie whispers echoing through the station and bloody, cryptic symbols being scrawled on the walls. Did we mention tentacles? Though the gameplay hasn’t officially been revealed, this brief teaser suggests that players will have to find ways both to survive the physical pressures of this lifeless planet and all sorts of sanity-challenging supernatural occurrences, with at least a soupçon of H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmicism thrown in for good measure.

If you dare, ascend into the horrors of the Martian mind and check out the trailer for yourself.

Rock Pocket Games will release Moons of Madness later this year.

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Watch: Two Episode Trailers for Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone Reboot

Ahead of next week’s premiere of the series, CBS All Access has released trailers for the first two episodes.

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The Twilight Zone
Photo: CBS All Access

Jordan Peele is sitting on top of the world—or, at least, at the top of the box office, with his sophomore film, Us, having delivered (and then some) on the promise of his Get Out. Next up for the filmmaker is the much-anticipated reboot of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, which the filmmaker executive produced and hosts. Ahead of next week’s premiere of the series, CBS All Access has released trailers for the first two episodes, “The Comedian” and “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet.” In the former, Kumail Nanjiani stars as the eponymous comedian, who agonizingly wrestles with how far he will go for a laugh. And in the other, a spin on the classic “Nightmare at 20,0000 Feet” episode of the original series starring William Shatner, Adam Scott plays a man locked in a battle with his paranoid psyche. Watch both trailers below:

The Twilight Zone premieres on April 1.

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Scott Walker Dead at 76

Walker’s solo work moved away from the pop leanings of the Walker Brothers and increasingly toward the avant-garde.

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Scott Walker
Photo: 4AD

American-born British singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer Scott Walker, who began his career as a 1950s-style chanteur in an old-fashioned vocal trio, has died at 76. In a statement from his label 4AD, the musician, born Noel Scott Engel, is celebrated for having “enriched the lives of thousands, first as one third of the Walker Brothers, and later as a solo artist, producer and composer of uncompromising originality.”

Walker was born in Hamilton, Ohio on January 9, 1943 and earned his reputation very early on for his distinctive baritone. He changed his name after joining the Walker Brothers in the early 1960s, during which time the pop group enjoyed much success with such number one chart hits as “Make It Easy on Yourself” and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore).”

The reclusive Walker’s solo work moved away from the pop leanings of the Walker Brothers and increasingly toward the avant-garde. Walker, who was making music until his death, received much critical acclaim with 2006’s Drift and 2012’s Bish Bosch, as well as with 2014’s Soused, his collaboration with Sunn O))). He also produced the soundtrack to Leos Carax’s 1999 romantic drama Pola X and composed the scores for Brady Corbet’s first two films as a director, 2016’s The Childhood of a Leader and last year’s Vox Lux.

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