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Links for the Day: Alison Bechdel on Fun Home, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Schools Gay Marriage Opponents, Nonviolence As Compliance, & More

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Links for the Day: Alison Bechdel on Fun Home, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Schools Gay Marriage Opponents, Nonviolence As Compliance, & More

1. “Lesbian Desire, a Father’s Suicide and 12 Tony Noms: Alison Bechdel on Fun Home.” The dark heart of Fun Home—author Alison Bechdel’s feelings of guilt over her dad’s suicide—doesn’t sound very Broadway. But this brilliant musical may sweep the Tonys.

“What is it like seeing her life played out on stage? ’I keep hoping someone will ask me that question, and suddenly words will appear in my mind to express the bizarre feeling of seeing it,’ says Bechdel, smiling. ’But it’s beyond language, it’s inexpressible. It’s surreal, magical, it feels deeply cathartic in some way to see this adaptation of my book which is very different to the book but also essentially the same… I keep waiting for the word to spring to mind…’ She pauses, lightly shrugs. ’I don’t know.’ As Bechdel expressed it to The New York Times’ Michael Paulson, ’I do understand that there’s a difference between the play and my life, but it is a very strange and permeable boundary.’ However, the stage version has illuminated some of the mystery around her father’s death. ’It takes you to that moment when he kills himself and steps in front of this truck. I thought I had done that. I had been to the spot on the road where he got hit. I tried to imagine as vividly as I could what it must have been like to make that decision. But to see Michael Cerveris singing it, it gives me much more of an understanding of what it must have been like.’”

2. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg eviscerates same-sex marriage opponents in court.” At 82, the supreme court justice cut through the question of gay marriage’s constitutionality in a way that seemed to move even her most conservative peers.

“’Marriage today is not what it was under the common law tradition, under the civil law tradition,’ said Ginsburg when Justices Roberts and Kennedy began to fret about whether the court had a right to challenge centuries of tradition. ’Marriage was a relationship of a dominant male to a subordinate female,’ she explained. ’That ended as a result of this court’s decision in 1982 when Louisiana’s Head and Master Rule was struck down … Would that be a choice that state should [still] be allowed to have? To cling to marriage the way it once was?’ ’No,’ replied John Bursch, the somewhat chastised lawyer for the states who are seeking to preserve their ban on gay marriage. Bursch was similarly eviscerated by Ginsburg when he tried to argue that the sole purpose of marriage was to ensure a stable relationship for procreation.”

3. “Nonviolence As Compliance.” Officials calling for calm can offer no rational justification for Gray’s death, and so they appeal for order.

“When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is ’correct’ or ’wise,’ any more than a forest fire can be ’correct’ or ’wise.’ Wisdom isn’t the point tonight. Disrespect is. In this case, disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the community.”

4. “Interview: George Armitage.” For Film Comment, Nick Pinkerton chats with the director on the occasion of Miami Blues hitting Blu-ray.

“[Jennifer Jason Leigh is] the glue that held it together, just extraordinary. Alec… I’m a Richard Lester fan, I love understatement, and all the great British comedies are so beautifully understated. Alec had a little problem with that—he wanted to be a little broader, I was afraid he was commenting on the character, but I must tell you: he was right. We didn’t really agree on set, but then he gave me a call, he’d been shooting in Chicago, and saw Grosse Pointe Blank, which he loved—and which I’d tried to get him into, but he couldn’t—but he called me and said: ’Hey, I’m glad you made me do this and that.’ I said: ’I’m glad you did what you did, too.’ It was a little broader than I would’ve asked him to play it, but I really like what he did.”

5. “The Eternal Charm of the Screwball Comedy.” For Fandor, Calum Marsh explains how, for two decades in Hollywood, real romance had a golden age and comedies an effervescence.

“My fiance and I fell in love with The Thin Man, and I know why: we like to think of ourselves as contemporary versions of its heroes, Nick and Nora Charles. We can hardly be the only couple to hold this wistful conviction, however improbable it may seem. Certainly William Powell, who plays Nick Charles, is a compelling figure on which to model oneself—a buoyant, irrepressible socialite of peerless wit and sophistication. Now, I suppose I can be mildly charming on occasion, and, in my finery and with a martini in hand, I may even pass for a gentleman. But I am no William Powell. Nor, indeed, is my fiance Myrna Loy, who co-stars as Powell’s wife, though in my acting capacity I imagine I ought to insist upon the comparison. My fiance and I are not, alas, privately wealthy—despite our best efforts to will to us lottery winnings or a sizable inheritance—as Nick and Nora are in the film. And to my knowledge we have not of late found ourselves embroiled in, let alone ultimately solved, criminal mysteries of any kind.”

Video of the Day: Here is the first footage from Todd Haynes’s Carol:

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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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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Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

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Deadwood
Photo: HBO

At long last, we’re finally going to see more of Deadwood. Very soon after the HBO series’s cancellation in 2006, creator David Milch announced that he agreed to produce a pair of two-hour films to tie up the loose ends left after the third season. It’s been a long road since, and after many false starts over the years, production on one standalone film started in fall 2018. And today we have a glorious teaser for the film, which releases on HBO on May 31. Below is the official description of the film:

The Deadwood film follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.

And below is the teaser trailer:

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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