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Links for the Day: An Oral History of RoboCop, Holding Hands and Shedding Tears with Shia LaBeouf, Michel Gondry’s “Love Letters” Music Video, & More

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Links for the Day: An Oral History of RoboCop, Holding Hands and Shedding Tears with Shia LaBeouf, Michel Gondry’s “Love Letters” Music Video, & More

1. RoboCop: The Oral History.” MPAA wars, cocaine, stunt injuries, RoboCop as Jesus, and more insights into the wild set of the 1987 action/sci-fi masterpiece.

“A little more than 25 years ago, Orion Pictures released RoboCop, a grimly hysterical, hyper-violent satire masquerading as an action film. And despite spawning two sequels, a television series, some anime, and now a remake, the film’s success was inimitable. This is partly because RoboCop only really became a great film as it was made. Director Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall, Basic Instinct) worked tirelessly to revise scenes while actors like Kurtwood Smith, who plays Clarence Boddecker, the film’s main heavy, improvised some of the movie’s best lines. In time for the new, inevitably inferior RoboCop’s release today, Esquire.com talked to four of the original 1987 film’s creators: director Paul Verhoeven; co-writer Michael Miner; stuntwoman Jeannie Epper; and actor Kurtwood Smith.”

2. “Less Redemption, More Tears.” Manohla Dargis reviews the RoboCop remake.

“Written by Joshua Zetumer (sharing credit with the original screenwriters, Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner), the movie has been pumped up, cautiously updated and cleaned up, with fewer expletives, if many more bullets. Among the other new attractions is a jingoistic television talk show host, Pat Novak, played by Samuel L. Jackson, who seems to have been tapped for duties so that he can deliver a bleeped Tarantino-esque obscenity. A corporate shill, Novak pops up every so often to provide intermittent commentary (and metacommentary), extolling red, white and blue militarism that’s as blunt as the action scenes. Mr. Jackson is a predictably crude, amusing instrument, even if his character’s ultra-conservative shtick is so familiar—Stephen Colbert mines much the same territory almost nightly—that the satire has no sting.”

3. “Holding Hands and Shedding Tears With Shia LaBeouf at His New Art Show.” Kyle Buchanan on his Marina Abramovic with the actor.

” I think of him briefly while I keep eye contact with Shia, but mostly, I stay present and friendly, trying to figure out Shia’s mood from what little I can see of his face, and absently strumming the ukelele while we stare at each other. As I flick those strings, the sound of the ukelele so pretty that it belies my total inexperience with it, I notice that Shia’s big brown eyes have grown watery. After a moment, I put the ukelele down and offer him an upturned palm. None of my other questions have produced any sort of reaction from him, but I know this one will be different. “Do you want to hold my hand?” I ask. A minute later, he puts his hand in mine and leaves it there.”

4. “Armadillos in Their Trousers.” The Tragic Special Snowflakes of This Is Spinal Tap.

“The film’s central thesis is the same as that of Bruce Springsteen’s ’Glory Days’ and Don Henley’s ’Boys of Summer,’ only brazenly comical. And unlike those two songs, it is more sympathetic towards its protagonists. This Is Spinal Tap realizes that we all surround ourselves with a mesh made from the stuff of dreams. We go through life thinking that fictitious armor makes us invulnerable. And the film’s sympathetic humor hinges on the inevitable emperor’s new clothes moment: people not realizing how daft they are looking and acting. This Is Spinal Tap admits that it is very hard to accept that one has already peaked, and move on anyway, graciously. One might as well, though. Time makes fools of us all.”

5. “Denis Côté.” The Québécois filmmaker on filmic revenge, horror, and making a film in seven days.

“At times [Vic + Flo Saw a Bear] feels like a more formal remake of his earlier Our Private Lives, about an internet couple who run into problems once they commit to getting together in person. In conversation, Côté doesn’t mince words: in our one-hour bull session, putatively on the heels of the U.S. release of Vic + Flo, Côté broke down his serpentine career history while casually dropping film theories, a handful at a time. His cardinal preoccupation as an artist may well be, unto itself, the act of reconsideration—and yet he addresses his own work with none of the opaque self-mythologizing that’s hidebound to festival darlings. Côté talks every bit as crisply and lucidly as the HD frames in which he paints his pictures, but with a playfulness and patience that can only be described as generous. There’s no mistaking Côté’s filmmaking for anything more or less than an extension of his former day job reviewing movies for Canada’s now-defunct ici magazine—auteurism as the ultimate act of criticism. Spoilers below.”

Video of the Day: Michel Gondry’s video for Metronomy’s “Love Letters”:

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: 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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAcftIUE6MQ

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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Watch: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Gets Teaser Trailer

When it rains, it pours.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Photo: Columbia Pictures

When it rains, it pours. Four days after Quentin Tarantino once more laid into John Ford in a piece written for his Beverly Cinema website that saw the filmmaker referring to Ford’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon as Tie a Yellow Ribbon, and two days after Columbia Pictures released poster art for QT’s ninth feature that wasn’t exactly of the highest order, the studio has released a teaser for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film was announced early last year, with Tarantino describing it as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”

Set on the eve of the Manson family murders, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), as they try to get involved in the film industry. The film also stars Margot Robbie (as Sharon Tate), Al Pacino, the late Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, and Bruce Dern in a part originally intended for the late Burt Reynolds.

See the teaser below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scf8nIJCvs4

Columbia Pictures will release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on July 26.

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Watch the Stranger Things 3 Trailer, and to the Tune of Mötley Crüe and the Who

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

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Stranger Things 3
Photo: Netflix

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence. On Friday, Jeff Tremaine’s The Dirt, a biopic about Mötley Crüe’s rise to fame, drops on Netflix. Today, the streaming service has released the trailer for the third season of Stranger Things. The clip opens with the strains of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home,” all the better to underline that the peace and quiet that returned to the fictional rural town of Hawkins, Indiana at the end of the show’s second season is just waiting to be upset again.

Little is known about the plot of the new season, and the trailer keeps things pretty vague, though the Duffer Brothers have suggested that the storyline will take place a year after the events of the last season—duh, we know when “Home Sweet Home” came out—and focus on the main characters’ puberty pangs. That said, according to Reddit sleuths who’ve obsessed over such details as the nuances of the new season’s poster art, it looks like Max and company are going to have to contend with demon rats no doubt released from the Upside Down.

See below for the new season’s trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEG3bmU_WaI

Stranger Things 3 premieres globally on July 4.

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