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Links for the Day: Beers with Channing Tatum, The Cult of My Little Pony, Give Reese a Chance, Lorde’s “Yellow Flicker Beat” Music Video, & More

Beers with Channing Tatum, The Cult of My Little Pony, Give Reese a Chance, Lorde’s “Yellow Flicker Beat” Music Video, & More.

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Links for the Day: Beers with Channing Tatum, The Cult of My Little Pony, Give Reese a Chance, Lorde’s “Yellow Flicker Beat” Music Video, & More

1. “Beers with Channing Tatum: ’Magic Mike XXL’ Reveals and Why He Put His Head Through a Wall.” The former stripper turned actor opens up to THR about his rocky past, tabloid divorce rumors, Oscar buzz for Foxcatcher, the possibility of having another baby and why he might move away from Hollywood.

“On one occasion, Tatum became so consumed with a scene where he has to smash his head against a mirror, he drew blood. The crew had covered the mirror with a plastic sheath, says [Bennett] Miller. ’But he punched that thing with his head three times and shattered it, and put his head through it and through the frame behind the mirror and through the drywall that the mirror was hanging on and left a divot two inches deep. When we took the mirror down, there was a hole in the wall. And he actually cut himself, and you see his blood in that scene. This was somebody uncorking something that you can’t make up. It’s inside you somewhere or it’s not.’”

2. “Film of the Week: Interstellar.” For Film Comment, Jonathan Romney on Christopher Nolan’s latest.

“There’s nothing wrong in itself with flipping between these different modes of adventure, especially because Nolan’s analogue style—shooting on celluloid, minimizing digital illusion—gives even the more other-worldly episodes a distinctive edge of concrete realism. As designed by Nathan Crowley and shot by Hoyte Van Hoytema, the hardware especially looks like hardware—metal that seems heavy, cumbersome and breakable, as distinct from the aesthetic of weightlessness promoted by most contemporary CGI futurism. Yet the flip side of this deglamorizing tendency is a banalization of the space experience: the explorers seem to get to the wormhole in no time at all, and they’re in that other galaxy (’We’re here!’) as easily as they might change subway lines. (You keep thinking they’ll pass Sandra Bullock, floating by with a neighborly wave.) That Nolan later starts cutting easily between events in the other galaxy and on Earth is ostensibly a daring move, but in fact it further domesticates the drama, the simultaneity of action (e.g., cutting between a spaceship revving up and a speeding car in the Midwest) somehow reducing the two narrative strands to the same level of mundanity.”

3. “Give Reese a Chance.” Wesley Morris on the ongoing comeback of an American bitter-sweetheart.

“Does the movie have a bad title? Sure. Is that ad campaign opportunistically false? Absolutely. The Sudanese do all of the hard work. Carrie just cleans up her house. It’s unclear what Warner Bros.’s plans are for the rest of the year. There are terrible movies making less money on more screens. But as a flash point for renewed excitement for Witherspoon, she deserves better. I like what she’s done here. Rightly recognizing that the world is bigger than her stardom, she cedes to Oceng, Duany, and Jal, and to Kuoth Wiel, who plays another refugee. Despite what the posters promise, Witherspoon doesn’t glow in this movie; she looks like she hasn’t seen the sun in years. But her hard flintiness could get a campfire going.”

4. “How My Little Pony Became a Cult for Grown Men and Preteen Girls Alike.” For The Cut, Lisa Miller explores the root of this phenomenon.

“If you’ve heard of My Little Pony, you’ve probably also heard about ’Bronies,’ the zealous (and somewhat suspect) brotherhood of adult male fans. But to focus too closely on the Brony phenomenon is to wade in shallow water and pretend to know the ocean. My Little Pony is a worldview, and a way of life, for millions of non-creepy people who find the show entertaining and amusing, yes, but who also say it provides them with the personal guidance, moral lessons, and comforting perspective that previous generations used to find in places like church. Fans refer to the show itself—91 episodes in four seasons, with a fifth to come in 2015—as ’the canon,’ and over at Equestria Daily, the largest fan site, they participate in something like midrash, avidly hashing over references, meanings, and inconsistencies. But there’s also a whole world of apocrypha—art, video games, music, T-shirts, and fiction—created by fans and based loosely on the canon but jumping off in unorthodox directions. It’s not unusual to find online Pony versions of other cults: Super Mario Pony, Minecraft Pony, Dr. Who Pony, and, my favorite, My Little Game of Thronies.”

5. “It’s the End of Movies As We Know It, As the Last 35mm Film Lab in NYC Shuts Down.” For Playboy, Matt Patches on the demise of Technicolor-PostWorks.

“The movie business demands forward-thinking and cost-effective strategy. Macro prognostication, where a resource like Film Lab won’t be around when it’s needed or Argo disappears forever because a server shorted out, is overlooked because there aren’t dollar signs attached. So it comes down to the consumer, who may have no idea that this is a question they have to answer. It means ponying up money to catch a film print of Interstellar, attending shows at the pro-35mm print establishments like the Alamo Drafthouse, or throwing some extra cash towards The National Film Preservation Foundation. The dream of filmmakers can only go so far.”

Video of the Day: The video for Lorde’s “Yellow Flicker Beat”:

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: 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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Who Killed My Father Is Heartbreaking but Prone to Pat Sociological Analysis

Édouard Louis’s latest is strong as a portrait of a family unable to communicate through anything but volatile, toxic outbursts.

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Who Killed My Father

Author Édouard Louis’s father has been an important figure in each of his previous works, even when he’s never seen or mostly at the periphery (as in The History of Violence). With his latest, Who Killed My Father, Louis finally turns to directly examining his most important, damaged relationship. Both in his previous books and interviews, Louis has repeatedly acknowledged this broken relationship, largely stemming from the author’s open homosexuality. Alongside this, Louis’s prior works have circled around a number of themes to which he returns here: the French political and working classes, the small-town prejudices that surrounded his upbringing and drove a closeted homosexual boy to escape to more cosmopolitan Paris, and the role of state power in producing social and physical illness.

With Who Killed My Father, Louis invites inevitable comparisons to Abdellah Taïa, another talented French writer who’s also gay and largely estranged from his place of origin, and also primarily an autobiographical novelist. Like Louis, Taïa incorporates his complicated relationship with a parent into several of his books. Taïa also connects that relationship, his writing, and his experience with the society he left behind in Morocco and the one he found in France. But what distinguishes his writing in, for example, Infidels or Salvation Army from that of Édouard Louis in Who Killed My Father is a strong sense of meaning. Taïa incorporates his relationship with his mother, M’Barka, to convey something more meaningful and developed.

Louis begins down this same road before clumsily inserting a political tract at the end of Who Killed My Father that doesn’t knit as effortlessly with parts one and two. The book situates Louis’s relationship with his father front and center as compared to his previous work. It’s clear that he’s exposing the painfulness of their relationship for the purpose of speaking about political power and its physical and social toll on those who don’t possess it, but Who Killed My Father stumbles in conveying its message adequately.

Louis’s account of his father’s suffering and violence toward those around him is both painful and sharp. Who Killed My Father is strongest when Louis is demonstrating his father’s most private acts of kindness, as when the father gives Louis a copy of Titanic for his birthday after trying to convince him to ask for a more “masculine” gift. After Louis realizes that his carefully planned tribute to the pop band Aqua at a family dinner has embarrassed his father, the man reassures Louis that “it’s nothing.” In the book’s first and strongest part, Louis expounds not only on the relationship with his father, but also excavates what might have made his father the man he grew up with. At one point, he recounts finding a photograph of his father in women’s clothes—undoubtedly some adolescent joke, but also inconceivable from the man who insisted to his son that men should never act like girls.

Regrettably, part one ends with a trite conclusion that says everything and nothing at the same time. In part two, the story attempts to braid together all the malignant threads of Louis’s family narrative. Louis recalls igniting a violent outburst between his father and older brother as a result of his mother shaming him for acting too much like a girl (“faggot” is what some others in the neighborhood more precisely call him). The insinuation hurts and angers him so much that he betrays his mother’s confidence on another family secret, setting loose a new wave of violence. Part two is short and important to moving Who Killed My Father toward some wider evaluation of the questions Louis begins the book with, but it ultimately fails to find its footing by pivoting in part three to an unearned polemic against the political classes.

Who Killed My Father is strong as a portrait of a family unable to communicate (except in brief moments of tenderness) through anything but volatile, toxic outbursts, but the book at its weakest when trying to ham-handedly force this narrative into some broad theorizing about power and society and structural violence. Part one aligned beautifully with a narrative of meaning more comparable to Taïa at his best. Unfortunately, the story quickly falls apart when Jacques Chirac is indicted for destroying Louis’s father’s body through changes in health care coverage. It’s not that the questions Louis ends with aren’t necessary and important ones; it’s that there’s so little threading the narrative together into anything cohesive. What was the point of the first two-thirds of the book? His father was cruel, occasionally loving, but never mind because the state is killing him? The life of the poor is one of abject powerlessness against an unremittingly powerful and callous “ruling class”?

Louis deserves credit for the attempt to tie it all together into some grander commentary on the political class and its ambivalence, but the conclusion is simultaneously glib and condescending. Perhaps Louis didn’t intend it, but the book’s conclusion drains away responsibility for the cruelty and bigotry of those like his father, and patronizes them as with a quick How could we expect any better of the noble, working poor? Is it the state’s or the ruling class’s subjugation of his father’s body that’s somehow also responsible for his inability to sympathize with gays or immigrants? Of course, the poor are subjugated by the rich and Louis has written more meaningfully about the implications of that relationship elsewhere. But in Who Killed My Father, he inadvertently demonstrates that the answer isn’t to sanctify them any more than it is to demonize them.

Édouard Louis’s Who Killed My Father is now available from New Directions.

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