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Links for the Day: Buster Keaton’s Cure, Entertaining the –isms, The Power and Glory of Dusty Rhodes, Deadly Adoption Trailer, & More

Buster Keaton’s Cure, Entertaining the –isms, The Power and Glory of Dusty Rhodes, Deadly Adoption Trailer, & More.

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Links for the Day: Buster Keaton’s Cure, Entertaining the –isms, The Power and Glory of Dusty Rhodes, Deadly Adoption Trailer, & More

1. “Buster Keaton’s Cure.” For Cabinet magazine, Charlie Fox reflects on the icon of silent cinema, his affinity for alcohol, and more.

“As a child, silent cinema was a ghost house I had to explore. My sense of reality was already perilously vague and the thought of these films that would allow me to watch the mischief of specters—everyone in them was, by the time of my childhood, decidedly dead—was a deep and wicked thrill. Whole days disappeared in the attempt to cast the shadow of Nosferatu on the wall as I climbed the stairs again and again. (I failed: it was very tough to get the head correct, my skull lacking the required Expressionist jags.) I remember chancing across Buster’s face in a film history book one monochrome morning and feeling the peculiar sensation that this haunted boy knew I was looking at him. Wholly at odds with the wild-eyed mania that silent film acting often promised, his presence was gentle and radiated an unmistakable sadness. He had the dreamy, lonesome look of a stray dog. His eyes would widen in moments of moonstruck goofing or genuine enchantment, then look on the edge of sleep when he was puzzled. Nobody else’s body yielded so smoothly to the sublime mindlessness that the best physical comedy requires, and he was beautiful in a way that, say, a clerical nebbish like Harold Lloyd would never match. On film, even in flashes of jackrabbit energy, he’s airily nimble and weirdly aided by the jittery accelerations and diminuendos of silent film speed that can make him seem too limber in his skittering or too light in his falls to be made of flesh and bone. At those moments he’s closer to a bewitched marionette.”

2. “Busby Berkeley and the Art of Order.” For this soldier-turned-filmmaker, beauty comes down to vision, great legs — and mathematics.

“In many other dance routines, Berkeley shaped his dancers into individual petals on a collective, whirling blossom. In fact, there is an entire line of study — Fibonacci phyllotaxis — devoted to studying the appearance of Fibonacci sequences in the structural formations of certain plants. But Fibonacci numbers aren’t just seen in flowers. Shapes like Pascal’s triangle and certain spirals also follow the sequence, shapes that Berkeley frequently uses in his arrangements. What’s interesting about the prevalence of Fibonacci numbers in Berkeley’s work is their relationship to the Golden Ratio. Believed to be especially aesthetically pleasing, the Golden Ratio has been used in art and architecture since the Renaissance Period. If you divide a Fibonacci number by its immediate predecessor, the result approximates the Golden Ratio and gets continually closer to the real deal as the Fibonacci numbers progress. Like Fibonacci flowers, the Golden Ratio is widespread in biological structure, from leaves on a stem to the human body.”

3. “Entertaining the -isms.” RogerEbert.com’s Nick Allen asks us to digest movies with such issues as racism, sexism, capitalism, feminism, etc. in mind.

“First, let’s address the (white, male) elephant in the room. Disregarding ideas like sexism & feminism in a film is a bastardization of the biological truth that human beings watch the same thing differently—a concept that makes movies worth watching, and talking about. (If we all started seeing the same movies in the exact same way, that would be a nightmare, and I would personally bomb the polar ice caps so that global warming could just finish us off already.) However, some viewers are able to see films differently by looking past elements within them (such as sexism & feminism), and can more readily accept the images of these that may or may not be in Jurassic World as the sum of entertainment. Anyone can dive into a film as deep as they may like, but it is very counterproductive to reject the -isms, or the different ideas within them. To do so is a privilege. Some viewers go into a movie with the same standards of simple entertainment, but their experience is compromised by the very -isms within the film. They do not always have the same luxury to be detached from the images within their entertainment.”

4. “The Power and Glory of Dusty Rhodes.” Salon’s Chauncey Devega on the “American dream” who transcended pro wrestling’s racial divide.

“Dusty was not an American original. He was an ’everyman.’ He was also a racial trickster of sorts, a white brother who talked ’black.’ But he did so in earnest, not in minstrelsy. He was, like so many of professional wrestling’s great characters, simply being himself with ’the volume turned up.’ The character Dusty Rhodes was a man out of a Mark Twain novel (perhaps the under-appreciated Pudd’nhead Wilson), and in that role not a con artist, but rather a man who could speak to both sides of the colorline, channeling the best hopes of black, white, and brown interracial intimacy, dreaming and sharing, as together we worked for the Common Good against those who only saw greed and money as their personal gods.”

5. “Diary.” Ben Lerner, author of the exquisite 10:04, on the fatal problem with poetry.

“I’m offering this aggressively cursory summary of avant-garde hatred—a particularly bitter poetic logic—because I think it gets at something crucial about the disdain for poetry. Even writers and critics allergic to anything resembling avant-garde rhetoric often express anger at poetry’s failure to achieve any real political effects. The avant-garde imagines itself as hailing from the future it wants to bring about, but many people express disappointment in poetry for failing to live up to the political power it supposedly possessed in the past. This disappointment with the political feebleness of poetry in the present unites the futurist and the nostalgist and is a staple of mainstream denunciations of poetry.”

Video of the Day: Deadly Adoption gets a full trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=921UzgGkcVw
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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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