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Links for the Day: Critics’ Choice Awards, Literature’s 5 Best Punctuation Marks, Russell Johnson R.I.P., The Color Wheel: Confronting the Modern Condition, & More

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Links for the Day: Critics’ Choice Awards, Literature’s 5 Best Punctuation Marks, Russell Johnson R.I.P., The Color Wheel: Confronting the Modern Condition, & More

1. “Critics Choice Awards 2014: Gravity wins record seven awards; 12 Years a Slave named Best Picture.” Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Sandra Bullock, Amy Adams, Lupita Nyong’o and Leonardo DiCaprio continue awards season run.

Gravity soared with a record-setting seven Critics’ Choice Awards, but 12 Years a Slave was named best picture. The Broadcast Film Critics Association presented its annual awards Thursday in Santa Monica, Calif., honoring many movies that earned Oscar nominations just hours earlier. Awards for Gravity included best actress for Sandra Bullock, best director for Alfonso Cuaron and best sci-fi movie. American Hustle won four prizes, including best comedy, best acting ensemble and best actress in a comedy for Amy Adams. 12 Years a Slave collected two other awards besides best picture: best supporting actress for Lupita Nyong’o and best adapted screenplay. Other winners Thursday included Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club and Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine.”

2. “The 5 Best Punctuation Marks in Literature.” Kathryn Schulz obsesses over punctuation marks.

“I was reminded of the existence of this canon last month, while rereading Middlemarch, which contains what might be the most celebrated use of an em-dash in the history of fiction. That sent me to my bookshelves in search of other examples of remarkable punctuation. I wanted specific instances, so I ignored the slightly different category of books or authors closely associated with a given kind of punctuation. (Celine and his ellipses, say, or Emily Dickinson and her famous dashes.) Some forms of punctuation seem less marked out for fame than others; if anyone knows of a noteworthy comma, I’d love to hear about it. But what follows is a—well, what follows is a colon, which sets off a list, which contains the most extraordinary examples I could find of the most humble elements of prose:”

3. “Russell Johnson, Professor on Gilligan’s Island, Dies at 89.” His character, Roy Hinkley, was known simply as the Professor.

“Russell Johnson, an actor who made a living by often playing villains in westerns until he was cast as the Professor, the brains of a bunch of sweetly clueless, self-involved, hopelessly naïve island castaways, on the hit sitcom Gilligan’s Island, died on Thursday at his home in Bainbridge Island, Wash. He was 89. His agent, Michael Eisenstadt, confirmed the death. Gilligan’s Island, which was seen on CBS from 1964 to 1967 and still lives on in reruns, starred Bob Denver as Gilligan, the witless first mate of the S.S. Minnow, a small touring boat that runs aground on an uncharted island after a storm.”

4. The Color Wheel: Confronting the Modern Condition.” One of the most significant American films of the last decade offers a cure for “irony fatigue.”

“This sensibility strikes me as uniquely equipped to contend with [David Foster] Wallace’s irony fatigue as well as its noxious counter-influence. It acknowledges, importantly, that popular culture is too far gone to embrace in absolute earnest, but it nevertheless remains optimistic that something more than dead-end irony and cynicism can be reached. The Color Wheel offers an emotional experience—its ending is genuinely moving—but one fortified by critical distance, a recognition of the inadequacy of the purely sentimental. We can’t just up and get rid of irony altogether: we need it to insulate us from the fundamental awfulness of consumer culture. It doesn’t help to willfully revert to some idealized pre-ironic tradition, no matter how insistently thinkpieces tell us that postmodern exercises are dead. Les Miserables is hardly the answer to our cultural woes. We need rich, full-bodied texts, savvy and at least a little cynical, to confront the modern condition head on.”

5. “Viva Mabuse! #69: Hurt Me.” Michael Atkinson on Mario Bava’s The Whip and the Body.

“The Gothic details of Bava’s film, fabulously wrought though they are, aren’t of much interest; what’s fascinating is the maddened sexual need at the center of the movie. Because it’s a ghost story, The Whip and the Body uses sadomasochism not as a mere perversion or violent gag, but as a devastatingly terminal metaphor for love. The story is actually a parable about romantic passion at its extreme edges, where physical contact isn’t enough—where nothing is enough. In fact, this is what Sade was all about, pace Simone de Beauvoir’s salient reading: pain, sadism, physical violence, even death, all of it helplessly inadequate symbolic substitutes for the next step beyond mere lovemaking and devotion—the next step being actually inexpressible, mysterious, forever beyond our grasp. In concept, you take sexual longing and ardor all the way to the cosmic outskirts, toward an undefinable extremity that will finally create a genuine union between two people, and you end up nowhere. In cinema and in action, sadism is a metaphor for the unsolvable distance between two people, and our failure to try to bridge it. We are, now and always, on our own.”

Video of the Day: Lupita Nyong’o accepting her award at the Critics’ Choice Awards:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU5HOLwUu7U
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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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