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Links for the Day: Harmony Korine Interviews Kenneth Anger, Stop Anti-Spoiler Paranoia, The Real Threat to Independent Film, Closed Curtain Trailer, & More

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Links for the Day: Harmony Korine Interviews Kenneth Anger, Stop Anti-Spoiler Paranoia, The Real Threat to Independent Film, Closed Curtain Trailer, & More

1. “Kenneth Anger Interview.” Harmony Korine chats with the iconic underground filmmaker.

“Well, I had to tailor my dreams to fit my budgets. Except in a few cases, like when Sir Paul Getty was alive and he sponsored my Mickey Mouse film [Mouse Heaven, 2004], I had very limited financial resources. So that has dictated my product. With Rabbit’s Moon [1950-79], I was helped by the Cinémathèque Française. They gave me the 35mm film to make it. It was the same film that [Jean] Cocteau used for Beauty and the Beast—the same 35mm negative. I had plans to do a film based on Les Chants de Maldoror by Lautréamont. I did film part of it with one of the ballet groups in France. I made platforms just below the surface of the water; there were, like, tables, they were held down so they wouldn’t float away. So it appeared that the dancers were actually dancing on the water. It’s not a very special effect, because if you had the money, you could do it with people dancing in the air if you wanted.”

2. “Spike Lee Talks Obama, the End of Mookie’s Brooklyn, and the Hollywood Color Line.” The Vulture’s Will Leitch sits down with the filmmaker.

“I would not call it a syndrome. Thing is, those box-office numbers prove there is an audience for those films. Yet, at the same time, I think there is an audience that would like to see something else. At this moment, those other films have to be made outside the Hollywood studio system. This comes down to the gatekeepers, and I do not think there is going to be any substantial movement until people of color get into those gatekeeper positions of people who have a green-light vote. That is what it comes down to. We do not have a vote, and we are not at that table when it is decided what gets made and what does not get made. Whether it is Hollywood films, network or cable television, we are not there. When I first started making films and I would have Hollywood meetings—and I know this for a fact—they would bring black people out of the mailroom to be in the meeting.”

3. “Why it’s time to stop the anti-spoiler paranoia.” Todd VanDerWerff on why being on guard against spoilers means so much else gets missed.

“Walter White dies at the end of Breaking Bad. Now, you might think this a spoiler. If you haven’t seen the show and have somehow avoided all discussion of its series finale up until this point, technically, it is. But look at all of the things I haven’t told you about Walter’s death. I haven’t told you if he’s done in by a friend, foe, or the cancer he was diagnosed with in the pilot. I haven’t told you if he dies on his own terms, or because he was bested by someone or something. I haven’t mentioned the fates of any of the other characters, like Jesse Pinkman, Hank Schrader, or Walt’s wife, Skyler. I haven’t talked about the way the sequence is constructed, shot, and edited. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that Breaking Bad tells you from episode one—remember that cancer?—where Walter is headed. This is explicitly a tragedy, and tragedies are constructed so we have at least a vague sense of where things are headed. They gain power from it. Could the knowledge that Walter is marked for death ’ruin’ Breaking Bad for someone? It could, but only if you value plot above everything else—to pretend otherwise is anti-criticism.”

4. “How Seinfeld Paved the Way for Tony Soprano.” Matt Zoller Setiz traces the line.

“Before Seinfeld, there were never any sitcoms that let their characters be purely selfish, treating the rest of humankind as a resource or obstacle while standing back and observing their shenanigans with a jaundiced detachment. But David’s ’no learning’ ethos has since become a mantra for the medium, at least insofar as it has encouraged the writers of sitcoms and dramas alike to be true to whatever their vision may be, and not trouble themselves too much with whether you approve of what the characters say and do. Would Tony Soprano have strangled that snitch in the woods, would Six Feet Unders Nate Fisher have been a sonofabitch right up to his final moments on Earth, would 30 Rock’s Jenna have treated the entire known universe as a ladder leading to her own career success, if Seinfeld hadn’t steamrolled an artistic path for them back in the early ‘90s?”

5. “The Real Threat to Independent Film.” Richard Brody says it isn’t Michael Bay’s Transformers movies.

“Movies that call attention to their high-art pedigree have no necessary claim on the status that their directors aspire to. Some movies of rarefied aspiration and literary or otherwise classical tradition indeed reach heights of graceful sublimity, and proof of the increased diversity in today’s movie culture is the fact that such movies (including those by Chantal Akerman, Tsai Ming-liang, and Joaquim Pinto) find a place in the world of distribution and exhibition—one that depends, in significant measure, on not-for-profit arts organizations of exactly the sort that such exalted filmmakers as Carl Theodor Dreyer or Robert Bresson lacked during their career-long battles with the demands of commercial producers and distributors.”

Video of the Day: The trailer for Jafar Panahi’s Closed Curtain:

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 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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q6YWDm0GSU
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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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