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Links for the Day: How Critics Have Failed Female Filmmakers, Rod McKuen R.I.P., Marilynne Robinson on Edgar Allen Poe, & More

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Links for the Day: How Critics Have Failed Female Filmmakers, Rod McKuen R.I.P., Marilynne Robinson on Edgar Allen Poe, & More

1. “How Critics Have Failed Female Filmmakers.” Richard Brody states his case.

“Calling attention to their work as often and as vigorously as possible is all the more important because the cinematic roadsides are strewn with the wreckage of major artistic careers of independent female filmmakers of the past half century, including Shirley Clarke, Barbara Loden, Claudia Weill, Kathleen Collins, Julie Dash, and Leslie Harris—as well as such men as Wendell B. Harris, Jr., Matthew Harrison, and Rob Tregenza. Critical attention is all the more important for the makers of films that aren’t box-office hits, that aren’t widely advertised, and that don’t have the built-in publicity of celebrity actors. A review and some vigorous follow-ups can make clear the kind of important experience that awaits, an experience that may differ significantly from today’s mainstream but that, with the right breaks, should be tomorrow’s.”

2. “Rod McKuen R.I.P.” The prolific poet and lyricist dies at 81.

“Mr. McKuen, whom The St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture described as having been, at his height, ’the unofficial poet laureate of America,’ was the author of dozens of books of poetry, which together sold millions of copies. For a generation of Americans at midcentury and afterward, Mr. McKuen’s poetry formed an enduring, solidly constructed bridge between the Beat generation and New Age sensibilities. Ranging over themes of love and loss, the natural world and spirituality, his work was prized by readers for its gentle accessibility while being condemned by many critics as facile, tepid and aphoristic. Mr. McKuen’s output was as varied as it was vast, spanning song lyrics, including English-language adaptations (’Seasons in the Sun’) of works by his idol, Jacques Brel; music and lyrics, as for ’Jean,’ from the 1969 film ’The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,’ for which he received an Academy Award nomination; and musical scores, including that of the 1973 television film ’Lisa, Bright and Dark.’ He also appeared as a singer on television, on many recordings and in live performance.”

3. “Rodney Ascher Interview.” Bilge Ebiri chats with the filmmaker about his new documentary, The Nightmare.

“A cinematic-style reenactment is one layer of reality. A talking-head interview is another, although sometimes I would try to reveal some of the mechanisms even within the interview—like the lighting gear or an extra person. When a crew comes to shoot your story, there’s a frightening element with all these people coming into your life. And although this is a documentary, every documentary has layers of artifice—ours more than most. So let’s put the cards on the table about that. Also, did you ever see Demons 2? It’s actually kind of an influence on this movie. It’s the eeriest thing at the end when they go to that soundstage and everything is operating automatically. Is that the filmmakers who are putting the characters through these trials? Every time I try to explain some of this stuff, I find a different metaphor. But it felt kind of right. “

4. “Edgar Allen Poe.” Marilynne Robinson penetrates the life and work of the famous author, mostly by way of his only completed novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.

“Poe’s great tales turn on guilt concealed or denied, then abruptly and shockingly exposed. He has always been reviled or celebrated for the absence of moral content in his work, despite the fact that these tales are all straightforward moral parables. For a writer so intrigued by the operations of the mind as Poe was, an interest in conscience leads to an interest in concealment and self-deception, things that are secretive and highly individual and at the same time so universal that they shape civilizations. In Pym and after it Poe explores the thought that reality is of a kind to break through the enthralling dream of innocence or of effective concealment and confront us—horrify us—with truth.”

5. “The Scariest Movie at Sundance.” Matt Patches on how Robert Eggers made the horrifying, historically accurate The Witch.

“Adapting the words was only part of Eggers’s controlled approach. He also had to teach his actors to speak it. Properly. According to Eggers, the family originally hailed from Essex before migrating to the New World, factually consistent with the Great Migration. ’But I cast Ralph [Ineson as the father], and Ralph’s Yorkshire accent, Yorkshire attitude was so amazing that we decided to make the family from Yorkshire.’ This didn’t mean fudging a detail. With Eggers, it’s about recalibrating. Hunting for evidence, the director discovered in Dedham, Massachusetts, the Fairbanks House, the oldest surviving timber-frame residence in North America. Its original owner, Fairbanks, was from Yorkshire and moved to Massachusetts with Essex people. When he couldn’t get along with the church, he moved his family outside. ’So I was like, ’Well, this is perfect.’ Way back when the family was from Essex, we talked about doing a 1770s Essex dialect. But it sounds insane. It sounds like a pirate. So we worked on creating a Yorkshire accent that was sort of free of some of the modern urbanisms, but that could suit this language.’”

Video of the Day: Film Comment’s video essay about how Robert Altman’s early TV work shaped his style:

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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