Connect with us

Blog

Links for the Day: Joan Rivers Dead at 81, How Empire Records Became the Unlikely Film of a Generation, Donatas Banionis R.I.P., Eden Trailer, & More

Published

on

Links for the Day: Joan Rivers Dead at 81, How Empire Records Became the Unlikely Film of a Generation, Donatas Banionis R.I.P., Eden Trailer, & More

1. “Joan Rivers, a Comic Stiletto Quick to Skewer, Is Dead at 81.” The comedy pioneer and TV host died yesterday after spending a week in a medically-induced coma.

“Joan Rivers, the raspy loudmouth who pounced on America’s obsessions with flab, face-lifts, body hair and other blemishes of neurotic life, including her own, in five decades of caustic comedy that propelled her from nightclubs to television to international stardom, died on Thursday in Manhattan. She was 81. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, confirmed her death. A spokeswoman, Judy Katz, said the cause had not yet been determined. Ms. Rivers died at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she had been taken last Thursday from an outpatient surgery clinic after going into cardiac arrest and losing consciousness, the authorities said. The State Health Department is investigating the circumstances that led to her death, a state official said Thursday. Ms. Rivers had been in the clinic for a minor procedure on her vocal cords, according to a spokesman. Her daughter said Tuesday that her mother was on life support and Wednesday that she was out of intensive care.”

2. “How Empire Records Became The Unlikely Film Of A Generation.” For the first time, the people who made the movie talk about how it came together, why it bombed, and how it found its second life.

“Today, most think it was a little movie that slipped through the cracks before several of the leads went on to major careers. Yet the real story of Empire Records is much more complex—and, ironically, mirrors the very struggle that the Empire Records store faced in its battle against corporate takeover. And nearly 20 years after the film’s release, just as a new generation of high school students fall in love with the film for entirely different reasons, here’s that story for the first time.”

3. “The Movie Press’ Oscar Obsession Is Ruining Fall Film Festivals for Everyone.” Flavorwire’s Jason Bailey calls bullshit on the bullshit.

“Today marks the kick-off of the Toronto International Film Festival, a massive ten-day orgy of movies big and small from all over the world. It follows last weekend’s Telluride Film Festival, a cozier but no lower-profile Colorado gathering of film lovers, film critics, and filmmakers. Your film editor, sadly, was/is at neither (Kickstarter for next year forthcoming). But I’ve been reading about them for decades, most often (and earliest) from the pen of Roger Ebert, who called Telluride ’one of the best experiences a film lover can have,’ and dubbed Toronto ’the world’s top festival for—well, for moviegoers.’ He wrote those words in 1999 and 1998, respectively, and I get the feeling the focus of these festivals has changed quite a bit in the years since. Maybe they’re still prized destinations for film lovers, but just about all I’m reading out of them are dispatches on what each new premiere does to next year’s Oscar race. At risk of putting too fine a point on it, who gives a shit?”

4. “TIFF 2014. TF WVLNTS (or TIFF Wavelengths For Those Who Don’t Have the Time).” For Mubi, Michael Sicinski on the Wavelengths sections of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.

“When I last checked in with the very talented Basma Alsharif, she has just made the extremely challenging but ultimately rational experimental essay Farther Than The Eye Can See. Now she’s collaborating with that troublemaker Ben Russell, and sure enough, she’s made a full-on head-trip film, complete with flashing colors, endless lens flares, and churning, vibrating noises that lull the ear into a hypnotic trance. It’s also a work that engages with movement and landscape, particularly as pushed to the bounds of cinematic inscription. That is, in articulating multiple spaces (Gaza, Malta, Greece —all undergoing their own unique forms of crisis) with pure light and sound which overwhelm our ability to make sensory distinctions, Alsharif gets at a frequently untapped but parallel part of our nerve centers, where fear and desire, pleasure and pain, get mixed up into the raw experience of being overpowered. With a tip of the hat to Malcolm Le Grice’s classic Berlin Horse, this film combines and collides the inner and outer worlds, demanding that we adjust our concept of the profilmic event on a moment-by-moment basis (first the sun and sky, then the artificial light of chromatic blitz). If you’re really going to sleep, you’d better sleep furiously.”

5. “R.I.P. Donatas Banionis, star of Solaris.” An obituary by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky.

” The next year, Banionis played what would become his most famous role: Kris Kelvin, the ambiguously rational protagonist of Solaris. Like Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, Solaris owes much of its immersive power to the fact that it almost never leaves its main character’s point of view. Kelvin—a widower who has abandoned his family on Earth to travel to a remote space station—is as much a detective as a scientist, trying to parse out what led one of his colleagues to commit suicide while experiencing mysterious phenomena that seem to emanate from the planet the station orbits. Extended scenes of Kelvin watching video recordings replace flashbacks, and shots are composed around tantalizing, half-open doors. Because of his Lithuanian accent, Banionis’ voice was dubbed over by a Russian actor; however, as Kelvin is above all an observer, it’s Banionis’ physical presence––namely his sad, intense stare—that carries the film along.”

Video of the Day: The trailer for Mia Hansen-Løve’s Eden:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2l1T9xs-o0o
Advertisement
Comments

Blog

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.

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Blog

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.

Published

on

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 2014’s 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.

Continue Reading

Blog

Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

Published

on

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:

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Donate

Slant is reaching more readers than ever, but as online advertising continues to evolve, independently operated publications like ours have struggled to adapt. We're committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees—so if you like what we do, please consider becoming a Slant patron:

Patreon

You can also make a donation via PayPal.

Giveaways

Advertisement

Newsletter

Advertisement

Preview

Trending