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Links for the Day: M.I.A. Reflects on Arular, Ashley Judd on Violence Toward Girls and Women, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation Trailer, & More

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Links for the Day: M.I.A. Reflects on Arular, Ashley Judd on Violence Toward Girls and Women, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation Trailer, & More

1. Arular 10 Years Later: M.I.A. Reflects on Globe-Shaking Debut.” How fights with Diplo, an altercation with Oprah and being labeled a terrorist have shaped her past decade.

“Everybody in the media was calling me a [terrorist]. It was horrible because even my friends and people in the music industry had to disown me. The pressure got so intense. The media turned against me, my ex-boyfriend turned against me and became a pawn to actually do that and, yeah, it’s like it was this really difficult time — to be like, no, this is real, this is real, this is real. It was a really difficult time because I felt that what I’d done up to that point is offered really positive things and had music and fashion and visual stuff that represented something that was positive and not negative. I don’t know, you could debate the gunshots [played over the music at her shows], but generally if you came to my show you did not go away feeling sad and you did not go away in a negative way. You went away having experienced a whole bunch of happy things and you felt empowered.”

2. “At Kodak, Clinging to a Future Beyond Film.” For The New York Times, Quentin Hardy on how the company might never live up to the legacy of its own past.

“What happens after a tech company is left for dead but the people left behind refuse to give up the fight? At Kodak the answer is to dig deep into a legacy of innovation in the photography business and see if its remaining talent in optics and chemistry can be turned into new money in other industries. Once a household name as big in its day as Apple and Microsoft have been for later generations, Kodak was part of everyday life, its film—sold in a yellow box—recording births, vacations, weddings. And then Kodak became a cautionary tale about what happens when a tech company is slow to change. For Kodak, the advent of digital photography was ruinous. Today it has $2 billion in annual sales, compared with $19 billion in 1990 when consumer film was king. It now has 8,000 employees worldwide; it had 145,000 at its peak.”

3. “Armed and Tedious.” For Grantland, Wesley Morris on Sean Penn bulking up for The Gunman and Shailene Woodley getting stuck in Insurgent.

“When Tom Cruise is half-dressed in a film, you can cheer his ridiculousness—he practically turns himself on. What turns Penn on about himself often seems to have little to do with the movies. He’s among the cause-iest of stars, having dipped a steel-toed boot into one political quagmire after the next. A Hollywood activist like Angelia Jolie survives this disjunction between being an action figure and a humanitarian because she works mostly in the realms of melodrama, science fiction, and fantasy. But touristic self-importance pollutes The Gunman. Penn’s preening obstructs your view of atrocity. He doesn’t care that, like the ’Jimmy’ Neeson’s currently playing in Run All Night and the ’Jimmy’ Penn played in Mystic River, these are immoral heroes given heroizing plots. Stardom is its own morality. Now it’s as if Penn can’t do a lousy action movie without even a patina of world betterment. But the world he’s trying to better here feels pitifully tiny—it’s his own.”

4. “Forget Your Team: Your Online Violence Toward Girls and Women Is What Can Kiss My Ass.” The “Pass the Mic” series showcases unique voices, perspectives and ideas. This op-ed was written by Ashley Judd, an actress and advocate for women’s rights.

“What happened to me is the devastating social norm experienced by millions of girls and women on the Internet. Online harassers use the slightest excuse (or no excuse at all) to dismember our personhood. My tweet was simply the convenient delivery system for a rage toward women that lurks perpetually. I know this experience is universal, though I’ll describe specifically what happened to me. I read in vivid language the various ways, humiliating and violent, in which my genitals, vaginal and anal, should be violated, shamed, exploited and dominated. Either the writer was going to do these things to me, or they were what I deserved. My intellect was insulted: I was called stupid, an idiot. My age, appearance and body were attacked. Even my family was thrown into the mix: Someone wrote that my ’grandmother is creepy.’”

5. “How to create a documentary character.” Robert Greene on five not-so-easy steps to seeing your nonfiction protagonist up in lights.

“In my own films, I’ve been lucky enough to find great subjects that could be turned into amazing characters. Kati Genthner’s teenage idealism, heartbreaking naïveté and likeable toughness carried Kati with an I, while the pro-wrestling cast of Fake It So Real couldn’t have been more fun or captivating. My Actress star Brandy Burre allowed me to explore the nature of performance in documentary because she is such a dedicated craftsperson herself, creating an electrifying, layered character out of the very real turmoil of her life. With these and with other films I’ve edited, I’ve learned some valuable lessons in the crafting of nonfiction characters, the cinematic possibilities of exploiting performance and the limitations of exerting directorial control.”

Video of the Day: Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation gets a trailer:

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 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.

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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:

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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