Connect with us

Blog

Links for the Day: President Obama Delivers the State of the Union, Laura Miller on Broad City, The Limits of New York Cinephilia, & More

Published

on

Links for the Day: President Obama Delivers the State of the Union, Laura Miller on Broad City, The Limits of New York Cinephilia, & More

1. “President Obama Delivers the State of the Union.” In State of the Union speech, the president defiantly sets an ambitious agenda.

“The tax plan would raise the top capital gains tax rate to 28 percent, from 23.8 percent. It would also remove what amounts to a tax break for wealthy people who can afford to hold on to their investments until death. Mr. Obama also said he wanted to assess a new fee on the largest financial institutions—those with assets of $50 billion or more—based on the amount of risk they took on. Those proposals would pay for the community college initiative, which would cost $60 billion over a decade, as well as an array of new tax credits intended for the middle class. They include a new $500 credit for families with two working spouses; a subsidy of up to $2,500 annually to pay for college; and the tripling, up to $3,000, of an existing tax break to pay for college. ’It’s time we stop treating child care as a side issue, or as a women’s issue,’ Mr. Obama said, ’and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.’”

2. “The Speed of Casualty.” Ryland Walker Knight, for MUBI, on Michael Mann’s Blackhat.

“Mann’s world is cruel, breakneck, and full of light. Variations of hue and frame size that feel alive, not over-determined and chaotic, as in the work of Paul Greengrass, give life to the tropes, and weight to their story house, that world created. Night looks like night, and most of the scenes are set then, but that means daylight’s exposure is an anvil, the implacability of a tarmac horizon or the endgame of a tin mine valley. (The sunglasses everybody wears are beautiful.) Harsh but not bleak exactly, the world still allows for connection, and its rupture through violence is what keeps motivations piling up and our hero and his woman together in arms through fiberoptics and blood to the end, past the camera, into a kind of white light that somehow has hues and is not outright hopeful. After all, from that off-white nothing we cut to black.”

3. ”’I’m not saying you’re wrong’: Why Abbi is the best part of Broad City.” Laura Miller claims the creators of this show are the modern-day heirs to the Marx Brothers—but Abbi is wildly underappreciated.

“What Broad City does do (when it’s not gleefully wringing laughs from strap-ons and feces, that is) is revive the intuitive spirit and grace of the classic cinematic comedy of the 1920s and ‘30s. Ilana is the show’s most immediately arresting character, a vim-fueled bottle rocket with a penumbra of corkscrew curls and a smile whose wattage rivals a Broadway marquee. She’s a polymorphously horny, rubber-limbed imp with a job she flagrantly shirks, along with all forms of decorum. Season 2’s opening sequence—a Snowpiercer vamp involving a trek through a series of subway cars—ends with the two women standing sheepishly among a crowd of Hassidic men; as they step out the door, Ilana, naturally, has to smack one of them on the butt.”

4. “Spiritual Cinema.” Michael Sicinski finds reasons to believe in films both sacred and profane.

“It would be unfair and inaccurate to say that film art doesn’t address religious or spiritual questions today. But I do think it is fair to make a few general diagnoses about how spiritual cinema has evolved—perhaps not for the better—since the grand moment of international art cinema of the 1950s and ‘60s. For one thing, the educated, self-selected audiences for world cinema have possibly inherited a greater, postmodern skepticism toward religion, which has resulted in a shift in tastes and canons for the 21st century. For that matter, the larger part of the international filmmaking class—those directors who tend to fill out festival line-ups and distributor slates—is comprised of relative agnostics. This is not a criticism, but it does mark a difference from the era of Bergman, Dreyer, and Pasolini.”

5. “The Limits of American Cinephilia.” Richard Brody on how Amos Vogel, bringer of cinematic enlightenment, defined the limits of New York cinephilia.

“Writing in 1965, Vogel expressed his astonished delight that the New York Film Festival was attracting a ’young audience,’ and he detailed the myriad activities of this youthful audience, such as reading serious film journals and devotedly attending screenings at repertory houses. A year later, he went further, writing of an ’emergence of film as the art of the young’ and saying that the young ’feel most akin to the nouvelle vague, to cinema vérité, to the ’new cinema’ in Europe, Japan, America.’ Vogel not only meant that young people were watching movies more ambitiously, he affirmed the sudden rise of filmmaking as the center of young artists’ ambitions and endeavors: ’In previous times, the young ’took hold’ of the pen. Today, they take hold of the camera.’”

Video of the Day: It Follows gets a U.K. 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.

Advertisement
Comments

Blog

Let Your Sanity Go on Vacation with a Trip to the Moons of Madness

If you dare, ascend into the horrors of the Martian mind and check out the trailer for yourself.

Published

on

Moons of Madness
Photo: Rock Pocket Games

The announcement trailer for Moons of Madness opens with an empty shot of the Invictus, a research installation that’s been established on Mars. The camera lingers over well-lit but equally abandoned corridors, drifting over a picture of a family left millions of kilometers behind on Earth before finally settling on the first-person perspective of Shane Newehart, an engineer working for the Orochi Group. Fans of a different Funcom series, The Secret World, will instantly know that something’s wrong. And sure enough, in what may be the understatement of the year, Newehart is soon talking about how he “seems to have a situation here”—you know, what with all the antiquated Gothic hallways, glitching cameras, and tentacled creatures that start appearing before him.

As with Dead Space, it’s not long before the station is running on emergency power, with eerie whispers echoing through the station and bloody, cryptic symbols being scrawled on the walls. Did we mention tentacles? Though the gameplay hasn’t officially been revealed, this brief teaser suggests that players will have to find ways both to survive the physical pressures of this lifeless planet and all sorts of sanity-challenging supernatural occurrences, with at least a soupçon of H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmicism thrown in for good measure.

If you dare, ascend into the horrors of the Martian mind and check out the trailer for yourself.

Rock Pocket Games will release Moons of Madness later this year.

Continue Reading

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
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