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Links for the Day: Remembering Peter de Rome, Richard Linklater Interview, A Woman Should Run for President Against Hillary Clinton, Robert Gardner R.I.P., & More

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Links for the Day: Remembering Peter de Rome, Richard Linklater Interview, A Woman Should Run for President Against Hillary Clinton, Robert Gardner R.I.P., & More

1. “Remembering Peter de Rome: the maker of gay erotica loved by Warhol, Gielgud and the BFI.” Made in an era when it was illegal to show homosexual acts, De Rome’s films offer a window into a time when the possibilities of a gay life without shame were just beginning.

“Peter de Rome was a short, twinkly-eyed and bespectacled old gentleman who died earlier this week just before his 90th birthday. He was also a pioneer in the field of gay film. Although the explicit nature of his work will put off many, there is real warmth and joy to it: the encounters he shows are neither smutty nor seedy, no less loving for their rawness or brevity. Casual does not equate to cold. De Rome’s films are, rather, intelligently wrought miniatures fully engaged with their subjects. His skill in storytelling and his joky surrealism mixed with bold sexuality has something of the richness of Cocteau (whom he adored) or the exuberance of George Kuchar. It has the passion of Kenneth Anger and the pop cultural sensibility of Andy Warhol. Having worked as a film publicist, with no technical training, he seems to have acquired his film-making skills by osmosis from his acquaintance with the likes of Alexander Korda, David O Selznick or Orson Welles. But his achievement is uniquely his own.”

2. “Richard Linklater on Boyhood, the Before Trilogy and the Luxury of Time.” Variety’s Justin Chang speaks with the filmmaker.

“If the Before movies are essentially Linklater’s riff on Rohmer, each one an endearingly loquacious two-hander played out against an idyllic Old World setting, then Boyhood is unmistakably his tribute to Truffaut, who directed perhaps the greatest movie ever made about restless youth, The 400 Blows. Similarly, the French master’s extended collaboration with actor Jean-Pierre Leaud as Antoine Doinel feels like an early template for what Linklater and Coltrane have pulled off here. To the uninitiated, those might sound like lofty reference points to attach to Linklater, a laid-back Austin native who goes by Rick and punctuates every other sentence with ’yeah’ or ’you know’; and who, during our interview, sometimes himself resembles an overgrown kid with his T-shirt, shorts and unruly mop of hair. But no one familiar with the filmmaker’s work would be surprised by his penchant for odd philosophical digressions or his aw-shucks erudition. It’s the same stealth intelligence at work in his movies, which often conceal an unusual narrative and formal ambition beneath their shaggy, unpretentious charms—a subversive streak that has set Linklater apart from some of his more bottom-line-oriented contemporaries.”

3. “A Woman Should Run for President Against Hillary Clinton. Or Many Women.” Rebecca Traister imagines an unpredictable presidential primary.

“But what if there were other women out there to shoulder some of that weight and contextualize these crucial conversations? Whether or not Warren, Gillibrand, or Klobuchar could topple Clinton, they could make sure that certain issues got talked about. John Edwards, before melting into the oil slick of his own loathsomeness, performed a real service, nudging Democrats in a direction they badly needed to go on poverty and the class divide (in advance of the Occupy movement, Dodd-Frank, and Warren’s rabble-rousing, no less). And he did most of that work as a candidate who in neither his 2004 nor his 2008 bids ever had a strong shot of winning the nomination. This time around, the Democratic Party would become a stronger party if it got to listen to Clinton argue paid sick days, reproductive rights, day care, and equal-pay protections with a few other women who know how serious and far-reaching these policy questions are.”

4. “Robert Gardner, 1925 – 2014.” Anthropologist, filmmaker, author and advocate of the avant-garde.

“I’ve only just now learned, via Patrick Friel, that the great ethnographic filmmaker Robert Gardner died this past weekend at the age of 88. ’The nonfiction films of Robert Gardner embody profound and significant contradictions,’ wrote Ed Halter in 2009: ’they are at once beautiful and unsettling, instructive and mysterious, brutally true and mythically transcendent. In 29 completed works, many surveying the daily life and rituals of societies from every inhabited continent, Gardner probes acutely at the delicate borders that have always defined documentary—the porous and slippery boundaries between objective facts and their subjective telling. In Gardner’s work, this dynamic is inextricably entwined with the relationships forged between the inhabitants of indigenous cultures and their Western visitors. He approaches the métier of ethnographic cinema through a poetic framework, bridging the fissures between science and art in anthropology, continuing and expanding the humanist tradition originated by Robert Flaherty.’”

5. “HBO’s The Leftovers a tour de force of devastation and grief.” Alan Sepinwall on how Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta brilliantly adapt Perrotta’s novel about a rapture-like event.

“[Peter] Berg has always been an expressionistic director, but usually in a jittery fashion that give his other films and TV shows (including both versions of Friday Night Lights) the feel of a documentary. The Leftovers is more classically composed, and yet it is every bit as much of an immersive experience as going to the football fields of Dillon, Texas. This show’s broken world is a hard one to shake off, and for me a hard one simply to step away from. In the age of second and third screens, social media and push alerts, it becomes difficult to sit through an episode of even the best shows on television without feeling the siren call of my inbox or my Facebook wall, yet I wanted to do nothing while watching each episode of The Leftovers (HBO made four of the first five available to critics) than to finish it—not to hasten the end of an unpleasant experience, but to keep from breaking the show’s emotional spell.”

Video of the Day: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon announce the return of Project Greenlight:

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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