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Links for the Day: Stephen Colbert to Succeed David Letterman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali vs. the Campus Thought Police, Olivia de Havilland on Mickey Rooney, & More

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Links for the Day: Stephen Colbert to Succeed David Letterman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali vs. the Campus Thought Police, Olivia de Havilland on Mickey Rooney, & More

1. “Colbert Will Host ’Late Show,’ Playing Himself for a Change.” CBS made its choice, quickly and definitively: Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman as the host of its late-night franchise, which Mr. Letterman created when he came to the network in 1993.

“Mr. Colbert, the star of Comedy Central’s ’Colbert Report,’ will be—in one way—an all-new talent for CBS because he will drop the broadly satirical blowhard conservative character he has played for nine years, and instead perform as himself. Mr. Colbert became the immediate front-runner for the position both because of an increasing recognition of his talent—his show won two Emmy Awards last year—and because he clearly wanted the job. His representation had ensured that he would be available to CBS by syncing his recent contracts with Mr. Letterman’s.”

2. “Ayaan Hirsi Ali vs. the Campus Thought Police.” Why is Brandeis University giving in to the growing hordes who believe they have a right to not be offended?

“It is difficult to conceive of a braver woman alive today than Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Born in Somalia, she was subjected to genital mutilation—a practice commonly inflicted on young girls in Muslim communities—at the age of 5. Fleeing a forced marriage, Hirsi Ali eventually made her way to the Netherlands, where she became a member of parliament, defender of women’s rights, and an outspoken (and, at times, unduly harsh) critic of the religion in whose name she was violently subjugated. When a Muslim fanatic murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh, with whom Hirsi Ali had collaborated on a short film about the oppression of women under Islam, the killer left a note on his victim’s chest warning Hirsi Ali that she would be next. Hirsi Ali now lives in America, under 24-hour protection. She is a bestselling author, a frequent presence in international media, and a heroic example to women around the world. But for the mandarins of Brandeis University, Hirsi Ali’s views are unacceptable.”

3. “Mickey Rooney: The Eternal Boy Wonder.” Academy Award-winning actress Olivia de Havilland remembers 80 years of friendship.

Mickey, Mickey, Mickey. They say that you have died, but I find this hard to believe for you are so alive in my memory. There you are, in the big room of the Chamber of Commerce building on Sunset Boulevard in the summer of 1934, a little boy passing easily as a nine-year-old when you are really thirteen. You hand me your work copy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, climb onto the banquette beside me, place your head upon my lap, and ask me to awaken you nine lines before your cue.”

4. “How Richard Linklater Created One of the Greatest Films About Growing Up with Boyhood.” The filmmaker talks about capturing his lead actor’s coming-of-age in the 12-years-in-the-making film, which finally hits theaters July 11.

“While Mason ages into a conveniently Linklateresque teenager, sensitive and fond of philosophical conversations, the filmmaker said he was willing to follow Coltrane’s lead, however he grew up. ’I didn’t have a pre-conceived notion of what kind of person he would be. I did get extremely lucky in that Ellar turned out to be this thoughtful, wonderful, intriguing, mysterious guy,’ he said. It’s all part of the terrifying act of trust that is committing to a project that spans more than a decade, something Linklater referred to as going ’beyond a leap of faith.’ But he sees Boyhood as actually being created with an air of optimism, in the belief that not only would his collaborators continue to show up but ’that we’d still be here 12 years from now, that the world would be here.’”

5. “Christopher Evan Welch Died Four Months Before His Breakout Role in Silicon Valley.” A look at the actor’s career.

“It’s that face, pointy yet soft. It had a mix of distinct and nondescript that made him an ideal character actor. Onstage, it led to a prolific career playing the Roderigos and Mercutios of the world. He was Reverend Samuel Parris to Laura Linney and Liam Neeson’s Elizabeth and John Proctor in a 2002 revival of The Crucible. There was his breakout performance in director Ivo van Hove’s 1999 experimental version of A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he won an Obie. Welch played Mitch— e was not a Stanley. In movies, like last year’s Admission, where he played Brant, Tina Fey’s snotty co-worker in the Princeton admissions office, or in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, where he served as the well-enunciated, not too distracting narrator, Welch’s specificity helped fill out the universe as much as a bit character could.”

Video of the Day: The Nirvana Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfx2OvqxTvM
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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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