1. “What Is Safe Sex?” Rich Juzwiak on the raw and uncomfortable truth about Truvada.
“The understanding that I might benefit from using Truvada dawned on me slowly, like I was stuck permanently at 6 a.m. for a few months. It was other guys who helped prompt my decision, like the ones I had the sense not to fuck raw when they assumed that’s what we’d be doing on first meeting, or the ones who tried to fuck me bare so casually, it was like they were going in there to check their mail. It was the guy who told me, ’Yes, I’m negative—I was tested in February,’ in October. It was the guy that I hooked up with who then proposed a threesome via text: ’My friend said he wants to fuck raw.’ This was a few texts after I told him, ’I play safe,’ and he said, ’Yeah, me too.’ A few texts later, he admitted he’d already fucked raw with our prospective third.”
2. “I Attended the Oscars And They Nearly Drove Me Insane.” Eric Kohn on attending the Academy Awards.
“And when it dragged, I drank. Each time the commercials started up, audiences were able to head outside. Barred from reentrance until the next break, we were forced to watch the awards on a monitor with the volume down. As a result, I missed Lupita Nyong’o’s apparently heartfelt speech, and instead hung back with Radius’ Quinn and his business partner Jason Janego as they kept track of the winners in an ongoing bet. It was around then that we witnessed the only real upset of the night, Disney’s short film ’Get on a Horse!’ losing best animated short to the French steampunk odyssey ’Mr. Hublot.’ Janego won that round. For this pair, whose role in this business is constantly at odds with the sizable efforts of big studios, one could sense a certain eagerness in their anticipation of each outcome while enjoying the ride as spectators—the world within a world that defines the indie film community, even at the Academy Awards.”
3. “Resnais’ Secrets.” Jonathan Rosenbaum is grateful to still have one more Resnais feature to look forward to.
“One of the most personal moments in Vous n’avez encore rien vu—perhaps the most personal of all, occurring after a veritable string of coups de théâtre combined with diverse contradictory and paradoxical reflections about death—is the Frank Sinatra song heard over the final credits, ’It Was a Very Good Year,’ beginning with the line, ’When I was 17…’ Even though Resnais was in fact 19 when Anouihl’s Eurydice opened in Paris, during the second year of the German Occupation—a play that, at least in Resnais’ version of it, exudes the darkness, the cellar-like dinginess, and the paranoid taste of betrayals that one associates with that time and place, even more than Cocteau’s Orphée would remember it a few years later—the bitter irony of those lyrics encapsulates the sweet (and yes, personal) anguish of everything preceding them. “
4. “Pink Moon Is On Its Way.” Interview interviews Slant’s own Sal Bardo.
“Bardo says that his fourth short is his best to date. Pink Moon is a companion piece to Bardo’s feature-length screenplay, his first. Depicting an imaginary homonormative society in which heterosexuals are persecuted and reproductive rights are inhibited, Pink Moon is a love story of two teens who are forced to hide an unintended pregnancy. With the project’s Kickstarter campaign underway and rounding its final two weeks, we spoke with Bardo about maneuvering the limitations of an indie budget, finding his niche in the LGBT market, and ensuring that his ’first pancake’ came out looking perfect.”
5. “Kelly Reichardt: Genres, Geographies and the Evolution of a Filmmaker.” Where Reichardt’s latest, an elaborate tale of radicalism, eco-terrorism, guilt and paranoia, fits.
“Amongst other characteristics, Reichardt’s films can said to be excavations of a sort, formally exact, patiently unfolding depictions of landscapes in repose. The Pacific Northwest hinterland of Old Joy, the quaint suburbia of Wendy and Lucy, the parched desert expanse of Meek’s Cutoff: all evocative settings reflected in the simultaneously tranquil yet restless emotional lives of their characters. Night Moves doesn’t take Reichardt far from her natural surroundings (it too is set in Oregon), but it does evidence a concerted effort at narrative structuring and cohesion otherwise foreign to her prior efforts.”
Video of the Day: Iggy Azalea, ft. Charli XCX, get “Fancy” in this Clueless spoof:
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 email@example.com and to converse in the comments section.
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay
This season, Hollywood is invested in celebrating the films they love while dodging the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.
You know, if it weren’t for the show’s producers effectively and repeatedly saying everything about the Academy Awards is terrible and needs to be changed, and the year’s top-tier contenders inadvertently confirming their claims, this would’ve been a comparatively fun and suspenseful Oscar season. None of us who follow the Academy Awards expect great films to win; we just hope the marathon of precursors don’t turn into a Groundhog Day-style rinse and repeat for the same film, ad nauseam.
On that score, mission accomplished. The guilds have been handing their awards out this season as though they met beforehand and assigned each voting body a different title from Oscar’s best picture list so as not to tip the Oscar race too clearly toward any one film. SAG? Black Panther. PGA? Green Book. DGA? Roma. ASC? Cold War. ACE? Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Even awards-season kryptonite A Star Is Born got an award for contemporary makeup from the MUAHS. (That’s the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, not the sound Lady Gaga fans have been making ever since A Star Is Born’s teaser trailer dropped last year.)
Not to be outdone, the Writers Guild of America announced their winners last weekend, and not only did presumed adapted screenplay frontrunner BlacKkKlansman wind up stymied by Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but the original screenplay prize went to Eighth Grade, which wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar. Bo Burnham twisted the knife into AMPAS during his acceptance speech: “To the other nominees in the category, have fun at the Oscars, losers!” In both his sarcasm and his surprise, it’s safe to say he speaks on behalf of us all.
As is always the case, WGA’s narrow eligibility rules kept a presumed favorite, The Favourite, out of this crucial trial heat. But as the balloting period comes to a close, the question remains just how much enthusiasm or affection voters have for either of the two films with the most nominations (Roma being the other). As a recent “can’t we all just get along” appeal by Time’s Stephanie Zacharek illustrates, the thing Hollywood is most invested in this season involves bending over backward, Matrix-style, to celebrate the films they love and still dodge the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.
Maybe it’s just tunnel vision from the cultural vacuum Oscar voters all-too-understandably would prefer to live in this year, but doesn’t it seem like The Favourite’s tastefully ribald peppering of posh-accented C-words would be no match for the steady litany of neo-Archie Bunkerisms spewing from Viggo Mortensen’s crooked mouth? Especially with First Reformed’s Paul Schrader siphoning votes from among the academy’s presumably more vanguard new recruits? We’ll fold our words in half and eat them whole if we’re wrong, but Oscar’s old guard, unlike John Wayne, is still alive and, well, pissed.
Will Win: Green Book
Could Win: The Favourite
Should Win: First Reformed
Watch: Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir, Starring Honor Swinton Byrne and Tilda Swinton, Gets First Trailer
Joanna Hogg has been flying under the radar for some time, but that’s poised to change in a big way.
British film director and screenwriter Joanna Hogg, whose impeccably crafted 2013 film Exhibition we praised on these pages for its “disarming mixture of the remarkable and the banal,” has been flying under the radar for the better part of her career. But that’s poised to change in a big way with the release of her latest film, The Souvenir, which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Prior to the film’s world premiere at the festival, A24 and Curzon Artificial Eye acquired its U.S. and U.K. distribution rights, respectively. Below is the official description of the film:
A shy but ambitious film student (Honor Swinton Byrne) begins to find her voice as an artist while navigating a turbulent courtship with a charismatic but untrustworthy man (Tom Burke). She defies her protective mother (Tilda Swinton) and concerned friends as she slips deeper and deeper into an intense, emotionally fraught relationship that comes dangerously close to destroying her dreams.
And below is the film’s first trailer:
A24 will release The Souvenir on May 17.
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing
For appealing to voters’ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore, one film has the upper hand here.
Given what Eric wrote about the sound editing category yesterday, it now behooves me to not beat around the bush here. Also, it’s my birthday, and there are better things for me to do today than count all the ways that Eric and I talk ourselves out of correct guesses in the two sound categories, as well as step on each other’s toes throughout the entirety of our Oscar-prediction cycle. In short, it’s very noisy. Which is how Oscar likes it when it comes to sound, though maybe not as much the case with sound mixing, where the spoils quite often go to best picture nominees that also happen to be musicals (Les Misérables) or musical-adjacent (Whiplash). Only two films fit that bill this year, and since 2019 is already making a concerted effort to top 2018 as the worst year ever, there’s no reason to believe that the scarcely fat-bottomed mixing of Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody will take this in a walk, for appealing to voters’ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore.
Will Win: Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody
Could Win: A Star Is Born
Should Win: First Man