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Links for the Day: The Way Forward for Ukraine, Sofia Coppola to Direct Little Mermaid, Malaysia Asks F.B.I. for Help, George R. R. Martin Interview, & More

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Links for the Day: The Way Forward for Ukraine, Sofia Coppola to Direct Little Mermaid, Malaysia Asks F.B.I. for Help, George R. R. Martin Interview, & More

1. “A Way Forward for Ukraine.” The New York Times proposes decentralizing the way power is distributed in the troubled country.

“However the current crisis over Crimea finally ends, Ukraine will still be left with a crisis of its own politics — a crisis that Russia seized as a pretext to annex Crimea, and that would invite further intervention in Ukraine unless it is immediately addressed. The origins of the current emergency, in fact, lie in a failure of Ukraine’s political institutions to accomplish two fundamental tasks: produce leaders with a reputation for honesty and competence, and ensure that public policy is responsive to all segments of the public.”

2. “Sofia Coppola to Direct Little Mermaid for Universal.” Joe Wright had been attached to helm the live-action project that is being produced by Working Title.

“Such self-aware aestheticism is the manna on which Anderson’s admirers feed, but in The Grand Budapest Hotel, it has a specific, decidedly un-frivolous purpose. M. Gustave isn’t simply a prissy nostalgist, a Belle Epoque throwback pining for a world that ’had vanished long before he ever entered it.’ His insistence on elemental decency, his mantra that anger is merely the expression of needs unmet, is a subtle form of resistance—tinged, it must be said, with a hint of willful denial. At times, his insistence on maintaining decorum in the face of chaos evokes history’s whipping boy Neville Chamberlain.”

3. “Malaysia Turns to F.B.I. for Help in Plane Inquiry.” Malaysian authorities ask the U.S. for help recovering data deleted from pilot’s flight simulator.

“Investigators have said the plane’s extraordinary diversion from its intended course, from northeastward across the Gulf of Thailand to westward across the Malaysian peninusla, was probably carried out by someone on the plane who had aviation experience. Attention has focused on the two pilots — Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, and his junior officer, Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27. The Malaysian police, who found that Mr. Zaharie had a flight simulator in his home, said on Wednesday that some data was erased from the simulator on Feb. 3, more than a month before the ill-fated flight.”

4. “George R. R. Martin Has a Detailed Plan for Keeping the Game of Thrones TV Show from Catching Up to Him.” The author on HBO’s juggernaut and more.

“I think the look of the show is great. There was a bit of an adjustment for me. I had been living with these characters and this world since 1991, so I had close to twenty years of pictures in my head of what these characters looked like, and the banners and the castles, and of course it doesn’t look like that. But that’s fine. It does take a bit of adjustment on the writer’s part but I’m not one of these writers who go crazy and says, ’I described six buttons on the jacket and you put eight buttons on the jacket, you Hollywood idiots!’ I’ve seen too many writers like that when I was on the other side, in Hollywood. When you work in television or film, it is a collaborative medium, and you have to allow the other collaborators to bring their own creative impulse to it, too.”

5. “BBFC changes: A major threat to indie DVD labels?” The glory days of the British DVD and Blu-ray industry are under threat thanks to upcoming BBFC legislation that could see independent distributors close, writes James Oliver.

“These are good times for British film fans. The UK is lucky to have some of the best DVD labels in the world (Arrow, the BFI, Masters of Cinema, Odeon, Second Run, Second Sight, Nucleus…) producing essential releases of that cater for every taste. But this golden age could be coming to an end, courtesy of some well-meaning government legislation. From May, the way home video material is classified is changing: material that is currently exempt from classification will have to be inspected by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). It’s all the fault of the likes of Rhianna and Lady Gaga; their saucy antics on prime time shows like The X Factor caused something of an outcry and gave focus to the government’s (previously rather nebulous) campaign against ’the sexualisation of childhood’.”

Video of the Day: Neneh Cherry teams up with Robyn for “Out of the Black,” from Cherry’s Blank Project:

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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