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HND@Grassroots: Season 2, Episode 12 (30), “Film Critics in Peril on a Cliffhanger”

Flim critics are a dying breed, since they’re either stuck online, being laid off from print publications or going off to Grad School.

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HND@Grassroots: Season 2, Episode 12 (30), “Film Critics in Peril on a Cliffhanger”

What’s shaking California?!!

Flim critics are a dying breed, since they’re either stuck online, being laid off from print publications or going off to Grad School. Dave Hudson himself gathers the tales of woe—this is clearly not the time to be a Journalist, but a perfect time to start digging ditches and hoping for New Deals.

But before all that comes to pass, have a listen to this impromptu podcast we recorded in early December featuring Variety associate editor Peter Debruge, who wrote up the whole “OMG NYC HAS BLOG WRITER” trend last week and quotes most of the people he met with. Of course, it’s also important to mention Peter’s invite was forwarded to a good number of us—I got mine through a third party. Don’t fret, I’m still not a real critic dear listeners.

In addition to Peter, we’ve got a decent crowd for this canned chat: Lauren Wissot (Infamous for Various Reasons), Michael Joshua Rowin (The L Magazine, Stop Smiling); House contributor and Cine File Andrew Schenker, S.T. VanAirsdale (The Reeler, Defamer). There’s a myriad of topics covered in this episode, ranging from the soul of a critic to why the hell someone would turn down work based on their soul. We cover it all—and it basically boils down to the following: some people subscribe to that nasty “Journalism” concept; others believe being a critic means keeping chaste, pure, and being able to lift their nose up to work that others would gladly take from them.

This has been Episode 12, “Film Critics in Peril on a Cliffhanger!” Join us next time and find out the following:

1. Did Vadim make rent for the month? (I think so. But he still needs a roommate.)

2. Did I find work at The Onion? (No, they only hire editorial positions internally and I don’t feel like working for free again.)

3. Really, why are the New York Onion staffers such utter cocks? (We blame their swanky SoHo digs.)

4. Are critics fucked? (Sure.)

5. What’s the difference between a critic and a Journalist? (Who knows! Both are out of work!)

6. Will we focus on The Onion as much as we focus on Armond White? (No. Armond is at least a nice guy on occasion. The Onion’s New York office staff never answer their e-mail.)

And if you see Vadim or myself at the bar, buy us a drink! We’re broke and Dave Patterson’s whole “let’s tax soda and booze” nonsense hurts us! John Lichman



Peter Debruge is an associate editor at Variety.

John Lichman is a freelance writer in New York who once broke Digg. He will work for your pennies, scraps and list-making needs.

Vadim Rizov is a New York-based freelance writer. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, The Onion A.V. Club and Paste Magazine, among others.

Michael Joshua Rowin’s writing has appeared in Reverse Shot, The L Magazine, Film Comment, Cineaste, and Stop Smiling.

Andrew Schenker is a freelance writer based in New York. His work can be accessed at The Cine File.

Keith Uhlich is editor of The House Next Door.

S.T. VanAirsdale is editor of The Reeler and a contributor to Defamer and The Huffington Post.

Brooklyn-based writer Lauren Wissot is the publisher of the blog Beyond the Green Door, the author of the memoir Under My Master’s Wings, and a contributor to The Reeler.

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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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