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HND@Grassroots: Season 2, Episode 15 (33), “The Iron Mule Podcast”

We’re back again after our New Year’s Pubcast/Boys’ Party with a special ode to a newly reborn film festival.

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HND@Grassroots: Season 2, Episode 15 (33), “The Iron Mule Podcast”

Hello Greenpoint!

We’re back again after our New Year’s Pubcast/Boys’ Party with a special ode to a newly reborn film festival, originally First Sundays, now The Iron Mule Short Comedy Film Series, hosted by Jay Stern and Victor Varnado.

The duo came on, alongside Iron Mule “producer”/better-than-yours-truly-at-hosting Ray Privett, to talk the history of their rather epic local film series, the retiring of “Monkey” from audience participation shorts, and the horrors of YouTube deleting content they otherwise worked hard on.

We also talked the deaths of Khan, Number 6, and Batman; Left 4 Dead; Ray summing up the podcast in a hilarious nutshell; Victor’s short film Roboto Supremo—with Michel Gondry as the Mayor of Tokyo, natch—and my death.

Yes, it appears while talking during the podcast my body, pickled with various toxic fluids and stuffed with delicious Yakitori Taishi, finally started to break down. Or my eyes were watering. Or maybe I finally learned to cry at films. Who knows.

Join us next time as Matt Prigge (we explain how to say it) watches from the back of Grassroots while Vadim and I suffer from awful hangovers and talk Taken. Until then, if you see either Vadim or myself at the bar, buy us a drink per chance. We’re feeling much better now—and I’m not dead! John Lichman



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

Ray Privett is Founder and President of Cinema Purgatorio LLC.

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.

Jay Stern is a director/producer/writer and man about town.

Keith Uhlich is editor of The House Next Door.

Victor Varnado has a lengthy profile in The Village Voice. You should read it.

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Let Your Sanity Go on Vacation with a Trip to the Moons of Madness

If you dare, ascend into the horrors of the Martian mind and check out the trailer for yourself.

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Moons of Madness
Photo: Rock Pocket Games

The announcement trailer for Moons of Madness opens with an empty shot of the Invictus, a research installation that’s been established on Mars. The camera lingers over well-lit but equally abandoned corridors, drifting over a picture of a family left millions of kilometers behind on Earth before finally settling on the first-person perspective of Shane Newehart, an engineer working for the Orochi Group. Fans of a different Funcom series, The Secret World, will instantly know that something’s wrong. And sure enough, in what may be the understatement of the year, Newehart is soon talking about how he “seems to have a situation here”—you know, what with all the antiquated Gothic hallways, glitching cameras, and tentacled creatures that start appearing before him.

As with Dead Space, it’s not long before the station is running on emergency power, with eerie whispers echoing through the station and bloody, cryptic symbols being scrawled on the walls. Did we mention tentacles? Though the gameplay hasn’t officially been revealed, this brief teaser suggests that players will have to find ways both to survive the physical pressures of this lifeless planet and all sorts of sanity-challenging supernatural occurrences, with at least a soupçon of H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmicism thrown in for good measure.

If you dare, ascend into the horrors of the Martian mind and check out the trailer for yourself.

Rock Pocket Games will release Moons of Madness later this year.

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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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