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Hyper-real: U2 3D

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Hyper-real: U2 3D

Ever since the Zoo TV tour, U2’s set designs have resembled Ridley Scott productions. So what could National Geographic Entertainment’s concert film U2 3D—the “first digital 3D, multi-camera, real-time production”, with 5.1 Surround Sound—have to offer besides a more immersive sensory experience? Surprisingly, quite a bit.

This feature—which seamlessly integrates sections of three Argentinian concerts, plus footage from a separate, audience-free, closeups-only shoot—has more in common with one of artist Jeff Wall’s hyper-real light box photographs than it does with the film many consider the gold standard in concert docs, Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense. The camera takes us inside the action—just where you want to be for a musical bacchanal—with unsettling clarity, as when groping arms seem to be reaching upwards from the row directly in front of you. From the stagehands’ vantage point overhead and behind the stage to the super-low angle, audience shoe-level shots to the shoulder-height, fish-eye medium shot of Bono’s hand grasping for your face, no perspective goes unexplored. Yet the cuts and dissolves fly by so fast that you don’t have time to think about directorial intent; you’re absorbed in the overwhelming beats. Codirectors Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington zoom and tilt in on the band from every conceivable angle, yet Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. hold up in the harshest high-definition light; they seem as ageless as CGI characters. It’s not enough to say that watching this concert film is just like being there, but without the crush of sweaty bodies and with a better view. U2 3D lets you be everywhere at once.

3Ality Digital Production chose the right band as its subject and put the right woman in charge of executing it: co-director Owens, U2’s longtime production designer. Like Madonna, U2 has been constantly updating, reinventing for decades. Over time, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” has ceased to be about Ireland’s regional, Catholic vs. Protestant, religious wars and become a plea for peace in the global battle of Muslim vs. Christian. The personal is as political and universal for U2 as it was for Joe Strummer and The Clash (whom Bono cited as inspiring his group’s formation in Julien Temple’s Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten). But when all is said and done it’s still about the music, and in U2 3D, the band delivers a performance whose passion might shake the ground if it had originated on VHS. Such band standards as “New Year’s Day,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “In The Name of Love” and even “Bullet the Blue Sky” served to remind me why War just might be one of the most perfect albums ever recorded. Of course, War came out nearly a quarter century ago, back when adoring fans waved cigarette lighters in the air during encores; in U2 3D, when Bono implores, “Shine your electronic digital lights,” a million cellphones start swaying in Buenos Aires. This could very well be the futuristic, event-centric saving grace that desperate theater owners have been seeking. The tools change, but for Bono and the boys, the meaning stays the same.

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: 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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAcftIUE6MQ

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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Watch: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Gets Teaser Trailer

When it rains, it pours.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Photo: Columbia Pictures

When it rains, it pours. Four days after Quentin Tarantino once more laid into John Ford in a piece written for his Beverly Cinema website that saw the filmmaker referring to Ford’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon as Tie a Yellow Ribbon, and two days after Columbia Pictures released poster art for QT’s ninth feature that wasn’t exactly of the highest order, the studio has released a teaser for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film was announced early last year, with Tarantino describing it as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”

Set on the eve of the Manson family murders, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), as they try to get involved in the film industry. The film also stars Margot Robbie (as Sharon Tate), Al Pacino, the late Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, and Bruce Dern in a part originally intended for the late Burt Reynolds.

See the teaser below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scf8nIJCvs4

Columbia Pictures will release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on July 26.

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Watch the Stranger Things 3 Trailer, and to the Tune of Mötley Crüe and the Who

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

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Stranger Things 3
Photo: Netflix

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence. On Friday, Jeff Tremaine’s The Dirt, a biopic about Mötley Crüe’s rise to fame, drops on Netflix. Today, the streaming service has released the trailer for the third season of Stranger Things. The clip opens with the strains of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home,” all the better to underline that the peace and quiet that returned to the fictional rural town of Hawkins, Indiana at the end of the show’s second season is just waiting to be upset again.

Little is known about the plot of the new season, and the trailer keeps things pretty vague, though the Duffer Brothers have suggested that the storyline will take place a year after the events of the last season—duh, we know when “Home Sweet Home” came out—and focus on the main characters’ puberty pangs. That said, according to Reddit sleuths who’ve obsessed over such details as the nuances of the new season’s poster art, it looks like Max and company are going to have to contend with demon rats no doubt released from the Upside Down.

See below for the new season’s trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEG3bmU_WaI

Stranger Things 3 premieres globally on July 4.

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