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Poster Lab: White Reindeer, Another Cheeky Desecration of Hallowed Holiday Symbols

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Poster Lab: White Reindeer, Another Cheeky Desecration of Hallowed Holiday Symbols

The trailer for writer/director Zach Clark’s White Reindeer doesn’t seem to feature any cocaine use, but it might as well. Depicting the grievous unraveling of formerly sunny Suzanne (Anna Margaret Hollyman), who suffers the death of her husband before finding out he was having an affair with an exotic dancer (Laura Lemar-Goldsborough), this offbeat holiday comedy and SXSW favorite seems primed to throw in the kitchen sink when it comes to Suzanne’s self-medication. If the clip shows us Suzanne dancing, drinking, and buddying up with the other woman, then the poster reveals what else the widow is imbibing, forming the silhouette of a Christmas tree from lines of cocaine. It may well be that the titular term is a euphemism for blow that I’m not aware of, and it may well be that that white powder isn’t cocaine at all. (Who’s to say Suzanne isn’t breaking bad with a little meth?) Either way, this notably naughty poster serves to place White Reindeer among the ranks of other transgressive yuletide flicks. Almost immediately, it calls to mind the Criterion cover art for Arnaud Desplechin’s A Christmas Tale, which is also given the Tannenbaum-by-substance treatment, shaping a tree from the dark dramedy’s ever-present cigarette smoke.

Though it’s hardly as striking as the official one-sheet, there’s also an alternate poster for White Reindeer, which is a true, borderline-Lynchian curio. Illustrated, it shows Suzanne as a broach-rocking, modern evocation of the Virgin Mary, clutching a candy cane and standing wreathed in a string of Christmas lights (it kinda recalls the electrified ad for National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, another film whose season’s greetings come with a punch). While the initial White Reindeer poster rests the sale of its content on the Richard Brody pullquote, “An instant holiday season counterclassic,” this one employs the provocative, WTF tagline, “Christmas is a feeling in her _________.” Fill in the blank, kids.

In fact, filling in the blank is precisely what Suzanne seems to be doing. With her husband gone, and her notion of who he was obliterated, she’s left with a void that has to be filled in some way. Hell, perhaps in every way. Has Christmas become a feeling in her altered brain thanks to various substances? Is it a feeling in her limbs amid a 3 a.m. spin on a nightclub dancefloor? Is it a feeling in her netherlands thanks to a little grief-numbing nookie? More than anything, the tagline’s best space-filler is probably “memory,” where Christmas seems to have been a feeling for Suzanne for far too long. The opening of the trailer is brimming with dread, as Suzanne, like so many middle-class celebrators, rattles off all the things she wants Christmas to be. It’s an ominous setup for disaster. Suzanne’s tradition-rooted expectations are as lethal as any drug, and their undoing is the root of any great comedy that sticks it to “holiday cheer.” Uttering a phrase every tree-decorator thinks or says at some point, Suzanne whines in the trailer, “I just want it to feel like Christmas.” “Christmas is whatever you want it to be,” a friend replies, meaning that Christmas, of course, shouldn’t have to feel like anything in particular. Perhaps when Suzanne completes her cathartic and “sinful” rebirth, Christmas will merely be a feeling in her sore sinuses. Because if the poster is any indication, she’s been busy: laying a finger aside of her nose, and giving a nod, up her nostrils the relief goes.

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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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