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Recently, a fairly innocuous comment posted to my scathing review of Traitor at The House Next Door made my blood boil.

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The Movie-Going Public

Recently, a fairly innocuous comment posted to my scathing review of Traitor at The House Next Door made my blood boil. The commenter suggested that I was speaking from an elitist point of view, that the film’s important themes needed to be put across through the director’s decidedly non-highbrow means in order for the general public to be able to absorb the message. The reason I found this comment so offensive is that it assumes the “movie-going public” to be somehow “dumber” than those of us who publish our takes on the movies. That “they” somehow don’t deserve any better. And I consider this an absolutely condescending, elitist POV.

As fate would have it, I happened to read this comment within an hour of learning of the death of one of my mentors from a stroke. Hanon Reznikov was Judith Malina’s artistic and spiritual partner for over three decades at the Living Theatre, the legendary anarchist collective that uses plays as tools toward enlightenment. Acting with the company for several years in the early nineties changed my life in many ways, but perhaps most importantly, it’s where the notion that “high-minded” ideas don’t belong to any class but should be available to all on equal terms was seared into my being. In other words, we didn’t perform a smart and sophisticated production for the rich donors at fundraising benefits and a “dumber” piece for the low-income families and homeless people on the Lower East Side free of charge. All our audiences were addressed in the exact same fashion—and encouraged to speak up and be heard just as much as the performers in our participatory productions. We learned something from every audience (each of whom deserved nothing less than our utmost respect) and our message always came across loud and clear.

This idea of the general public as a mass of sheep who don’t deserve to be challenged is an insulting myth. I know this because I rarely talk film with film critics. For example, a few weeks back I had fantastic afternoon sex with a hot bodybuilder—the tryst ending badly afterwards when we got into a heated debate over John Barrymore and Marlene Dietrich (who he feels are both vastly overrated). This former stripper/current personal trainer is the movie-going public.

I also happen to work part-time in a house of domination where a client with a tickle fetish recently spent his entire session discussing movies with me, from Hitch to the latest French art films—and, of course, disclosing which flicks to watch for tickle scenes. (Hint—“The Three Stooges” are a goldmine.) This businessman is the movie-going public. And by the way, the Ukrainian woman who serves as the house’s evening manager spends her vacation time traveling the world attending film festivals. She also tutors me on Soviet cinema between answering phones and juggling clients. This professional dominatrix is the movie-going public.

And, more personally, as someone who cares passionately about cinema because it truly does transcend all these meaningless boxes we put ourselves into, but who’s never taken a film or writing—much less “film criticism”—class in my life, I am the movie-going public. And all of us deserve more for our eleven bucks.

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 columnist for Spout Blog.

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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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