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Barack Obama: A Story of Race & Politics

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Barack Obama: A Story of Race & Politics

Below is a snippet from Dreams from My Father, in which Barack Obama describes watching Black Orpheus, the first foreign-language film his mother, Ann Dunham, had ever seen.

We took a cab to the revival theater where the movie was playing. The film, a groundbreaker of sorts due to its mostly black, Brazilian cast, had been made in the fifties. The story line was simple: the myth of the ill-fated lovers Orpheus and Eurydice set in the favelas of Rio during Carnival. In Technicolor splendor, set against scenic green hills, the black and brown Brazilians sang and danced and strummed guitars like carefree birds in colorful plumage. About halfway through the movie, I decided that I’d seen enough, and turned to my mother to see if she might be ready to go. But her face, lit by the blue glow of the screen, was set in a wistful gaze. At that moment, I felt as if I were being given a window into her heart, the unreflective heart of her youth. I suddenly realized that the depiction of childlike blacks I was now seeing on the screen, the reverse image of Conrad’s dark savages, was what my mother had carried with her to Hawaii all those years before, a reflection of the simple fantasies that had been forbidden to a white middle-class girl from Kansas, the promise of another life: warm, sensual, exotic, different.

I post this not only as an example of how profoundly and compassionately Barack Obama grapples with racial identity but as a reminder of how people of color see race (mis)represented in art and, more selfishly, the estrangement I sometimes feel as a film critic of mixed-race heritage. “I turned away, embarrassed for her, irritated with the people around me.” Those are Obama’s words, about his mother and the crowd at the revival theater, but they could just as easily be mine, describing what I often feel whenever I see predominantly white audiences swoon for obscene films like Crash, Ann Dunham and Barack ObamaBlood Diamond, and Under the Same Moon, wishing they could see how those films pander to white prejudices by condescending to non-white experience, and how that’s a symbiotic relationship worth affronting.

When I flip through Dreams from My Father, I marvel at the way Obama discusses race, an integral part of his being, and I find camaraderie in his passion, his rage, his frustrations, his curiosity, his understanding, and most of all his conviction. I read Obama and I ponder the way critics like Armond White discuss racial identity and critics like Amy Taubin discuss sexuality, sometimes with deliberate calculation and desire to provoke but always as a natural expression of their distinctive being and as a fearless extension of their life experience, and I am reminded of the hate mail that filters into my inbox, almost regularly since the jejune days of this site, in which I am called a faggot, a spic, a wetback, sometimes worse, at which point I wonder and sometimes laugh at the pain that has nearly provoked me at times over the years to cover my mouth and hang up the skates.

There are many critics who I admire who are white, who are white and who are men, who are white and who are men and who are straight, but I admit to feeling a closer kinship to critics who are not white, critics who are women, and critics who don’t treat their homosexuality as a dirty secret. Some are more radical than others, strident in their desire to level the playing field, but most speak naturally from the gut about the meaning of the flickering images they absorb with their own eyes, a know-how informed by what they have lived as persons who are not white, persons without dicks swinging between their legs, persons who worry if they’ll be reprimanded for expressing desire for a celebrity of their own sex. Rather than toe a hegemonic line, they keep it real, braving the wrath of persons unused to a certain frankness and diversity of discourse, scaring us by asking us to look, acknowledge, confront the dangers that are explicitly there, sometimes dormant, in popular art.

People asking critics to keep their sexual, racial, and gender politics out of their reviews is as insulting to me as asking America to pretend Hillary Clinton doesn’t have a vagina or Barack Obama’s face ain’t white. “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” said Geraldine Ferraro earlier this month about Obama. “And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.” Obama Geraldine Ferrarosupporters cried foul, calling Ferraro a racist, as if they hadn’t seen the poll numbers that reveal Obama’s support among blacks, as if they never read his books or heard his speeches; if they had, they might understand that Obama’s race is exactly what makes him so special.

Ferraro’s comments may have been superficial and resentful but they weren’t racist, and the shrill reaction to her statement only confirmed that most Americans don’t know how to talk about race, and the fact that Slant Magazine’s Sal Cinquemani felt that I would incur less wrath (if any) for voicing anything resembling sympathy for Ferraro because he is white and I am not also shows that there are those who know how but censor themselves nonetheless because there are unspoken rules about how race should be talked about and who should do the talking. Joe Scarborough, earlier this month, braved such conversation on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher about how the language people often use to describe and praise Obama (like “articulate”) denotes racism, that we seem to prefer our black politicians to behave a certain way, a bitter truth amusingly touched upon in a recent SNL cartoon that bitingly depicted Obama subjugating Jesse Jackson and Al Shapton’s roles in his political campaign.

However knee-jerk and unpolished, Ferraro’s words acknowledge a mystique surrounding Obama that, in some ways, is not unlike the support Brokeback Mountain received a few years ago, when the film was perceived by gay rights activists posing as critics as a first-of-its-kind: the first mainstream gay-themed film to make money, and one to ostensibly turn the heat down on the nation’s homophobic temper. It didn’t seem to matter that Brokeback was about as aesthetically radical as a Bob Ross painting, only that it was a coup for gay representation on the big screen, and when it lost to Crash for Best Picture, the enraged chalked it up to homophobia, never considering that Crash, infinitely worse than Ang Lee’s prestige picture, simply appealed more strongly to a different, Brokeback Mountainmore insular, more topical sort of political bias. Of course, where the Obama-Brokeback analogy diverges is that while Obama does seem to inspire a certain degree of blind, therefore disingenuous, devotion from his base, I can’t say it’s unfair.

Ferraro’s resentment for the Obama mystique becomes laughable when you consider that she was a booster for Hillary Clinton, whose viability as a presidential candidate wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for her sex (or nepotism). If there was a time when I was hesitant to rally behind Obama, specifically around the time I cast my vote for Clinton in the New Jersey primary (there, I admit it!), it was because I had a difficult time (still do, actually) associating with Obama supporters (essentially all my friends) and how their stokedom for Obama hinges, in part, on sexually humiliating Clinton. (They are the same people raging against SNL for its supposed bias against Obama, people like Joshua Alston of Newsweek who’ve misrepresented Fred Armisen’s racial background, failing to recognize that the comedian’s mixed heritage actually makes him the best choice to play the role of Obama in the show’s political sketches.) For proof, just listen to the way the belligerent Chris Matthews or Keith Olbermann, no longer my favorite news guy, talk about the woman on MSNBC—though I’m sure Amy Taubin would say I sound the same way when I talk about Asia Argento (thanks, Nathan, for making me lose sleep this week!).

As evidenced by Dreams from My Father, talking about race comes naturally and forcefully to Obama, a point the media, Obama himself, or his campaign hasn’t really been upfront about, no doubt because the Obama campaign, like Scarborough, understands that the perceived antagonism of Sharpton, who some think gave the most important speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, is not something they want to come close to evoking. In Dreams from My Father, I get a sense of a tougher, more vigilant and conflicted Obama, one who thought about and lashed out against the cruelty of racism in its many manifestations (like the people who would traipse into his Harlem neighborhood so FOX Newstheir dogs could shit on his sidewalk, like the white lady in the elevator of his grandparents’ Hawaii apartment building who thought he was stalking her), one who has struggled to understand, sometimes defy the stereotypes of black experience, an Obama I have rarely seen on television. Until this week.

When the insidious FOX began to smear Obama by drudging up Reverend Wright’s presumably controversial opinions about 9/11, the liberal media played dumb, “parroting” (to quote MoveOn.org’s Political Action Team) FOX’s hate speech and pretending as if the seven years since 9/11 never happened—all that death, all those walking wounded, all that political discourse we’ve had about cause and effect (why 9/11 happened, then why Iraq happened—or, rather, why it shouldn’t have happened). The world suddenly became stupider—and then Obama gave the single greatest speech of this entire political season, one delivered with close to the same ardor and ballsiness with which Obama once described his weary flight as an embittered black man throughout his youth, the devil nipping at his heels.

This is the Obama who once wrote: “Look at yourself before you pass judgment. Don’t make someone else clean up your mess. It’s not about you. They were such simple points, homilies I had heard a thousand times before, in all their variations, from TV sitcoms and philosophy books, from my grandparents and from my mother. I had stopped listening at a certain point, I now realized, so wrapped up had I been in my own perceived injuries, so eager was I to escape the imagined traps that white authority had set for me. To that white world, I had been willing to cede the values of my childhood, as if those values were somehowBarack Obama and Reverend Wright irreversibly soiled by the endless falsehoods that white spoke about black.”

It was probably too much for Obama to argue that Wright was more right than he was wrong, ceding not so much to the white world as to a political machine wary of too much gumption, but he still risked plenty for a presidential hopeful wanting to remain electable, renouncing the Reverend’s words if not the man himself, showing the world his backbone, getting philosophical on us without condescension, acknowledging the legacy of slavery, that racism is a problem, that race should be a topic of discussion in our everyday lives, recognizing our unique needs, our common hopes, giving us the context for Wright’s speech that the media did not, referencing the conversations people have inside churches and barbershops, loci of male identity for men of all races, intimating throughout that while he may not have been in public office for as many years as Clinton or John McCain, his experience is of a greater sort, rooted in his genes, the know-how of having lived abroad, having seen racism and colonialism in action, having contemplated the causes and effects of hate, and having struggled, desperately and painfully, to translate vision into action.

Obama’s political courage should be studied, and though his speech was generally well-received, he has been declining in polls (against both Clinton and McCain) since the Wright scandal, and one wonders if he’ll fully recover, having dared to go where few, if any, politicians ever go, having suggested that race should be kept on the table, having shown that his smoldering desire to cultivate conversation about how people are split along racial and ideological lines is not only essential to healing our nation but reaching out and brokering peaceful relations with the non-white leaders of nations abroad. It appears that he will be the Democratic candidate for president, and though I worry for the mental health of anyone who would opt for McCain over Obama, if Obama were to lose in November, he always has a career as a film critic.

This blog entry was originally published on Slant Magazine on the date above.

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Watch the First Trailer for Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman

Today, Netflix has given us our first look at the film, which stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.

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The Irishman
Photo: Netflix

On Monday, it was announced that The Irishman, Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Charles Brandt’s nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses, will open this year’s New York Film Festival. And today, Netflix, which will release the film in select theaters and on its streaming service at some point later in the year, has given us our first look at the production, which stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.

According to Netflix’s official description, The Irishman is “an epic saga of organized crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa, and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organized crime.”

In a statement from Film at Lincoln Center, New York Film Festival director Kent Jones, a frequent collaborator of Scorsese’s, said that The Irishman is “the work of masters, made with a command of the art of cinema that I’ve seen very rarely in my lifetime, and it plays out at a level of subtlety and human intimacy that truly stunned me.”

See the kinetic trailer, which provides us with our first look of the film’s sure-to-be-controversial “de-aging” VFX techniques, below:

The Irishman will premiere at the New York Film Festival on September 27.

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Disney’s Mulan Live-Action Remake, Starring Yifei Liu, Gets Teaser Trailer

The film follows a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a warrior in order to spare her ailing father from war.

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Mulan
Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Today, during the Women’s World Cup final between America and the Netherlands, Disney premiered the first trailer for its live-action remake of the 1998 animated move of the same name. The film follows a young Chinese woman (Yifei Liu) who, after the Emperor of China (Jet Li) issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial army, disguises herself as a warrior in order to spare the life of her ailing father (Tzi Ma). According to Disney’s official description of the film: “Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.”

Mulan features a celebrated international cast that also includes Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan, Yoson An as Cheng Honghui, and Gong Li as Xianniang. The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Elizabeth Martin, and Lauren Hynek based on the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan.”

See the action-packed teaser trailer below:

Disney will release Mulan in March 2020.

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Taylor Swift Drops Star-Studded, Pride-Themed “You Need to Calm Down” Video

The video takes the notion of visibility as a means of acceptance to the extreme.

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Taylor Swift
Photo: YouTube

After years of political agnosticism, Taylor Swift endorsed two Tennessee Democrats during the 2018 midterm elections, prompting a backlash from white supremacists and their dear leader, Donald Trump. In the span of less than a year, the singer went from being the Aryan goddess of the alt-right to being called out as an agent of sodomy in a sermon by a homophobic pastor and sheriff’s deputy in her home state.

Swift’s path to wokeness has been a long one, and while the launch of her new single, “You Need to Calm Down,” during LGBT Pride Month might feel like the equivalent of Google slapping a rainbow flag on their logo, her activism—which included a recent $113,000 donation to a Tennessee LGBT organization—seems like more than just a branding opportunity. “To be an ally is to understand the difference between advocating and baiting,” Swift posted on Tumblr after rumors circulated that she kisses former rival Katy Perry in the video for “You Need to Calm Down,” the second single from Swift’s seventh album, Lover.

The clip does, however, take the notion of visibility as a means of acceptance to the extreme, featuring cameos from RuPaul, Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Lambert, Adam Rippon, Laverne Cox, Billy Porter, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (whom she serenaded at a surprise performance at New York’s Stonewall Inn last week), and other queer celebrities, YouTube stars, and allies.

Directed by Swift and Drew Kirsch, the video opens with the pop singer waking up in a pastel-colored trailer home adorned with kitschy paintings and a framed Cher quote (“Mom, I am a rich man”). She makes herself a cotton-candy smoothie, takes a dip the cleanest above-ground pool you’ll ever see, and parades through the trailer park’s pride-themed festivities, which includes a “pop queen pageant” featuring drag versions of Swift, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Adele, Cardi B, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Katy Perry.

The real Katy pops up for a heartfelt reunion with Swift that makes “You Need to Calm Down”—which seems to strive for, but falls short of, the campy eye candy that Perry has honed in her own videos over the years—feel like a bachelorette party at a gay bar. But just in case you question Swift’s allegiance to the cause, the video ends with a message urging viewers to sign her petition for Senate support of the Equality Act.

Watch below:

Swift’s album, Lover, is due August 23 via Republic Records.

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Mykki Blanco Is a Trans Joan of Arc in Madonna’s “Dark Ballet” Video – Watch

The self-described transfeminine rapper stars in the video from the queen of pop’s upcoming album Madame X.

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Mykki Blanco
Photo: YouTube

While presenting Madonna with GLAAD’s Advocate for Change award last month, Mykki Blanco hinted that a collaboration with the queen of pop might be imminent. Sure enough, the self-described transfeminine rapper stars in the video for “Dark Ballet,” the final track to be released in the lead-up to Madonna’s new album, Madame X.

Directed by Dutch Ghanaian visual artist Emmanuel Adjei, “Dark Ballet” echoes the themes of Madonna’s infamous “Like a Prayer” video, awash with Catholic iconography and a storyline revolving around a persecuted black person. But that’s where the similarities end. The singer only briefly appears in the clip, behind a black veil, and the burning crosses of her 1989 video are traded for a ceremonial burning at the stake.

The video is frenetic and non-linear, opening with Blanco held captive in a stonewalled room, wrapped in a dirty white robe. Wrists bound with rope, he’s led by clergymen to be executed for an undisclosed crime. He’s then seen dancing, first in a cathedral—pleading with the men, who forsake him—and then in the church’s sanctuary, dressed in a gold corset reminiscent of the iconic one designed by Jean Paul Gaultier for Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour. Madonna is, in effect, all over the video, but her casting of a queer person of color as the oppressed, rather than herself, spotlights the disproportionate impact of the patriarchy on minorities.

Produced by Madonna and longtime collaborator Mirwais, the song itself is an ambitious electro suite featuring a heavily Auto-Tuned denouncement of gender, lies, and fame, before the track breaks into Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Reed Pipes” from The Nutcracker accompanied by a robot Joan of Arc proclaiming her faith. (There’s a brief, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot from Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 film The Passion of Joan of Arc near the beginning of the video.) The song is a reminder of the wacky magic Madonna and Mirwais are capable of cooking up together.

Watch below:

Madame X will be released on June 14 via Interscope Records.

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James Gray’s Ad Astra, Starring Brad Pitt, Gets Official Trailer

It has been a wild ride to the screen for the film, which Gray announced way back in 2016 at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Ad Astra
Photo: 20th Century Fox

It has been a wild ride to the screen for Ad Astra, which director James Gray announced way back in 2016 at the Cannes Film Festival. Originally it was set to come out in the doldrums of January, then on May 24, but as a trailer had yet to be announced in the leadup to that date, it was inevitable that the release would get bumped again. And it was probably for the best, as a film with the obvious ambition as this one wouldn’t get the attention it deserved from its studio—or is it studios?—had it opened in the midst of the confusing Disney-Fox Hollywood merger continuing to play out at that time.

Anyway, today we’ve been gifted with the official trailer for Ad Astra, and the official announcement that it will be coming out on September 20, which suggests that a world premiere at a fall festival is in order. The film tells the story of an astronaut, Roy McBride (Brad Pitt), who “travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet.”

Shot by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema (Dunkirk) and scored by post-minimalist composer Max Richter, Ad Astra has been likened by Gray to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and described as “the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie and to basically say, ‘Space is awfully hostile to us.’” In addition to Pitt, who’s also a producer on the film, Ad Astra stars Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland, Jamie Kennedy, John Finn, Kimberly Elise, Bobby Nish, and LisaGay Hamilton.

Watch the official trailer below:

20th Century Fox will release Ad Astra on September 20.

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Terminator: Dark Fate Official Trailer: Going Back to the Well with Sarah Connor

Linda Hamilton at least makes a killer impression as Sarah visits fiery justice upon Gabriel Luna’s terminator.

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Terminator: Dark Fate
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Today, Paramount dropped the trailer for the sixth entry in the Terminator series, Terminator: Dark Fate, which promises to deliver…more of the same? With this film, Deadpool director Tim Miller aims to give the series a reboot: by pretending that none of the films that came after Terminator 2: Judgement Day ever existed (sorry, Rise of the Machines fans), maybe even Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. “Welcome to the day after judgment day,” reads the poster, promising the badass return of Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor. And on that front, the film looks to deliver, as Hamilton certainly makes a killer impression as Sarah visits fiery justice upon Gabriel Luna’s terminator.

But based on everything else that’s on display throughout the trailer, we’re worried that there’s not anything new that a film in this series stands to bring to the table besides running and gunning, with the occasional wink thrown in for good measure. Cast in point: Mackenzie Davis stars as Grace, an “enhanced human” who looks to fill the hanger-on role to Connor that Edward Furlong’s John Connor did to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800, now apparently living in woodsy retirement, and at the ready to give sage advice. In short, we’re not impressed, and that also holds true of that cover of Björk’s “Hunter” by some zombie man singer.

Watch the official trailer below:

Paramount Pictures will release Terminator Dark Fate on November 1.

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The Nightingale Trailer: Aisling Franciosi and Sam Claflin Star in Jennifer Kent’s Follow-Up to The Babadook

Today, IFC has released the first trailer for the film, which is set during the colonization of Australia in 1825.

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The Nightingale
Photo: Matt Nettheim

Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale, the Aussie filmmaker’s much-anticipated follow-up to The Babadook, premiered way back in September at the Venice Film Festival, and to mostly positive notices. Today, ahead of its U.S. theatrical release in August, IFC has released the first trailer for the film, which is set during the colonization of Australia in 1825 and follows a young Irish convict settler, Clare (played by Aisling Franciosi), who, after finishing her seven-year sentence, struggles to be free of her abusive master, Lieutenant Hawkins (Sam Claflin). According to the studio’s official description of the film:

Clare’s husband Aidan (Michael Sheasby) retaliates and she becomes the victim of a harrowing crime at the hands of the lieutenant and his cronies. When British authorities fail to deliver justice, Clare decides to pursue Hawkins, who leaves his post suddenly to secure a captaincy up north. Unable to find compatriots for her journey, she is forced to enlist the help of a young Aboriginal tracker Billy (Baykali Ganambarr) who grudgingly takes her through the rugged wilderness to track down Hawkins. The terrain and the prevailing hostilities are frightening, as fighting between the original inhabitants of the land and its colonizers plays out in what is now known as “The Black War.” Clare and Billy are hostile towards each other from the outset, both suffering their own traumas and mutual distrust, but as their journey leads them deeper into the wilderness, they must learn to find empathy for one another, while weighing the true cost of revenge.

Watch the official trailer below:

IFC Films will release The Nightingale in NY and LA on August 2.

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Downton Abbey Trailer Sees the Crawley Clan Prepping for a Royal Arrival

Kippers for breakfast, Aunt Helga? Is it St. Swithin’s Day already? No, it ain’t, dear. ‘Tis Downtown Abbey Day.

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Downton Abbey
Photo: Focus Features

Kippers for breakfast, Aunt Helga? Is it St. Swithin’s Day already? No, it ain’t, dear. ‘Tis Downton Abbey Day—that is, the release of the official trailer for the Downton Abbey movie. It’s been some three years since we’ve gotten to sip tea with the Crawley clan and hang out downstairs with the servants making sure that the biscuits are placed just right on the proper fine bone china tea set. And from the looks of the two-and-a-half-minute trailer, it would appear that nothing has changed at Downton Abbey since the series’s finale.

In the tradition of Mad Men’s episode-ending “next week on AMC’s Mad Men” teasers, it’s just a series of snappy snippets that suggest we’re in for more of the same, from Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess of Grantham snarking up a storm to Robert James-Collier’s Thomas Barrow getting his gay on. And we are here for it. The cherry on top? The king and queen are coming to Downton! And as everything must be in tip-top shape for their arrival, the Crawleys must enlist the help of the one and only Charles Carson (Jim Carter), who is treated here with the reverence of a god, or a superhero from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Downton Abbey is directed by Michael Engler and written by Oscar- and Emmy-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes. And in addition to the aforementioned actors, the film stars Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Matthew Goode, Harry Hadden-Paton, David Haig, Geraldine James, Simon Jones, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Tuppence Middleton, Stephen Campbell Moore, Lesley Nicol, Kate Phillips, Imelda Staunton, and Penelope Wilton.

Watch the official trailer below:

Focus Features will release Downton Abbey on September 20.

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Watch the Teaser Trailer for Andy Muschietti’s It Chapter Two, Starring Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader

The teaser seems hell-bent on satisfying those who found the first film to be an over-directed succession of freakouts.

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It Chapter Two
Photo: Warner Bros.

Today, Warner Bros. revealed the teaser trailer for It Chapter Two, Andy Muschietti’s highly anticipated follow-up to his worldwide box-office smash It. The teaser is certainly promising, if only because it seems hell-bent on satisfying above all else those who might have found the first film to be an over-directed succession of freakouts. Indeed, while the trendy retroism of that film is certainly evident across this teaser’s three minutes, there’s something rather impressive about how it forces us to spend so much time stewing in the atmosphere of dread that slowly overcomes the adult Beverly (Jessica Chastain) inside an old woman’s house as she comes to realize that she and other grown-up members of the Losers Club may not have fully shaken off the horror that is Pennywise.

In addition to Chastain, It Chapter Two stars James McAvoy as Bill, Bill Hader as Richie, Isaiah Mustafa as Mike, Jay Ryan as Ben, James Ransone as Eddie, and Andy Bean as Stanley. Reprising their roles as the original members of the Losers Club are Jaeden Martell as Bill, Wyatt Oleff as Stanley, Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie, Finn Wolfhard as Richie, Sophia Lillis as Beverly, Chosen Jacobs as Mike, and Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben. And, of course, there’s Bill Skarsgård, who reprises his role of Pennywise.

See the teaser trailer below:

Warner Bros. will release It Chapter Two on September 6.

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Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now Final Cut Coming to Theaters in August

The film remains as legendary for its artistry as it is for the difficulty of its making.

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Apocalypse Now Final Cut
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now is as legendary for its artistry as it is for the difficulty of its making. Some have argued that Coppola became the victim of the film’s legend with the 2001 release of Apocalypse Now Redux, a significant re-edit of the original film put together by the director and editor Walter Murch. The two most famous additions made to the original had its naysayers for being flow-breaking: the second meeting with the Playboy playmates, and the meeting with a family of holdout French colonists on a remote rubber plantation. I recommend you read the responses to this tweet from critic Glenn Kenny to get a sense of what we have in store from the new, never-before-seen restored version of the film, entitled Apocalypse Now: Final Cut, coming our way in August.

According to Lionsgate, the film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, has been remastered from the original negative in 4K Ultra HD.

The Beacon Theatre will be outfitted for this exclusive occasion with Meyer VLFC (Very Low Frequency Control), a ground-breaking loudspeaker system engineered to output audio frequencies below the limits of human hearing, giving the audience a truly visceral experience. In addition, the film has been enhanced with Dolby Vision, delivering spectacular colors and highlights that are up to 40 times brighter and blacks that are 10 times darker, and Dolby Atmos, producing moving audio that flows all around you with breathtaking realism.

Audiences will be able to experience a special NAGRA myCinema theatrical release of Apocalypse Now Final Cut on the giant screen in select theaters nationwide on August 15. Then, on August 27, the film will be available to own on a 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, which will include a 4K disc, plus three Blu-ray discs and a digital copy.

Watch the trailer for the film below:

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