Sword of Trust
A likable throwback to the kind of rambling, character-driven 1990s indie comedies that the U.S. film industry barely releases to theaters anymore.
Thumbnails is a roundup of brief excerpts to introduce you to articles from other websites that we found interesting and exciting. We provide links to the original sources for you to read in their entirety.—Chaz Ebert
“I did not care about the money; I was so excited to work with him and that company. In my naïveté, I thought my dream had come true. He had validated the last 14 years of my life. He had taken a chance on me — a nobody. He had said yes. Little did I know it would become my turn to say no. No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with. No to me taking a shower with him. No to letting him watch me take a shower. No to letting him give me a massage. No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage. No to letting him give me oral sex. No to my getting naked with another woman. No, no, no, no, no … And with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage. I don’t think he hated anything more than the word ‘no.’ The absurdity of his demands went from getting a furious call in the middle of the night asking me to fire my agent for a fight he was having with him about a different movie with a different client to physically dragging me out of the opening gala of the Venice Film Festival, which was in honor of ‘Frida,’ so I could hang out at his private party with him and some women I thought were models but I was told later were high-priced prostitutes. The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, ‘I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.’”
"Facebook Is Banning Women for Calling Men 'Scum'": Essential reporting from The Daily Beast's Taylor Lorenz.
“When reached for comment a Facebook spokesperson said that the company is working hard to remedy any issues related to harassment on the platform and stipulated that all posts that violate community standards are removed. When asked why a statement such as ‘men are scum’ would violate community standards, a Facebook spokesperson said that the statement was an attack and hate speech toward a protected group and so it would rightfully be taken down. As ProPublica revealed in an investigation in June, white men are listed as a protected group by the platform. A Facebook spokesperson clarified that this is because all genders, races, and religions are all protected characteristics under Facebook’s current policy. However, it’s clear that even with 7,000 Facebook content moderators, things slip through the cracks. Female comedians have speculated that it’s internalized misogyny on the behalf of Facebook’s content moderation team that leads to punishment such as banning to be doled out unequally. Several have tried posting ‘women are scum,’ had their friends report the posts, and subsequently suffered zero consequences.”
"Vinyl, VCRs and Vintage TV Static Live on at the Museum of Endangered Sounds": As reported by our own Donald Liebenson at Vanity Fair.
“Marcel Proust was referring to smells and tastes, but he could have easily added sounds to the list when he wrote, ‘After the things are broken and scattered, taste and smell alone remain . . . poised a long time, like souls, remembering, waiting . . .’ Whether you’re a millennial or a baby boomer, clicking through MOES’s audio exhibits, which include the chattering of a dot-matrix printer, Speak & Spell’s robotic instructions, an ‘at-the-tone’ time operator, can bring out one’s inner geezer. Ledesma waxes nostalgic about her family’s first Internet connection the way boomers recall their families’ first color television set. ‘I was five or six years-old,’ she said. ‘It was a big deal.’ For the most part, the devices themselves don’t exactly elicit a ‘you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone’ feeling. Take the VCR: replaced by the sleeker and sharper DVD, videocassettes are a relic on par with floppy discs, and good riddance. So why does the whirring sound of a VHS tape rewinding evoke a wistfulness that can make one forget the rage that came when said VCR chewed up a week’s worth of cached All My Children episodes? ‘It’s hard to be nostalgic because technology is so much better than it used to be,’ notes Tim Colonius, a professor of mechanical engineering at Caltech. ‘The first modem I remember was the big clunky thing you stuck the phone into the handset. It’s strange, isn’t it? At Caltech, there are piles of old crap for which we spent a lot of money. They were cool and high tech when we bought them. We think something is permanent, and then it’s obsolete and gone.’”
"Jumping the Wall: Andrew Droz Palermo's 'One & Two'": My appreciation at Indie Outlook of a 2015 indie gem now available on Netflix, featuring great performances from Timothée Chalamet and Kiernan Shipka.
“There are shades here of Joachim Trier’s ‘Thelma,’ another powerful exploration of religious repression and the debilitating effect it can have on one’s identity. In that picture, a young woman discovers that her epileptic seizures were the result of ignorance enforced by her parents. She has an ability similar to that of Zac and Eva—she can teleport people from one place to another when her emotions are heightened—but rather than teach her how to use these powers constructively, her father refuses to inform her about them. He relies on the fear of God and his exhaustive parental monitoring to keep her in line, yet his plans will inevitably prove to be as futile as those of Daniel. For a considerable portion of its swift 90-minute running time, ‘One & Two’ is a wrenching portrait of abuse and how it can psychologically confine us, even when we possess the power to escape. Having been forced to spend an entire night pinned face-first to a wall, Zac refuses to go against his father’s orders, turning down Eva’s routine invitation to join her for a swim. ‘It’s not worth it,’ he replies, ‘We have to do what he says.’ Prior to unleashing his wrath on Eva, Daniel locks Zac in a closet, leaving his son to howl furiously in the dark. Since the rules of their teleportation are left ambiguous, I was mystified by why Zac chose to remain there. Couldn’t his powers help him escape? Perhaps not, or perhaps the fear of teleporting in his father’s presence is what kept him trapped there. In either case, Daniel is clearly protecting his own self-hatred onto his kids. If his wife had received the medical treatment she needed, she may not have perished.”
"Why 'S.W.A.T.' is beating Hollywood action movies at their own game": According to The Talkhouse's Jim Hemphill.
“I have to admit that the idea of a TV show based on a middling movie (the 2003 Samuel Jackson/Colin Farrell/Michelle Rodriguez/LL Cool J clunker) that was itself based on an old TV show didn’t sound promising when I first heard about it, but series creators Aaron Rahsaan Thomas and Shawn Ryan are clearly just taking advantage of the ‘S.W.A.T.’ title and the craze for shows based on pre-existing material to make the show they’re really interested in – this owes about as much to earlier iterations of ‘S.W.A.T.’ as Russ Meyer’s ‘Beyond the Valley of the Dolls’ does to its alleged inspiration. Thomas and Ryan take the original show’s theme song and the concept of a Special Weapons and Tactics team fighting crime, but beyond that the new ‘S.W.A.T.’ is a total original. The first clue to what Thomas and Ryan are up to comes in the new show’s specificity; the original ‘S.W.A.T.’ took place in a vague urban setting, but the new version is very explicitly and concretely set in Los Angeles – and it’s possibly the best use of L.A. locations I’ve ever seen on television, which is saying something. After a hundred years of films and TV shows shooting here, you’d think there’d be nothing new to unearth, but ‘S.W.A.T.’’s location managers consistently find places that are instantly recognizable to longtime residents of the city but haven’t been used to death on other shows – and when they do resort to a familiar location, it still feels unique because it’s so organic to the series’ particular stories and characters.”
At The Ringer, Danny Heifetz investigates whether SkyCam "will change the way we watch football."
Lucha libre fans are sure to appreciate Polaris Castillo's touching short film, "El Luchador," which recently premiered on Vimeo.
A video essay about Mortal Engines, as part of Scout Tafoya's ongoing video essay series on maligned masterpieces.
This is the most purely entertaining season of Stranger Things to date.
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...