Dave Chappelle Clash; Bong Joon-ho Meets Batman; Pennywise The Story of It

Dave Chappelle cannot stop talking about trans people; Bong Joon-ho meets Batman; where to see the new doc Pennywise: The Story of IT, about a miniseries that ruined many childhoods.

But First: We’ll announce our new cover star Monday. We’re excited. Fun fact: She told us that if she could have dinner with anyone, it would be our previous cover star, Nicolas Cage.

Out Today: The new Claire Denis film Both Sides of the Blade, starring Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon as a couple haunted by the reappearance of her ex-lover, who is also his former best friend. Carlos Aguilar interviewed Denis for us about Paris, choosing her words carefully, and losing her phone.

Thor: Love and Thunder and Money: The new Thor sequel opened to $29 million Thursday, the second-best Thursday preview of the year behind Thor’s friend Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which earned $36 million in Thursday preview showings. You can read more of our Thor coverage here and here.

Bong Joon-ho’s Next Film: The Parasite Oscar winner’s next film will reunite him with Steven Yeun, and will also star The Batman lead Robert Pattinson, Variety reports. Though it doesn’t have a name, it’s based on the Edward Ashton’s novel Mickey7. Steven Yeun, one of the stars of Jordan Peele’s much anticipated Nope, also starred in the 2017 Bong Joon-ho film Okja.

Remembering James Caan: Caan’s Godfather co-star Al Pacino, Thief director Michael Mann and major Caan fan Adam Sandler were among those who paid tribute to the actor, who died yesterday at 82.

Pennywise: The Story of IT: In New England this weekend? If so, try to catch a screening of the new doc Pennywise: The Story of IT, which recounts the history of the terrifying 1990 Stephen King miniseries. Here’s the trailer:

More on Pennywise: I feel especially close to this one because my friend John Campopiano and his co-director Christopher Griffiths have spent years on this project, landing interviews with Tim Curry, Seth Green, and many others involved in the film. (The doc dates back even before the recent IT films.) I’m thrilled to see it for the first time late tomorrow night (Saturday) at one of my favorite theaters, The Coolidge, just outside Boston. It’s also playing tonight at the Columbus Theatre in Providence.  The film is also on VOD and streaming exclusively on Screambox July 26. It premiered the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival in Spain, and Deadline wrote this when Cinedigm bought the rights.

Filmocracy: In L.A. next weekend? Check out Filmocracy Fest from July 14-17, featuring a mix of narratives, documentaries, shorts, student films and “Best of Fest” award-winning films. It’s at the Lumiere Cinema at the Music Hall, a venue I love. Details are here. Not in L.A. this weekend? You can access all the films online by purchasing a virtual pass right here.

Netflix Culture Clash: Vulture has a good piece on the culture clash at Netflix, focused on something called the “the Open Q&A doc,” a Google doc in which employees — including engineers not involved in creative decisions —  could ask co-CEO Reed Hastings anything. But given the internal division over Dave Chappelle’s The Closer and other recent programming, Vulture suggests, the tradition of openness may be changing. The story’s brutal headline summarizes things: “Netflix to Its Techies: Shut Up.”

More Chappelle: Netflix surprise-released a new Dave Chappelle release yesterday called What’s in a Name, consisting of a speech in which Chappelle responded to critics who accuse him of transphobia in past specials. He says in the new special: “You cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance from his words. It would be like if you were reading a newspaper and they say, ‘Man Shot in the Face by a Six-Foot Rabbit Expected to Survive,’ you’d be like, ‘Oh my god,’ and they never tell you it’s a Bugs Bunny cartoon.” Chappelle adds: “The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it.”

May I Editorialize?: I’ve always thought Chappelle was using artistic nuance in his trans material, presenting himself as a foolish, dopey character who has things to learn — kind of like Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat. I don’t think Chappelle wants to encourage hate, but is rather asking his audience to examine their own prejudices. I support his right to do that. But having a right and exercising a right ad nauseam are different things.

As a Dave Chappelle fan I would also love for him to move on and talk about something else now. He’s repeating himself, and the trans debate threatens to overtake everything else he’s done. As Chappelle said in the only good joke in The Closer: “Any of you, who have ever watched me, know that I’ve never had a problem with transgender people. If you listen to what I’m saying, clearly my problem has always been with white people.” Dave Chappelle, please: Come back to going after me and my fellow white people.

Main image: If you were a kid in 1990 you know exactly who this is.