James Bond and Pussy Galore, "Goldfinger" (1965)

When I decided to re-watch all of the James Bond movies in chronological order, I wasn't exactly expecting a politically correct, feminist franchise that would pass the Bechdel test with flying colors.

My memory of the early movies consisted of a lot of smarmy one-liners, plenty of women in those kind of pointy bikini tops, bad guys with Russian or German accents, and loads of shots of Sean Connery's legs. As far as Bond's relationship with women, I remembered that he was unquestionably a womanizer and women often just melted into his arms, apparently seduced by the mere sight of him. I was prepared to laugh at these outdated tropes and accept the movies' questionable gender dynamics as a product of a different time. I wasn't expecting to see point blank sexual assault.

WARNING: Discussion of rape and sexual assault.

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E3

The recent cancellation of E3 2020 is a major bummer for the gaming community, but it's not exactly a surprise.

COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic (it's official!) currently sweeping the world, is primarily spread from person-to-person. This means that any area where large numbers of people are gathered together—subway cars, office spaces, jam-packed convention centers—are best to be avoided right now. So unfortunately, yes, every major upcoming event you're excited for is almost definitely canceled (or, at the very least, postponed). Oh, and if you don't see the event you're most excited for on this list, don't worry. It will be.

E3

E3 E3

From major sequel reveals to new console previews, E3 announcements shape the gaming industry year after year. But while gamers await E3 news with bated breath, there's no video game that's actually worth risking your upper respiratory system over (except maybe Final Fantasy VII Remake). Besides, it's important to keep in mind that everything planned for E3 will still be revealed later. The PlayStation 5 is still happening, but you can't play it if you're dead.

Emerald City Comic Con

Emerald City comic con ECCC

Seattle's Comic Con has gotten big enough in recent years to warrant a serious stop on any nerd culture enthusiast's yearly circuit, but that also means it's big enough to warrant shutting down over coronavirus. Take solace knowing that the scalpers will need to wait a little longer to get their grubby hands on those sweet exclusives before you're forced to pay them a premium.

Google I/O and pretty much every tech event

Google IO Google

People who work in tech most likely (hopefully) believe in science, so don't expect to be attending any tech conferences during a global pandemic. Not only are dev events like Google I/O canceled, but pretty much every major tech company is also having their employees work from home. Because, you know, they actually care about their employees' health and safety.

Tucson Festival of Books

Tucson Festival of books

Coronavirus can be transmitted through infected surfaces, so books aren't safe either. Okay, that's not actually why the Tucson Festival of Books has been canceled. The problem is still tons of people, many of whom are unlikely to show symptoms even if they're infected, all in one place. But the thought of a ton of people reading books together in the middle of a global health crisis is still kind of amusing.

SXSW, Coachella, and probably every music event for the foreseeable future

Coachella Street Style At The 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 2 Getty Images for Coachella

The film and music industries, both of which heavily revolve around event-based media, are going to be hit especially hard by COVID-19. SXSW is canceled and refusing to refund passholders, putting plenty of budding filmmakers and musical artists in a major financial bind. Coachella is canceled, too, which is probably for the best considering what a hot bed of germs music festivals tend to be, even when there's not a global pandemic. If you're still holding onto any concert tickets at the moment, try to get a refund sooner rather than later.

Movies

James Bond No time to die United Artists Releasing

Speaking of movies, movies are done. You can still go to the theater, sure, but is there any movie that's actually worth risking spreading COVID-19 over? The new James Bond movie, No Time to Die, is even being pushed back. So stay home. Watch Netflix. This is...no time to die.

St. Patrick's Day Parades and also most other cultural events

St patricks day parade Photo via Visit Philadelphia

Watching the St. Patrick's Day Parade is an Irish tradition, which is exactly why the whole thing is being called off this year. If it's allowed to happen, people will go, and if people go, some of them are going to get coronavirus. Looking at people marching while wearing green clothes and shamrock face paint is not worth killing the elderly.

College

Harvard

Pretty much everything can be done online now, and that includes college. Why sit in a classroom full of potentially infected students when you can watch your professor talk onscreen, right from the comfort of your living room? The truth is that people barely need to interact face-to-face anymore, and maybe COVID-19 is here to teach us that waking up and going to a physical building to do work is silly and irrelevant.

Italy

Italy

If you haven't been following world news, here's an important update: Italy has basically shut down due to COVID-19. And if you're in America thinking, "How does that apply to me?" come back in three weeks and let us know. America is about to get hit hard. If you still don't think that's true, we're sorry to inform you, but your stupidity is terminal (for at least 3.4% of the population).

New Releases

Billie Eilish Releases "No Time to Die" for New 007 Movie

The Grammy Award winner has added her name to the long list of artists to feature on Bond film soundtracks.

Billie Eilish is everywhere these days.

You can't turn on an awards show without seeing the 18-year-old clad in baggy designer clothes and sporting her signature thousand-mile stare. Now, her quiet, velvety voice will feature in the upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die. The new single shares its name with the film and begins the way many Eilish songs do: quietly and hauntingly. But, as is customary with the songs that prelude 007 films, the track soon builds into a multi-instrumental explosion of suspense. It's not as overtly produced as your average Eilish track, but it's decidedly stirring in its simplicity.

Eilish sings, "You were never on my side / Fool me once, fool me twice / Are you death or paradise? / Now you'll never see me cry / There's just no time to die." The dark theme of the song hints at the movie to come, which is sure to be full of surprises, given that it's supposedly Daniel Craig's last turn as the iconic secret agent.

The movie is scheduled to be released in April 2020.

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FILM

Why the Continuous Tracking Shot in "1917" Is More Than Just a Gimmick

1917's "single long take" aesthetic makes for one of the most tense war movies ever made.

Universal Pictures

There are very few movie scenes that have any right being shot in one continuous take, let alone entire movies.

Typically, movies aim to absorb their viewers in the content of their story and action. Long takes are distracting because, by contrast, they draw attention to the camerawork and editing––or lack thereof. Many directors, especially those who fancy themselves "auteurs," like long takes because of their visual and technical difficulty. But great long takes don't exist solely for prestige amongst film buffs. No, the best long takes work in service of the larger story and themes at play in the movie.

For instance, the tricycle scene in The Shining serves to disorient the audience as they try to piece together the impossible layout of the Overlook Hotel. The hallway scene in Oldboy mirrors the arduous gauntlet of Oh Dae-su's path to revenge. And Birdman, an entire movie meant to look like one long take (it's actually multiple shorter long takes, expertly cut together), is reflective of its leading man's transition from film to live theater.

Much like Birdman, director Sam Mendes' World War I epic, 1917, isn't actually a movie made in a single take, but rather multiple long takes with clever editing. But, perhaps even more than Birdman, 1917 doesn't just look like a single take. It feels like one. And while the concept of a feature-length war movie that looks like a single long take might sound like a gimmick, 1917 proves the narrative value of its visual direction beyond a shadow of a doubt.

1917 has a relatively straightforward premise: During WWI, two young British soldiers stationed in France––Lance Corporals Tom Blake (Dean Charles-Chapman, Tommen Baratheon in Game of Thrones) and William Schofield (George MacKay)––are tasked with the mission of hand-delivering a letter to the 2nd Battalion in order to call off a planned attack on the Germans.

What proceeds is one of the tensest war movies I've ever seen, and that's owed in large part to the single take aesthetic. Normally, a well-composed series of shots encompass all the information we need to know at any particular moment in a movie, directing our eyes to the things we need to be paying attention to.

1917 Universal Pictures

But as the boys leave the relative safety of their trenches and venture out into No Man's Land, the camera slowly tracks them across a wide expanse of space with no particular direction in which we should be looking. This results in a constant feeling of tension, as we know the danger is ever-present, but we never know where it might be coming from. In a sense, the camerawork puts the viewer into the headspace of the soldiers, always scanning the landscape for threats.

In a similar vein, the single long take treats all aspects of the movie in a similar manner, gliding along with a slow track, sometimes moving in close, sometimes circling the area, but never speeding up past the gait of Blake and Schofield. This means that both light-hearted conversations and intense moments of action move at roughly the same pace. Doing so strips away some of the audience's most basic movie instincts.

For example, during the first stretch of the movie, which sees Blake and Schofield crossing through No Man's Land and an abandoned German trench, the boys don't encounter a single enemy combatant. Eventually, after they make it out of the German trench, Blake recounts a funny story as they walk through the woods.

Compared to the danger of the German trench, the woods feel much safer, but the contrast puts anyone well-versed in plot structure on their toes: If the trench seemed dangerous but nobody was there, then perhaps the woods will hold the real danger, ready to emerge during a moment of downtime when we finally feel safe. But nope. The boys make it through their conversation in the woods without a hitch and proceed to the next leg of their journey.

1917 Universal Pictures

Eventually, when battle scenes do occur, the long take style enhances the experience, as well. With the camera sticking to a single person, we get the chance to navigate battlescapes right alongside him. His danger is our danger. His enemies are our enemies. In other words, the long shot doesn't just function to show us battles, but make us invest in them.

1917 isn't a movie content with just depicting a war story. It requires our participation. By watching and following Blake and Schofield's journey, we enter the headspace of soldiers on a perilous mission right alongside them. So while 1917 is most certainly an impressive, ambitious act of technical filmmaking, it also offers an incredible narrative for which the technical elements serve a greater purpose. After experiencing 1917, it's hard not to wonder whether traditional film editing has been the real gimmick all along.