Sunday links

Sunday links

The influential media theorist Friedrich Kittler (above, in 2010) died on 18 October. Stuart Jeffries last week contributed an erudite and elegant obituary in the Guardian (‘arguably, Pink Floyd meant more to him than Foucault’). Mubi.com has a round-up of reactions to his death. For anyone who wants something a little more testing, there is a very good online interview conducted by John Armitage, published in 2006 in Theory, Culture & Society (and available as a free .pdf). Kittler’s Gramophone, Film, Typewriter, published in an English translation in 1999, is a comparatively readable and engaging history of the changes brought about technological change at the end of the nineteenth century. I saw him speak once, in Berlin, and it was a memorable presentation – I was sorry to learn of his death. Below, further links from the past week, some of which are a little happier.

150 years ago, a primitive Internet united the USA: John Rogers for Associated Press marks Monday’s notable anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental telegraph.

World Series weekend – a tale of two games: how much are we enjoying, even at this distance, a class baseball contest? Jonah Keri’s new piece for Grantland is among the best writing about it.

Robert Hughes – a reply?: fighting writing from TLS editor Peter Stothard (on the magazine’s blog) – ‘In his 500-page account of the history of Rome, Robert Hughes is doubly, gloriously and disgracefully careless.’

What she said: one of The New Yorker‘s free-t0-access articles this week is Nathan Heller’s analysis of the enduring significance of film critic Pauline Kael; a good complement is Jonathan Rosenbaum’s 1972 essay ‘I lost it at the movies: objections to Raising KANE.

Sue Mengers and Hollywood: more movies from The New Yorker, this time in a short tribute by Anne Springfield to the legendary agent who died recently.

Why are we cruel?: a thoughtful piece by Roger Ebert (plus nearly two hundred comments!) about the movie The Mill & the Cross from Polish director Lech Majewski.

Max Ophuls and the limits of virtuosity – on the aesthetics and ethics of camera movement: a truly impressive essay for Critical Enquiry from Daniel Morgan.

Globality with out totality in art cinema: this is writing about film that’s a little more rigorous (but very interesting too) – a review for Postmodern Culture by Daniel Herbert of the new book edited by Rosalind Galt and Kevin Schoonover, Global Art Cinema – New Theories and Histories (thanks to @filmstudiesff).

Pordenone diary – day 4: Luke McKernan has his best day at the silent film festival, and his detailed accounts of the screenings, and in this case also the symposium about The Soldier’s Courtship, 1896, continue to be a delight.

Playing for plot in the Lost and Portal franchises: an essential post about gameplay and story-telling from media scholar Jason Mittell.

Clare Woods at The Hepworth Wakefield: I blogged last week about filming the installation of Clare Woods’ new show – there are reports and pictures online now from Sheena Hastings at The Yorkshire Post (‘visually ambiguous, sometimes disturbing and definitely claustrophobic’) and Culture24.

Image: Friedrich Kittler, photographed in 2010 by Professor Hendrik Speck, borrowed with gratitude from Mubi.com.