There’s really only story that I can lead with this week, even if you have already seen it. Here is what happens when you cast Lindsay Lohan in your movie is Stephen Rodrick’s tale for The New York Times about the making of a low-budget movie by director Paul Schrader. It is a compelling read that is by turns funny, shocking and a touch tragic – and it follows in a distinguished line of ‘new journalism’ features about Hollywood that stretches back at least to Lilian Ross‘ wonderful Picture, a 1952 book about the production of The Red Badge of Courage, 1951. There are great photos too, including the one above of Paul Schrader and Lindsay Lohan by Jeff Minton for The New York Times. I can’t promise anything with greater entertainment value, but there are links to further excellent features and resources across the jump. H/ts this week to @Chi_Humanities, @ebertchicago, @annehelen, @ammonite, @jayrosen_nyu, @KeyframeDaily and Michael Jackson.
• Announcing the Oscar winners… of 1922: taking his cue from Kristin Thompson’s recent blog post about the ten best films of the year from ninety years back, Kevin B. Lee at Keyframe, the Fandor blog, has crafted a video essay with highlights.
• Visualizing Vertov: download here Lev Manovich’s truly remarkable visual analysis of Dziga Vertov’s films – this is a dense 10,000 word methodologically cutting-edge article that demands more far more attention than I can give it here (so watch out for a further blog post).
• Master shots – on the set of Hou Hsiao-Hsien The Assassin: David Bordwell’s blog hosts a fascinating guest post from James Udden (author of a book on the filmmaker) about the new film from the Taiwanese master.
• ‘New Yawk, New Wave’ – new times, old problems: Richard Brody for The New Yorker on independent filmmakers and New York, in a piece prompted by Film Forum’s ‘magnificent series’ that I mentioned last week.
• Milestone achievements: at Keyframe, Sean Axmaker talks restoration and distribution with Dennis Doros and Amy Heller of Milestone Films.
• ‘How old Cary Grant?’: David Thomson is very good in the Financial Times on growing old in Amour and other great movies.
• A masterpiece you might not want to see: … and with more of interest on Amour, this is Francine Prose for The New York Review of Books.
• Django Unchained and the ‘new sadism’ in cinema: a thoughtful piece by Geoffrey Macnab for The Independent.
• Lena Dunham on Girls, black Republicans and Taylor Swift: a very, like, Girls-type interview with the creator and star of the great HBO series that begins its second season tonight in the States.
• MTV reality programming and the labor of identity construction: intriguing ideas about the positives of ‘real life’ on MTV for the Millennial generation (those born after 1980) from judgemental observer’s Amanda Ann Klein.
• Manet’s portraits – the artist on the knife-edge of photography: do read Philip Hensher’s lengthy (and excellent) Guardian preview of the Royal Academy show which opens 26 January.
• A critic of the curb and corner: the redoubtable architecture writer Ada Louise Huxtable died this week aged 91; this is Michael Kimmelman’s appreciation for The New York Times.
• From Psychopath Lairs to Superhero Mansions: How Cinema and Modernist Architecture Called A Truce: a great piece by Charlotte Neilson at Arch Daily.
• The reclusive author who only gave one interview: I liked this Publisher’s Weekly story by Jennifer Kloester about Georgette Heyer, especially for its subject’s comment that ‘I’m sick to death of chatty bits about authors, & LOATHE this form of advertisement.’
• Scientology’s seduction of Tom Cruise, role in Nicole Kidman split detailed: The Hollywood Reporter has an essential extract from Lawrence Wright’s new book about the reclusive ‘church’.
• 2013 Presidential Address: Michael Bérubé speaks to the annual convention of the Modern Language Association:
I am going to insist, to the campus community, to alumni, to anyone who may be listening, that serious study in the humanities—the practices of advanced literacy, the fine arts of interpretation—is a game of high and difficult technique, as C. L. R. James once said of cricket. That doesn’t mean we can’t love it, as James surely loved cricket; but it means we are going to insist that it requires serious training and practice, practice, practice.
• Inside the wild, wacky, profitable world of Boing Boing: Rob Walker reports for Fast Company.
• Towards a canon of “hypertext literature / interactive fiction / digital narrative”: Tom Armitage at Infovore with a great list of key works.
• Spreadable media spreads new joy for 2013: Henry Jenkins introduces a number of short web-exclusive essays linked to the imminent launch of his Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Culture; see in particular Sharon Marie Ross’ Television’s invitation to participate.
• Better than Nielsen – Twitter breaks down TV behavior by demographics, device, and genre: Tim Carmody reports for The Verge on a new Twitter report for advertisers Tune in with Twitter (available for free download here, registration required); as he says, ‘Not only does it show how ordinary people use Twitter together with other media, it tips how TV programmers, networks, and advertisers are going to drive the Twitter experience in the future.’
• Book review – Post-digital print: the mutation of publishing since 1984: at we make money not art Regine reviews (with some great images) Alessandro Ludovico’s new book, which she describes as
… a joy to read. It is entertaining, impeccably researched and written in a compelling style. Alessandro Ludovico blends together retro-futuristic drawings, theory, anecdotes, art works and personal observations to narrate the paper vs pixel battle and ultimately kick off a discussion about the role of print in digital times.
• And finally… Antonino Siragusa in L’italiana in Algeri: we are filming for Sky Arts another of the Rosenblatt Recitals at Wigmore Hall on Monday. Sadly, the scheduled tenor has had to pull out because of illness, but the rather wonderful Antonino Siragusa has stepped in at the last moment – and here he is as Lindoro in Rossini’s opera, recorded in Turin in March 2009. Neither the camerawork nor the sound recording is up to much, but the voice…