• The Louvre scene from Bande à part (1964, director Jean-Luc Godard): this has recently been appropriated by an ad for a mobile phone, but the original says more about heritage, museums, cinema and being young than pretty much any other 40 seconds of film.
• The Smithsons on Housing: writer and filmmaker B. S. Johnson’s eccentric and compelling BBC documentary made in 1970 about architects Alison and Peter Smithson; I came to this via John Grindrod’s terrific blog Dirty Rotten Scoundrel, which has an informative entry here (and lots more links to fascinating films).
• Los Angeles Plays Itself: Thom Andersen’s great 2003 essay film (above) about Hollywood’s representation of the city of angeles is finally available on DVD (albeit as a Region 1 impost); here’s the trailer…
• How I feel for the films of Robert Siodmak: Geoff Andrew for the BFI on the noir director who has a retrospective at BFI Southbank this month and next; here’s the trailer for the re-release of Siodmak’s Cry of the City (1948):
• The Angelic Cinema of Manoel de Oliveira: a beautiful video essay by Kevin B. Lee for Fandor about the cinema of the director who died very recently, taking its inspiration from the film de Oliveira made at the age of 102, The Strange Case of Angelica (2010, above); go here for an excellent tribute to the filmmaker compiled by David Hudson.
• Stranger than fiction: Honour Bayes for The Space writes about how ‘artists are beginning to use YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and probably an array of new programmes I’m not cool enough to know about yet, to make art.’ She includes a host of projects including Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir…
• Shedding her skin: The Good Wife, currently running on More4 (with, among others, Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma, above) is simply the best thing on TV – did you see last week’s show with the prison consultant? This New Yorker piece by the excellent Emily Nussbaum from last autumn goes some way to explaining its strengths: ‘the series is a model of how strict boundaries—the sort that govern sonnets—can inspire greater brilliance than absolute freedom can.’
A time there was when I would post a list of links on a Sunday morning, but over the past week I have been experimenting with a new approach by which I highlight just three things each day. Even collectively, these easier to compile than the old Sunday links, and maybe easier to consume. Regularity and consistency, however, are essential for anything like this, so let’s see if I can keep the idea going for longer than this first week. Today’s choices are:
• The Grantland Q&A – Errol Morris: Alex Pappademas interviews the documentary maker at length: ‘I’ve often said that my work is the perfect blend of the prurient and the pedantic.’
• Screening Surveillance: a substantial video essay by Steve Anderson focussing on surveillance in Hollywood movies, including 1984 (1984); this is published by the excellent online journal [in]Transition, and is discussed both its maker and by Kevin B. Lee here.