Three things 13.

18th April 2015

Each day I highlight three things. Sometimes there are connections between them, oftentimes there not.

Complex TV – the poetics of contemporary television storytelling: a really exceptional website (screengrab of the home above), with oodles of extracts, created to accompany the publication of Jason Mittell’s book Complex TV.

Survival tactics: German filmmakers in Hollywood, 1940-1960: a long, detailed and dense essay by Joe McElhaney for Lola about Michael Curtiz, Ernst Lubitsch, Billy Wilder and others – fascinating if you’re prepared to devote the time it needs.

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):

Three things 12.

17th April 2015

10 great modern films shot in Academy ratio: Leigh Singer for the BFI makes a choice that is exactly what it says on the tin – and does so really well.

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.

The Angelic Cinema of Manoel de Oliveira from Fandor Keyframe on Vimeo.

The law of the frame: Jean-Pierre Gorin and Kent Jones riff on the work and ideas of the late great film critic Manny Farber.

Three things 11.

16th April 2015

The Last Hours of Laura K: an interactive online murder mystery from the Writersroom at the BBC; background here – well worth exploring.

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…

Let’s Tanz: Pina Bausch’s Wuppertal dancers on her unearthed 80s creations: with the radical German company back in London at Sadler’s Wells this week with Auf dem Gebirge Hat Man ein Geschrei Gehört (above), this is a really good piece by the Guardian’s Chris Wiegand about the recovery of early works by the late choreographer.

Three things 10.

15th April 2015

Love and marriage – an ultimate journey: Adrian Martin at Fandor on Vigo, Rossellini and ‘a sense that second chances for married lovers are forever possible’ – lovely piece.

Cries and Whispers – love and death: Emma Wilson for The Criterion Collection on Bergman’s great film (above), immaculately illustrated with extracts.

Breaking the 4th Wall II – Break Harder: Leigh Singer follows up his influential video essay about direct address in film with a sequel, below – and discusses the reaction to Breaking the 4th Wall and the genesis of this new film here.

Breaking the 4th Wall II: Break Harder from Leigh Singer on Vimeo.

Three things 9.

14th April 2015

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.’

The cinema gains a powerful ally: a terrific entry to Luke McKernan’s essential Picturegoing site, recounting the screening of BBC Television’s coverage of the 1953 Coronation in an Odeon cinema in Leeds.

• Trailer for YOUTH – La Giovinezza, the forthcoming film from Paolo Sorrentino, director of the truly wonderful La Grande Bellezza.

Three things 8.

13th April 2015

Alice Guy’s Paris films – film by film, location by location: a truly wonderful and wonderfully visual post from The Cine-Tourist about the scenes in silent films by the pioneering filmmaker.

The eeriness of the English countryside: a terrific Guardian essay by Robert Macfarlane; image above from Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England, 2013.

• Bruce Springsteen – ‘This land is your land’: ‘about the greatest song ever written about America’ (filmed in 1985).

Three things 7.

12th April 2015

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.’

Azealia Banks on why no one really wants to see her naked, her impure thoughts about Barack Obama and why she’s ‘Not Here to Be Your Idol’: a Billboard cover story profile by Rachel Syme of the 23-year-old rapper.

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.

Screening Surveillance from MA+P @ USC on Vimeo.

Three things 6.

11th April 2015

(Go here for a note about why I have started to post in this way.)

Live and direct – the definitive oral history of 1980s digital icon Max Headroom: from Bryan Bishop for The Verge, and for those of us who can remember the decade before the ’90s (and for others too) this is just wonderful.

• Video Essay – Walerian Borowczyk: an introduction by Violet Lucca to the strange, sexual world of the Polish filmmaker, tied to Obscure Pleasures: The Films of Walerian Borowczyk which has just closed at Lincoln Center.

Video Essay: Walerian Borowczyk from Film Comment on Vimeo.

• Finally, the beauty of France’s Chauvet Cave makes its grand public debut: Smithsonian Magazine‘s Joshua Hammer visits the hi-tech facsimile of the cave containing one of the greatest collections of Upper Paleolithic art, including the Gallery of the Lions above.

Three things 5.

10th April 2015

(Go here for a note about why I have started to post in this way.)

Tom Cruise’s 10 greatest movie stunts: fascinating Vulture article in which stuntman Randy Butcher talks Bilge Ebiri through moments of the Mission Impossible series and more, including this sequence:

Georges Perec’s lost novel: by the French’s author’s translator and biographer, David Bellos, for the New York Review of Books.

How to get into… film noir master Robert Siodmak: David Parkinson on the director of The Killers (1946, above), whose work is celebrated at BFI Southbank this month and next.

Three things 4.

9th April 2015

(Go here for a note about why I have started to post in this way.)

1932 – MGM invents the future (part 1): one of David Bordwell’s exceptional posts about cinema history and poetics, in this case focussing on the first screen adaptation of Eugene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude. 1932 – MGM invents the future (part 2) is just as good.

The master writer of the city: Janet Malcolm for The New York Review of Books is simply wonderful on New Yorker writer Joseph Mitchell. Above, Mitchell outside Sloppy Louie’s restaurant with Louis Morino, the subject of the writer’s 1952 New Yorker profile ‘Up in the Old Hotel’; credit: Therese Mitchell/Estate of Joseph Mitchell.

Hakanai de Adrien M / Claire B: this is a truly remarkable dance and digital imaging work; background, an interview and additional images from Jordan Backhus at The Creators Project here.