Three things 15.

20th April 2015

Each day I highlight three things.

Sometimes there are connections between them, oftentimes there not.

A new Whitney: Michael Kimmelman reviews Manhattan’s latest museum, with great use of embedded video and graphics (above) in a spectacular online essay from The New York Times.

The museum of the future is here: Robinson Meyer, back in January, for The Atlantic, on the Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian’s recently reopened design museum.

• 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.

Three things 14.

19th April 2015

Each day I highlight three things.

Sometimes there are connections between them, oftentimes there not.

C20 Society Churches Database: a truly wonderful resource from the Twentieth Century Society.

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…

Los Angeles Plays Itself (trailer) from Cinefamily on Vimeo.

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.