Weekend links

Weekend links

Here’s a little campaign that is well worth supporting: Save the 35 Ken Russell BBC Films. Or, as the Facebook page (above) also – and more accurately – argues, Free the 35 BBC Films of Ken Russell. The late, great director made wonderful documentaries and drama-documentaries for the BBC between 1959 and 1968 (for details, start with Michael Brooke’s BFI ScreenOnline page). These include the much-loved Elgar, produced for Monitor in 1962 and repeated on BBC Four last week (available on iPlayer until 30 January). But thanks to extortionate commercial expectations from BBC Worldwide, not one of these films is legally available in the UK on DVD (although a number have been released in the USA). A decade back the BFI partnered with the BBC on releases of Elgar and Song of Summer (1968), but when it came time to re-licence these, the terms expected were such that the BFI had to discontinue the titles. So it’s a wholly worthwhile aim to try to get at least some of the films out into the world. Go to the campaign’s Facebook page for more – and go below for further links to interesting stuff.
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Sunday links

Sunday links

Looking for a Christmas present? For the start of Advent, here are links to my five favourite 2011 exhibition catalogues: Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement by Richard Kendall and Jill DeVonyar, from the wonderful Royal Academy of Arts show (above, until 12 December); Eyewitness: Hungarian Photography in the Twentieth Century by Peter Baki and Colin Ford, also for a wonderful RA show this autumn; de Kooning: a Retrospective by John Elderfield, accompanying the landmark MoMA show (until 9 January); Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art 1945-1980, edited by Rebecca Peabody, Richard Perchuk and Glenn Phillips, which provides the background to all the shows on at present in L. A. and the surrounding area; and Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990 edited by Glenn Adamson and Jane Pavitt for the current V&A show (until 15 January). Across the jump, links to articles that I’ve found interesting across the past week.
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Sunday links

Sunday links

Among a host of good writers who blog regularly about cinema (David Bordwell and Jonathan Rosenbaum are two obvious names) The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody is one of my favourites. And this week he posted a short piece, Redeeming criticism, that we would all do well to recall whenever we write about any cultural object. Prompted by the responses in the States to Clint Eastwood’s new movie J. Edgar (above) and by a great Los Angeles Review of Books essay by Jonathan Lethem, My disappointment critic (read this too), Brody teases out what criticism should do: ‘Criticism is, at best, contacting the spark, the idea, the inspiration, the creative moment, the inner life from which the work arises, followed by working outward to see how the work became that which it is—in effect, re-living the artist’s creative process.’ Below, more links to pieces that caught my eye this week.
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Sunday links

Sunday links

At his Confessions of an aca-fan web site, Henry Jenkins discusses a richly illustrated and fascinating post from the USC Civic Paths research group, The visual culture of the occupation: month one and counting. The stand-off at St Paul’s makes this study of the images created by #Occupy movement all the more pertinent. ‘The Civic Paths team has been studying alternative forms of activism,’ Jenkins explains, ‘especially those which involve the intersection between popular culture, participatory culture, and youth, for more than two years.’ And he adds his own gloss to the visual analysis: ‘Occupy is not so much a movement, at least not as we’ve traditionally defined political movements, as it is a provocation. If the mainstream media has difficulty identifying its goals, it may be because its central goal is to provoke discussion, to get people talking about things which our political leadership has refused to address for several decades now.’ Below, the usual Sunday miscellany of further links to good stuff.
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