Links for the weekend

Links for the weekend

Even if I neglect the blog on other days (and apologies for that, it’s just a very busy time right now), the list of links needs to be offered each Sunday. I rarely embed audio clips here (mostly because I find doing so trickier than video) but this is a lovely long piece from Radio New Zealand with the editor of the London Review of Books, Mary Kay-Wilmers, speaking about the magazine and especially about the late Peter Campbell who was a wonderful illustrator and a great graphic designer and the loveliest of men. Peter was originally from New Zealand and his work is currently on show in an exhibition at the City Gallery in Wellington, a detail from which is reproduced above.

Also, Boyd Tonkin wrote an interesting profile of Mary Kay Wilmers and the LRB for the Independent this week. Across the jump, more links from the past week, with h/ts for recommendation to @pacificraft and @emilynussbaum.
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Links for the weekend

Links for the weekend

The great story out of Sundance is the shooting at Disneyland and Disney World of Randy Moore’s movie Escape from Tomorrow without any location permissions or copyright clearances. Believe me, as one who has tried to film at a Disney theme park, this is an astounding achievement – and Steven Zeitchik for the LA Times has the story. As Zeitchik says, Escape from Tomorrow is

a Surrealist, genre-defying black-and-white film… [and] one of the strangest and most provocative movies this reporter has seen in eight years attending the Sundance Film Festival. And it may well never be viewed by a commercial audience.

Say what? As Brooks Barnes for The New York Times asks in Disney World horror fantasy raises knotty copyright problems,  ’Is Mickey Mouse about to get very, very mad at Mr. Moore?’ See also The outlaw pleasures of Escape from Tomorrow by Scott Macaulay for Filmmaker. Here’s the briefest of tastes, albeit one which involves the eating of live octopus and a reference only to ‘a popular American tourist destination’. Then across the jump, there are links to other great features that I came across this week, with recommendation h/ts to @ebertchicago, @KeyframeDaily, @zimbalist and @LUXmovingimage.


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#ROLive: our ‘House’

#ROLive: our ‘House’

Hard though it is to believe, it is nearly seventeen years since we went backstage at the Royal Opera House in the BBC fly-on-the-wall series The House. Michael Kaiser, who later became general director of Covent Garden, summed up reactions to the series: ‘The House only confirmed the general belief that the Royal Opera House was, at best, incompetent, and, at worst, completely devoted to the needs of the rich.’ Seventeen years is a long time in the media (and everywhere else), and how different was the backstage picture on offer in Royal Opera LIVE broadcast online on Monday. I live-blogged the event in a post that has proved pleasingly popular, but – not least because this felt like a game-changer in the ways cultural organisations work with the media – I want to return to it here and offer further thoughts.
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The week’s links 15-21/4

The week’s links 15-21/4

The New York Times online is developing a smart interactive format for the discussion of big cultural events. You can get a good sense of their approach from Circling the ‘Ring’. Earlier this month The Metropolitan Opera started three full cycles of its ambitious, sometimes crazy but often wonderfully bold staging by Robert Lepage of Wagner’s four operas. And the NYT feature is offering a range of background features, often as videos, plus discussion and an intelligently-formatted selection of comments. There’s also a very good related article by Anthony Tommasini with Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, The Met, the ‘Ring’ and the rage against the machine. For my reactions to the HD Live screenings of three of the productions, go here, here and here (and that’s Jay Hunter Morris and Deborah Voigt in Siegfried above). Also, for a way to get round the pesky NYT limit on the number of articles you can read each month – as well as for a host of other links – go across the jump.
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Simply stunning Siegfried

Simply stunning Siegfried

The live cinema presentation of Siegfried, relayed to the Clapham Picturehouse (and many other venues) from the Metropolitan Opera in New York was – simply – stunning. This was the third such ‘Live in HD’ presentation from the Met’s still under-construction Ring cycle (see posts here and here) and it was as great – and perhaps more so – than the other two. It was magical and mysterious and spectacular and beautiful and moving and complex and simple and sweeping and sublime. I liked it a lot.
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Something for the weekend

Something for the weekend

The ‘YouTube film’ Life in a Day is up on YouTube now in a great print. For this ground-breaking project 4,500 hours of footage shot on 24 July 2010 was contributed as 80,000 items from people around the world and director Kevin Jackson carved out the impressive ninety-minute cut. On its theatrical release David Gritten for the Telegraph spoke with the director and the Guardian‘s Andrew Pulver reviewed the film. Andrew Schenker for Slant offered an alternative view: ‘Drawing on a horde of pedestrian user-generated content, embracing a faux-populism of the least committed variety, the film aims to celebrate a humanity that may embrace different customs and beliefs, but is essentially the same all over. In Macdonald’s project, what ultimately unites mankind is its banality.’ And in the rest of this post, more free suggestions for viewing alternatives this weekend.
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