So keen was I – and am I – to see Phyllida Lloyd’s new production of Julius Caesar at Donmar Warehouse (until 9 February) that I booked tickets for the first preview. The production stars, among others, Harriet Walter, Frances Barber and Cush Jumbo (above, in rehearsal). That preview was to have been Thursday night, but then the team decided that they needed more time and the first preview was cancelled. So I am re-booked for 12 December and like the rest of you I have to make do with the press previews, which include Can an all-women Julius Caesar work? by the Guardian’s Charlotte Higgins; Shakespeare’s sisters force their way into the Bard’s boys’ club by Matt Trueman for the Independent; Women trouble in Evening Standard; and an interview with Harriet Walter with What’s On Stage. Meanwhile, I have been collecting other links on other stuff, and offer this week’s mid-week selection here, with thanks to @emmafgreen, @brainpicker and @UCLAFTVarchive, among others.
• “Can I Use This?” How Museum and Library Image Policies Undermine Education: for e-literate Beth Harris and Stephen Zucker contribute a totally essential post in the form of an open letter to museums and galleries; as they write:
Even though we live in a culture where high-quality educational resources are being widely and freely distributed (think iTunesU, Khan Academy, edX), high-quality images remain expensive and using them for teaching is more complicated than ever. Even as access to educational materials becomes more open, and images become ever more ubiquitous, high-resolution images that reproduce works of art (with reliable metadata) remain highly restricted.
• Rumor detectives – true story or online hoax: as my FB feed this week was filled with what turned out to be a hoaxed form of “copyright protection”, here is a timely profile by David Hochman for Reader’s Digest (yes, truly) of the debunkers of such idiocies, Snopes.com.
• Mars Rover Curiosity: do take a look at this – it’s really quite remarkable:
• Cinematic faith: Scott Foundas interviews Christopher Nolan for Film Comment and the exchange is full of fascinating stuff.
• Painting a blood bath in sounds: this is neat – a New York Times feature with audio clips and explanatory interviews about the sound mix in one scene of the exceptional thriller Killing Them Softly (which opened here earlier in the year but is only now being released in the States – it’s a strong contender for my film of the year).
• Auteurist on the sound stage: David Bordwell chronicles a visit to Madison by (and discusses the work of) Tim Hunter, director of River’s Edge (1987) and episodes of Mad Men, Deadwood and Breaking Bad; the post is particularly good on the constraints and possibilities of drama episodes that have to be shot in seven or eight days.
• Bourgeois nightmares: somehow there is lots of cinema in this list, and here’s another excellent essay, this time from the London Review of Books: Gilberto Perez on the films of Michael Haneke.
• How colour works: I need to come back to this, but here’s a plu anyway for a tremendous post by Luke McKernan from The British Library about recent scholarship about colour and film.
• Cinema, aviation and aimindedness in Britain in the 1920s: the second issue of the online journal Frames features this fascinating paper by Amy Sergeant about the idea of aviation in British cinema of the 1920s…
• Keeping It All in the (Nuclear) Family: Big Brother, Auntie BBC, Uncle Sam and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: … as well as this discussion by Nigel Morris of the 1954 BBC Television adaptation and the near-contemporaneous feature film made two years later.
• “This is a play” – breaking the fourth wall: Anna Coatman at the BFI blog suggests that it is high time ‘for television to rediscover its experimental edge and bring the “fourth wall” crashing down again’ – yup.
• Past imperfect: a terrific post by Mike Dash on Smithsonian.com about ‘the early history of faking war on film’.
• David Simon on Treme, the CIA and why TV isn’t journalism: from Wired – why wouldn’t you want to read this?
• The great actor who hated acting: Fintan O’Toole for The New York Review of Books on The Richard Burton Diaries, edited by Chris Williams.
• Let there be light: novelist John Banville writes (rather wonderfully) for the Financial Times about the Book of Kells.
• Radiohead releases a fan-made concert film: as Forrest Wickham on Slate.com explains,
the new concert film was painstakingly edited together by fans using crowd-sourced YouTube footage from various members of the audience. Best of all, they were able to get audio straight from the soundboard, with the blessing of the band.’
And, um, here it is, all 114 minutes and 20 seconds of it…