The week’s links 18-24/3

18th March 2012

I have been thinking about how to create a new form of my links page that is useful but also sustainable (in the sense that it doesn’t take too much time to post). Here is the first outing for a variation in which I intend to build up an extensive list of links, divided into categories, across the coming week. By Saturday there ought to be a lengthy list of recommendations that reflects some of my reading and interests across these seven days – and that I hope you’ll find interesting. If it seems to work, then I’ll start a new one next Sunday. Across the jump you will find links under the following headings: Film, Television, Performance, Visual art, Digital media and what I choose to call Waifs and strays (the most recent update was at 20.30 on Thursday).


Film Art: An Introduction reaches a milestone, with help from the Criterion Collection: David Bordwell blogs on the forthcoming tenth edition of his and Kristin Thompson’s classic textbook, which from this summer will (wonderfully) be complemented by a series of short video essays, including ‘Elliptical editing in Vagabond‘:

The veridical artist – Jean Epstein studies: Catherine Grant at her invaluable Film Studies for Free highlights a new book Jean Epstein: Critical Essays and New Translations edited by Sarah Keller and Jason N. Paul; thrillingly, this is available as a free download here from Amsterdam University Press.

Stalker talkers: Andrew Hultkrans for Artforum on an unconventional NYU screening of Andrei Tarkovsky’s movie which featured pauses and comments from a panel of commentators, including Geoff Dyer, author of a new book about the film, and legendary sound editor Walter Murch.

Julia Roberts: same song, twenty-fifth verse: Anne Helen Petersen engagingly deconstructs the enduring ideas in Ms Roberts’ star image.

Claude Lanzmann – movie time: Richard Brody’s recent exceptional review for The New Yorker of the English translation of the autobiography of the director of Shoah (1985) is frustratingly locked behind the magazine’s paywall. Do try to track down the article (but also the book) as it is a fascinating series of reflections on cinema and writing, on time and memory, on being the lover of Simone de Beauvoir and a close friend of Gilles Deleuze. And look too at this complementary blog – also about time and film, and about Godard and archival film of the Holocaust.

Jerry Lewis and love: weird as the idea may be, when you’ve finished Brody on Lanzmann, go to this piece of Brody on comedian Lewis, which concludes with a discussion of Lewis’ Holocaust film, the all-but-unseen The Day the Clown Died (1972) (and for more on that, go to this Den of Geek post).

3D documentary – this time it’s really real: some brief interesting remarks from Bella Honess on the use of 3D in arthouse documentaries, hosted at Stereoscopic Media.

Counterinsurgency and The Hunger Games: terrific analysis by Amy Davidson for The New Yorker of the politics of the movie of the week.


A quick download on Project Barcelona: BBC director of archive content Roly Keating blogs about early plans for extending the iPlayer to include paid-for download-to-own content from the BBC’s vaults. This is potential game-changer for archive television, and as such is hugely important.

Mortal cops cling to life on the air: Amy Chozick for The New York Times on TNT’s police procedural Southland (above), its strengths and its struggles for network renewal.

Awake teaches us how to watch and accept: Jason Mittell on ‘one of the best pilots I’ve ever seen’, a new drama from NBC that promises satisfyingly complex narrative development – here’s the first seven minutes of the show, courtesy of the network:


Life of a Salesman: at The New York Times over the last few weeks Charles Isherwood has been guiding a fascinating online conversation about Arthur Miller’s great play – the interaction of readers with a number of special NYT features has been immensely rich; Mike Nichols’ new Broadway production with Philip Seymour Hoffman opened on Thursday, and Ben Brantley’s review is here: ‘an immaculate monument to a great American play’.

Romeo and Juliet @ Nottingham Playhouse: Peter Kirwan on Headlong Theatre’s new production by Robert Icke who ‘has clearly been taking notes from company director Rupert Goold’.

Visual art

NGA images: details of The National Gallery of Art in Washington D. C. making available more than 20,000 high quality digital images on a fully open access basis. Which is truly wonderful – and a model that British museums and galleries must eventually follow. ‘With the launch of NGA Images, the National Gallery of Art implements an open access policy for digital images of works of art that the Gallery believes to be in the public domain. Images of these works are now available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Gallery for authorization to use these images.’ (thanks to Rebecca Littman for the tip).

False moderacy: a stand-out essay by T. J. Clark in London Review of Books about Tate Britain’s exhibition Picasso and Modern British Art and the Courtauld’s Mondrain Nicolson: In Parallel.

Anthony Caro – a life in sculpture: a delightful profile by Nicholas Wroe of the still-energetic sculptor who celebrated his eighty-eighth birthday last week.

Michael Heizer’s rock – levitating the masses: Christopher Knight for the LA Times is very good on the journey to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art of the 340-ton granite boulder that is the key component of Heizer’s sculpture Levitated Mass.

Damien Hirst and the great art market heist: Hari Kunzru for the Guardian ‘ ‘he has almost single-handedly remade the global art market in his image: that is to say, the image of the artist as celebrity clown, the licensed working-class fool who not only shits on us from on top of his pile of cash, but persuades us to buy that shit and beg for more.’

Digital media

“The I/A of culture” – Martin Belam at EuroIA 2011: I’ve only just read this excellent talk from the end of last year about the ideas behind the Guardian’s Culture section online; lots to think about and learn from.

Crowdsourcing cultural heritage – the objectives are upside down: thoughtful post by digital archivist and doctoral student Trevor Owens – ‘What crowdsourcing does, that most digital collection platforms fail to do, is offers an opportunity for someone to do something more than consume information. When done well, crowdsourcing offers us an opportunity to provide meaningful ways for individuals to engage with and contribute to public memory.’

Waifs and strays

A mile or two off Yarmouth: another wonderfully weird tale – with some jaw-dropping archive – from Adam Curtis, involving economics, quantum physics, Fred Hoyle, Robert Hamer, Alberto Cavalcanti, Paul Samuelson, black holes and at least two versions of the ‘big bang’.

Making up Edith Wharton: Francine Prose for The New York Review of Books – ‘Wharton’s graceful sentences create dramatic, populous tableaux and peel back layer after layer of artifice and pretense, of what we say and how we wish to appear, revealing the hidden kernel of what human beings are like, alone and together.’

Your brain on fiction: fascinating piece by Anne Murphy Paul for The New York Times about the neuroscience of reading.

The Duchess of Malfi (BBC, 1972): I’ve just been to a preview of the new production of Webster’s great play at The Old Vic, with Eve Best as the Duchess – the staging is exceptionally good and suitably hideous. More, perhaps, when it opens in the next few days, but meanwhile here is the opening of James MacTaggart’s exceptional BBC presentation, with Eileen Atkins and Michael Bryant (you can also find the other parts of the recording on YouTube).

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