A time there was when I posted weekly a group of links to things that I recently read or watched online. Then I stopped for a while. And now – I think – I am going to start again. Maybe it’s just a sense of autumnal rain and the nights drawing in, but I also feel reconnected with the blog after some weeks away – in part because finally finally we have managed to get Google Analytics working (don’t ask) and everything here seems less imaginary and more, well, real. So let’s see how it goes. A first selection is across the jump – – and since the weekend I have added additional links. But before that I might mention that on Tuesday evening there was a free screening of our RSC/BBC Julius Caesar film (above) at The British Museum. Despite it being outdoors, some three hundred turned up to watch, and many of them stayed to the end. The projection screen was several degrees too bright but it was definitely interesting to see the film in this way.
• George Entwistle – speech to BBC staff: you need to read the new Director-General’s thoughts in last week’s presentation; this is the full text courtesy of the BBC Press Office.
• Obama’s way: equally essential (if you haven’t already read it) is this month’s Vanity Fair profile of POTUS by Michael Lewis, the author of Moneyball and The Big Short – it’s the sort of up-close-and-personal journalism at which Americans excel (and which their subjects know is often helpful for winning elections).
• Obama, basketball, authenticity: Anne Helen Petersen at celebrity gossip, academic style does a little smart decoding of Lewis’s piece (at the same time as quoting a great chunk of the article).
• The Lie Factory: Jill Lepore’s article for The New Yorker is a fascinating history of the world’s first political-consulting firm, Campaigns, Inc, founded in 1933.
• For President: Regine at we make money not art reviews a show at Turin’s Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo of photographs, art and memorabilia related to American Presidential elections – lots of tremendous images.
• ‘An intimate epic of irrational need’: how much are we looking forward to Paul Thomas Andersen’s new feature The Master? While we wait, here is Geoffrey O’Brien on The New York Review of Books blog: ‘…a free-standing work of the imagination, a contemplative fiction… an intimate epic of irrational need, an inner history of cultish transactions reconfigured as a sorrowful and distinctively American poem’.
• Has Hollywood murdered the movies?: you might think that The Master is a sufficient (negative) response to this question, but David Denby’s thoughtful essay for The New Republic is still well worth your time.
• ADD = analog, digital, dreaming: David Bordwell reports from the Toronto International Film Festival and reflects on digital vs analog filmmaking – as provocative as ever.
• Digital disruption or Louie and Lena go the Emmys: Paley Center for Media curator Ron Simon is thoughtful and interesting on the differnce digital technology is making for television authorship:
[D]igital technology has allowed two performers, Louis C. K and Lena Dunham, almost absolute creative control of their vision… Louis and Lena are doing the almost impossible: producing, writing, directing and starring in their weekly series. And both have resisted the safety of formula. Although classified as comedies, their respective shows, Louie and Girls, have the quirky rhythms of independent film; each week Louis and Lena subvert narrative expectations in form and content.
• For Pacific Standard Time, it’s mostly mission accomplished: while we’re in the States, this is a very useful wrap-up (by Jori Finkel for the Los Angeles Times) about the impact of the exhibitions of post-war Californian visual art that dominated the west coast’s art scene over the past year; see also Christopher Knight’s note Pacific Standard Time exhibitions changed a cultural stereotype and Getty plans to build a Pacific Standard Time brandabout plans for an architecture survey in 2013.
• Fab furore – is it time to re-evaluate The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour?: a very good John Harris piece for the Guardian about the long-lost 1967 film, ahead of an unmissable Arena documentary next week.
• BBC R&D – a summer of research and development: back home, this is a very useful round-up of blog posts across the past few months about what the BBC’s Internet Research and Future Service team has been up to; if you’ve read George Entwistle above, you’ll know this stuff is all the more important.
• 3D – a first for the Last Night: Simon Broughton for The Arts Desk on the challenges of filming the final event of the Proms in both 2D and 3D.
• In an age of likes, commonplace images prevail: James Estrin at lens, the New York Times photography blog on ‘the tsunami of vernacular photographs’:
It is estimated that 380 billion images were taken last year, most with a camera phone. Over 380 million photos are uploaded on Facebook every day. Instagram is growing exponentially and had four billion photos uploaded as of July 2012.
See also this thoughtful response from John Edwin Mason’s blog, Deja vu all over again – James Estrin and the tsunami of vernacular photographs.
• The new economics of photo-journalism – the rise of Instagram: John Edwin Mason recommends this British Journal of Photography essay by Olivier Lauren, and he’s right to – it is a richly interesting piece about the impact of Instagram.
• Twelfth Night and original practices: Farah Karim-Cooper from Shakespeare’s Globe sketches the background to the theatre’s approach to productions like the current much-admired Twelfth Night, grounded in ‘research,materials and craft’.
• Moby Dick Big Read: … and finally, have you signed up for your daily podcast (across the next five months) of Melville’s classic? It’s a wonderful idea, with Chapter 1 read by the incomparable Tilda Swinton.