I have lost count of the number of times that I have linked to David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson’s exemplary blog about the history and art of film. Now David Bordwell has scripted and narrated a video essay, Constructive Editing in Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket, that is freely available from there, and because it’s on Vimeo it can be embedded here. Go to the associated blog post for further links.
Across the jump, more links – many of them literary, this week – that I hope you’ll find engaging.
• Bresson: for Film Comment critics Kent Jones and B Kite have been talking Robert Bresson (with lots of framegrabs too) in a (so far) six-part series – Part One is here, and Part Six here, but as there seems no easy way to navigate from one to the next you’ll have to use the search function for the others.
• Viennale 2012 – American genres: Daniel Kasman for Mubi.com has some interesting thoughts on Hollywood’s audiences and the way genre filmmakers have thought of them from Fritz Lang’s Man Hunt (1941) to Tony Scott’s Unstoppable (2010)
• Is movie culture dead?: another Film Lives! piece, and another one that is worth your time – Jim Emerson is the author at his Scanners blog,
• Sorting the real Sandy photos from the fakes: dealing with the realities (and mythical visions) of the past week, this is a compelling piece for The Atlantic by Alexis C Madrigal – with lots of images.
• History and the digital image forum: Perspectives Online from the American Historical Association has a really strong group of articles that help give the subject of the link above a, well, historical perspective.
• Letter from America: gloriously and generously, more than 900 broadcasts by the incomparable Alistair Cooke made between 1947 and 2010 are now online courtesy of the BBC archive – thank you, thank you.
• Proust wasn’t a neuroscientist – neither was Jonah Lehrer: Boris Kachka for New York magazine with an interestingly complex tale of a celebrity intellectual (now better known as a digraced hack).
• It starts with an itch: Alan Bennett as delightfully readable as ever in the London Review of Books on his new play at the National Theatre, the National Trust and porn:
… in the matter of pornography the Trust has recently sponsored an app to accompany a tour round London’s Soho, the highlights of which are not architectural. It is apparently doing very well.
• Timon of Athens/NT Live: Peter Kirwan at The Bardathon is very good on Nick Hytner and Simon Russell Beale’s remarkable production, now laid to rest with a valedictory final performance screened live to cinemas.
• Some notes on the novella: Ian McEwan in The New Yorker on a ‘long and glorious’ tradition:
… the demands of economy push writers to polish their sentences to precision and clarity, to bring off their effects with unusual intensity, to remain focussed on the point of their creation and drive it forward with functional single-mindedness, and to end it with a mind to its unity.
• Marlowe in his moment: a meaty revisionist read by Holger Syme at dispositio on the man who paved the way for Shakespeare and the rest; his conclusion?
(Christopher) Marlowe looks less like the author who ushered in a new way of writing plays, less like a perpetual influence and aesthetic reference point, and more like a writer devoured, within a few short years, by his own revolution.
• Nora – A Doll’s House Revisited: a terrific co-commission by the Guardian, The Space (which is where I’ve linked to) and the Young Vic, this is a stylish 9-minute film re-thinking Ibsen’s classic for today, co-written and directed by the excellent Carrie Cracknell.
• Fuckety-bye to all that: nice farewell to the can’t-quite-accept-that-it’s-gone The Thick of It from Chris Addison.
• Marine One: Richard Schiff played Toby Ziegler in The West Wing – for The Huffington Post he writes, ‘I shudder to think what will happen if this president does not retain the lease to our Oval Office’; and while we’re on this topic…
• Lena Dunham – Your First Time: I know you’ll have seen this (it’s already had more than two million hits on YouTube), but just in case you haven’t – and even if you don’t have a vote on Tuesday – you need to watch it…
• Whedon on Romney: … and this one too (which has had more than four million hits), and before next Tuesday as well.
(PS. Just in case your pop culture isn’t totally up to speed, Lena Dunham is the creator of the really rather wonderful Girls and Joss Whedon has made pretty much every successful television series and movie of the last decade.)