I’m not going to apologise for leading again with Randy Moore’s Escape from Tomorrow(above), the Sundance-premiered film that was shot in secret at Disney World and Disneyland. I particularly want to draw your attention to It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad Disney world, in which Tim Wu at The New Yorker writes on the ‘fair use’ issues prompted by the film (on which Disney has yet to comment) Wu is spot on when he says that the film
ultimately raises a larger question of what you might call cultural freedom, or the freedom to comment on or reimagine the great cultural icons of our time… a world where Disney gets to determine everything said about Disney World would be a poor place indeed.
Bravo, bravo. Across the jump, more links from the week to stuff about television, digital media and movies, with h/ts for recommendations to @KeyframeDaily, @Chi_Humanities and, as so often, @brainpicker. I realise it’s a slightly austere and downbeat list this week, but that feels like the way of the world at present.
• Savile and television studies: interesting and valuable article by John Ellis for the Critical Studies in Television blog: ‘Any celebration of television’s history will now have to acknowledge this other side to the power of the medium.’ Do also read the comment to the post by Joanne Garde-Hansen.
• Preacher man: another terrific CST post, from Jason Jacobs, about actor Walter Goggins and performance on television, which Jacobs suggests is
the medium that really rewards fine acting over time, the only one in fact that allows artists to deepen, sharpen, elaborate (and, let’s not forget, occasionally ruin)the characters they pilot, inhabit and vitalize.
• Sorry, hate-watchers: AMC had three good reasons to un-cancel The Killing: Josef Adalian for New York is very good on the shenanigans around whether or not there is to be a third series of the US re-make.
• The never-before-told story of the world’s first computer art (it’s a sexy dame): a great story from The Atlantic by Benj Edwards about ‘quite possibly the first image of a human being on a computer screen’ back in 1959.
• Visualising near-real-time iPlayer usage data: geeky in a good way, this is a fascinating post by Libby Miller for the BBC’s R&D blog about how ‘real-time data might benefit our audiences and also BBC programme makers’.
• Henry Jenkins on ‘Spreadable Media’: How Web 2.0 went wrong, why ‘viral’ sucks, and the UGC problem: more from a rich interview by Frank Rose at Deep Media.
• Sometimes two shots…: David Bordwell is thrilled by a single cut in the 1911 Danish film The Mormon’s Victim – seems smart cinematography in Denmark didn’t start with The Killing (I know, I know).
• Decaying beauty: a fabulous (and I do mean that) visual essay on the fate of Chicago’s once-grand movie palaces from writer and photographer Eric Holubow, with a short essay also from Roger Ebert.
• Noir Mann: at Not Coming to a Theater Near You Cullen Gallagher, Victoria Large, Glenn Heath Jr. and Briallen Hopper reflect on the early non-western films of the incomparable Anthony Mann; here’s a YouTube upload of the remarkable He Walked by Night from 1948:
• Pasolini and The Trilogy of Life; or, Why it’s important to see films properly: Bilge Ebiri at They live by night on looking at Pasolini’s later works – it’s a little-known fact that I was an extra on The Canterbury Tales, but that’s a story for another post.
• Nagisa Oshima (1932-2013), a tribute by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith: courtesy of Film Studies for Free, a touching and insightful piece by the important film scholar.
• Mark Cousins’s excellent adventure: Jonathan Rosenbaum for Film Comment on the strengths, and also the weaknesses, on the ‘diverse illuminations and obfuscations’ of The Story of Film.
• 50 essential science fiction books: I really like this illustrated list produced by Richard Davies for the estimable Abebooks.com.
• The Chopin touch: the New York Review of Books blog drew our attention this week to just what a wonderful writer on music the late Charles Rosen was.
• Magna Carter: David Schiff in The Nation on Pierre Boulez and Elliott Carter – terrific.
Now, three important pieces from the many that have been published on the late Aaron Schwartz:
• Remembering Aaron by taking care of each other: Clay Shirky on suicide and the responsibilities that all of us share…
• How academia betrayed and continues to betray Aaron Swartz: .. Michael Eisen on the need ‘to enshrine the principle that the knowledge produced in the academy is a public good whose value is greatly diminished by turning it into private property’ …
• Aaron’s army:… and, crucially, Carl Malamud’s heartfelt tribute at the Internet Archive memorial event.
• A tribute to Frank Keating, the gentle monarch of sports writers: plus, do please read Matthew Engel for the Guardian on the doyen of British sports writers, who died this week.