Let’s start with the first trailer, released this week, for Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing (a still from which is above). Might he just have pulled off something truly special? For further background on the film, which opens in the UK (I believe) on 14 June, try this Deadline Hollywood Q&A and at Co.create Steve Ramos’ feature Why you need a creative shift instead of a vacation, as explained by Joss Whedon. There are two short (and completely charming) video interviews with Whedon from the Glasgow Film Festival at Poly Gianniba’s blog. Across the jump you will find the usual cornucopia of links from the past week, with thanks to @ProfShakespeare, @Chi_Humanities, @graham_hitchin, @fashionintofilm, @rwilliams1947 and @filmdrblog.
• Rewind – celebrating the brilliance of Moonlighting: a truly glorious and acute tribute by Willa Paskin at Salon to the fabulously inventive television rom-com with Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis that ran from 1985 to 1989.
• The Hour creator Abi Morgan on what might have happened in series three: a brief outline from the author quizzed by Soraya Roberts for Vulture.
• David Tennant and Olivia Colman on what Broadchurch learnt from Scandinavian drama: so just how much are we looking forward to episode 2 of ITV’s The Killing-on-sea tomorrow night? This is an informative feature by Zoe Williams for Radio Times.
• Isolated power: Andy Greenwald at Grantland assesses whether or not Netflix’s release strategy for House of Cards paid off for the viewer:
… what I missed the most as the season wound down was the cacophonous scrum of online conversation, the community of fans that help make sense of art in the moment, which, in turn, can help kick a show from good to great, at least in our estimation.
• Mapping a pluralistic field – what does television studies really look like?: Jason Mittel’s terrific paper (with graphs!) for this week’s Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference.
• Distanced learning – SCMS as MOOC (massively open online conference)?: at her blog Revenge of the Fans, Suzanne Scott reflects on what it’s like to be a virtual attendee at the event and on ‘the (often intangible) benefits of presence’.
• The hummingbird theory: reflections from Emily Nussbaum at The New Yorker about the new ABC sitcom The Middle and about Enlightened.
• Q&A – Girls director Jesse Peretz on Lena Dunham, his music video and features career, and the satisfaction of working on cable TV: … with Eric Ducker at Grantland.
• Mila Kunis, Jennifer Lawrence and the delicate formula for becoming America’s best friend: Heather Havrilesky at Vulture is delightful and very smart on female stardom today; see also Mila Kunis and the lad interview from Andrea Denhoed for The New Yorker.
• Jennifer Lawrence as Gillian Flynn’s ‘cool girl‘: Anne Helen Petersen as good as ever.
• How Granada TV chairman Sir Denis Forman changed my life: director Michael Apted pays tribute in the Guardian and reveals the genesis of the … Up series in a canteen lunch with one of the giants of British television.
• Danny Boyle – champion of the people: one of the very best, profiled by Jonathan Freedland for the Guardian.
• Martin Scorsese on The Searchers: in The Hollywood Reporter, and taking his cue from Glenn Frankel’s new book The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend (which I intend to blog about separately), one great director pays tribute to another – Scorsese writes of John Ford’s masterpiece:
Like all great works of art, it’s uncomfortable. The core of the movie is deeply painful. Every time I watch it — and I’ve seen it many, many times since its first run in 1956 — it haunts and troubles me.
If you need convincing of the film’s magnificence, watch this less-than-a-minute fragment from the unforgettable opening (and then watch the complete movie, again):
• Sweet 16: yet another David Bordwell post – this time about the magic of 16mm film – that will both make you think and make your heart sing.
• Godard’s truthful torture scene: Richard Brody at The New Yorker compares the thirteen-minute interrogation scene in Le Petit Soldat (1960) with Zero Dark Thirty.
• The art of steadicam: from Refocused Media, this is a fabulous compilation, with a full list of clips included, together with some background, here.
• Ozu – colour ‘pillow’ shots: if you want something a little less intense, try this gorgeous compilation of the ‘grace note’ punctuation images from the films of the great Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu.
• Film criticism – the next generation: a Cineaste roundtable with lots of good thoughts from Simon Abrams, Adam Cook, Leo Goldsmith, Calum Marsh, Boris Nelepo, and Vadim Rizov.
• Breaking the 4th wall movie supercut: this is quite special – Leigh Singer’s montage from 54 films of characters who look directly into the camera.
• Breaking the fourth wall – film characters who look at the audience: a tumblr by @tombrownfs compiled in response to the video.
• The groovy socialist world of 1970s Soviet futurism: glorious images courtesy of Vincze Miklos at io9.
• Crime and moral evasion at the Bolshoi Ballet: Ismene Brown at The Arts Desk with the best piece that I’ve read about the extraordinary events in Moscow.
• For LACMA, the chance to snap up MOCA is a deal too good for shelve: remarkable goings-on too in the city of the angels, with LACMA looking to take over MOCA – Christopher Knight analyses the state-of-play for the Los Angeles Times.
• Garry Winogrand photos come to light: here’s an exhibition to look forward to – a show of the wonderful photographer assembled by curators at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in part from the 6,500 rolls of undeveloped images from his Leica; Sam Whiting for SFGate has the story.
• Saltz on critic Thomas McEvilley, 1939-2013: I was very sorry to learn of Thomas McEvilley’s death – we filmed with him in 1986 for State of the Art and he was a learned and delightful man.
• Lear alive: one of those reviews that really makes you want to see the production – Holger Syme writes about Philip McKee’s Lear at Toronto’s Harbourfront Theatre, which is also reviewed by J. Kelly Nestruck in The Globe and Mail, This is how you turn King Lear into a great avant-garde play in 10 easy steps.
• A day in the life of a freelance journalist – 2013: fascinating… first off, Nate Thayer publishes an e-mail exchange with an editor at The Atlantic which essentially asks him to contribute copy for free – cue Twitter outrage …
• A day in the life of a digital editor: … but then Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic, responds, and we all learn a little bit more about online content strategies.
• Requiem for a dream: subject: the late Aaron Schwartz; journalist Larissa Macfarquhar; magazine: The New Yorker, across 12 pages online.
• When more trumps better: Evgeny Morozov in The Wall Street Journal reviews Big Data by Victor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier.
• How to spend 47 hours on a train and not go crazy: Nathaniel Rich writes a wonderful piece of travel journalism for The New York Times Magazine as he takes the train from New Orleans to Los Angeles.
• What Coke contains: Kevin Ashton disaggregates the value chain of a can of Coca-Cola.
• Wealth inequality in America: you have almost certainly seen this infographic, but if you haven’t, please watch.