Links for the weekend

24th March 2013

Links… is perhaps a little light this weekend, at least in this iteration. I have returned to my college for a gaudy, to which all those who started there between 1974 and 1977 are invited. Such a reunion is held only once every six or seven years, so it’s almost essential. But it is not necessarily conducive to completing a weekly column of reading and viewing recommendations. Let’s start with two great posts this week from Paleofuture, the Smithsonian’s blog that looks back to visions of the future in the past. Matt Novak wrote both The newspaper of tomorrow: 11 predictions from yesteryear (where you can find the above 1962 image of George Jetson reading his televiewer) and Postwar dreams of flying in style, and there is much to enjoy in both. Across the jump, there’s more from the past and the future, and perhaps even a little of the future, with thanks due this week to @lukemckernan, @OWC_Oxford, @Chi_Humanities, @Tate@manovich@emilynussbaum and @brainpicker.

The new rules of the hyper-social, data-driven, actor-friendly, super-seductive, platinum age of television: wow, this is really remarkable – 10 rules of the new television from various writers at Wired.

Ricky Gervais and Michael Haneke – together at last: … and this is probably the best piece of criticism you’ll read all week – Jason Jacobs at the Critical Studies in Television blog admires the shared strengths and distinctive achievements of Amour and Derek, concluding ‘Perhaps Amour is a better aesthetic work, but Derek offers more to us as an ethical achievement, and signpost.

Epic rap battles of history – Nikola Tesla vs Thomas Edison: very funny (especially if you know your media tech history)…

Olympia: Chris O’Rourke at London Filmland on the First International Cinematograph Exhibition held one hundred years at London’s Olympia from 22 to 29 March 1913.

The life and death and life of Colonel Blimp: Molly Haskell at Criterion is just terrific on the newly restored Powell and Pressburger masterpiece from 1943.

I’ll never tell – JASON reborn: the remarkable story of Shirley Clarke’s film Portrait of Jason (1967), its central character and its restoration by Milestone Films, as recounted by David Bordwell. 

The British film – aspect ratios: an illustrated (and essential) post from the DVD company Network about one of those topics you may have seen me ranting about here.

Law of the father: the Sundance Channel this week started Jane Campion’s much-anticipated mini-series Top of the Lake, and this is Amy Taubin’s article for Film Comment – this is coming to BBC Two later this year.

Studies of the remediation of films, comics and video games: another great collection of links from Catherine Grant at Film Studies for Free.

• Gallery One: from Cleveland Museum of Art (there is more here), this really does look pretty cool…

Technology that serves to enhance, not distract: … and here is the New York Times piece by Fred A. Bernstein about Cleveland Museum of Art’s innovations.

The Met dresses for success with with an Impressionist fashion show: William Robinson at Artspace on a show at New York’s Met that I really want to see.

• The myth of the cowboy: a lovely, literate essay by the late Eric Hobsbawm on why the North American loner became such a potent figure for the world.

The miners’ daughter: this New Yorker profile by William Finnegan of an Australian billionaire is a very good read.

Cities of sleep: Pico Iyer writes for the blog at The New York Review of Books about his dreams – and those of Graham Greene.

The amazing story behind Things Fall Apart: this is a great tale – from David Haglund at Slate – about the near loss of the manuscript copy of the influential novel by the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe who died this week.

A belated apology to Anton Chekhov: enhancing the surprisingly extensive literary selections this week, here is a gorgeous piece from Steven Barthelme for The Atlantic on how he came to appreciate Chekhov’s great short story ‘Lady with Lapdog’.

Shakespeare & Co., book heaven in Paris: long, long ago I spent a couple of romantic nights in the glorious Parisian bookshop, which is here the subject of a lovely Fotopedia photo-essay.

BBC Studios at Television Centre from 2015: good-ish news from Anna Mallet on the About the BBC Blog about the future of TVC:

BBC Studios and Post Production, the BBC’s commercial facilities arm, will be back operating studios at Television Centre in 2015. This includes the famous Studio One where big live event shows like Comic ReliefLater with Jools and The Voice were recorded. The much loved listed aspects of the buildings, including the doughnut and Helios Plaza will be retained and the building will look largely the same from Wood Lane once the redevelopment is complete.

The Voice UK – putting digital at the heart of the format: the BBC’s Sarah Clay on the digital complements for the returning strand, with lessons on how other series could do the same.

TV’s schedule for revolution: a neat lede – ‘Over the course of this week, your TV changed forever’ – to a Daily Telegraph piece by Matt Warman about BBC Three commissioning a drama that will be premiered online along with other second-screen stuff from the past seven days.

The touch-screen generation: Hanna Rosin at The Atlantic is excellent on apps, kids and the inappropriateness of the category ‘educational’.

What do we mean when we talk about ‘TV’?: Matt Locke at Test on ‘our use of terminology when talking about audiences and their media consumption’.

What you know, what you do, and what you own: … and here’s another new piece from @matlock which has a great list of links to smart ‘Long Projects’ owned by creative companies that previously might have thought their business was solely about working for clients.

• Cecilia Bengolea – Airtight: this is a fairly astonishing and truly strange video directed by Clara Cullen and drawn from the dances of the Argentinian choreographer; courtesy of NOWNESS.

Cecilia Bengolea: Airtight on


  1. […] Jason Jacobs compares—not at all unfavorably—Ricky Gervais’s nursing-home set sitcom with Haneke’s Amour. An intriguing reading passed along by John Wyver. […]

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