No doubt about the key cultural event of the week: the opening of the completed re-hang of 500 years of British art at Tate Britain. Tomorrow’s post will be 10 things I already love there – like the revelatory juxtapositions that puts a Lowry from 1948 alongside a Freud from a year earlier – and today’s first clutch of links is dedicated to the reactions of others. In the ‘pro’ camp is the Telegraph’s Richard Dorment (‘gloriously, satisfyingly, reactionary’) and Jackie Wullschlager for the Financial Times (‘a vibrant intellectual reappraisal’), but the response of Laura Cumming for the Observer is more mixed, while former Tate education officer Bridget Mackenzie is damning in Wordless at Tate Britain. You can get a sense for yourself from this Guardian picture gallery. Other links from the week are below, with thanks for recommendations due to @KeyframeDaily, @melissaterras, @emilynussbaum and @TylerGreenDC.
• Why can’t we take pictures in art museums?: in fact, Tate Britain now has a relaxed attitude to people snapping away in the permanent collection (hurrah!) and Carolina A. Miranda’s good piece for ARTnews fills in the background about policies in galleries across the States.
• What is neo-realism?: this is a compelling video essay from the BFI’s Sight & Sound (available only on their site, with no embedding option); @kogonada lines up Vittorio de Sica’s Terminal Station, 1954, alongside producer David O Selznick’s radical re-cut of the same material in Indiscretion of an American Wife – there is more background in Dave Kehr’s essay for The Criterion Collection’s US release of both films.
• Daves and Peckinpah: enthusiasm in a round-up post from David Hudson at Fandor for westerns by two of the greatest directors to tackle the genre.
• Jubal – awakened to goodness: The Criterion Collection has just released (in the US only) two of Delmer Daves’ best westerns, and this is an exemplary essay by Kent Jones about the director’s Jubal, and Jones is equally good in 3:10 to Yuma – curious distances.
• The adult westerns of Delmer Daves: Sean Axmaker at Videodrone similarly hymns the westerns of Delmer Daves – there is also more on Daves’ films at the Sundance blog from Nick Pinkerton; and here, for no other reason than it’s a wonderful film, is the original trailer for Daves’ 1957 3.10 to Yuma:
• Man on fire – Tony Scott: I think you’ll enjoy Joseph Bevan’s kind-of tribute to the late director on the BFI blog; Scott’s visual flair is rightly lauded but Bevan also has this to say…
On occasion his films reach an absolute zero-level of moral redundancy that can leave the viewer feeling genuinely unwholesome…
… then again I can’t argue with this…
Justified criticism aside, you would have to be spectacularly humourless as well as disinterested in film aesthetics not to find anything to appreciate or admire in Scott’s filmography. His worst films aren’t ‘so bad they’re good’; they’re at once incredibly good and incredibly bad.
• Extending the paintbrush: a detailed consideration by Aaron Cutler for Moving Image Source of MoMA’s current season of independent documentaries from China.
• Pandora’s digital box – end times: David Bordwell asks, when exactly did film end? (And you need to read his answers.)
• Angelina Jolie controls the narrative: Anne Helen Petersen at celebrity gossip, academic style on the big story of the week.
• Gatsby, and other luxury consumers: A. O. Scott for The New York Times is terrific on commodity fetishism and the ‘sublimity of stuff’ in Gatsby, Spring Breakers and The Bling Thing.
• How to direct a TV drama: Matt Zoller Seitz for Vulture with a lovely lyrical ode to the art of television.
• Faking it: Emily Nussbaum for The New Yorker is essential on the style and substance of Mad Men.
• Bed Trick – a short film inspired by The Changeling: the latest Young Vic/Guardian short film collaboration is directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins, stars Sinéad Matthews and develops one of the key ideas in Middleton and Rowley’s Jacobean classic – it’s fascinating on several levels (as I hope to post about soon) but frustrating that I can’t embed it here.
• Berlin, days 10 to 12 – too much to say, too little time: Holger Syme at dispositio has been watching plays in Berlin, and here he posts about recent productions by Armin Petra (Anna Karenina), Robert Wilson (Peter Pan – truly) and, of particular interest to me, Katie Mitchell, whose new Night Train he explores in ways that parallel my recent discussion of Fraulein Julie.
• Andy Warhol and his foundation – the questions: a coruscating analysis by Richard Dorment for the blog of The New York Review of Books.
• America in color: The New Yorker has an engaging slide-show of photos from the U S of A by Martin Parr.
• Ideas from Museumnext 2013: a really good overview of key digital issues for museums from the V&A’s Andrew Lewis.
• Explore Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in incredible depth – on your iPad: Martin Cullingford at Gramophone is impressed by the latest app from Touch Press and Deutsche Grammophon.
• Hear ye, future deep throats – this is how to leak to the press: this is the recommendation for Nicholas Weaver’s Wired article in a Tweet by @jayrosen_nyu: ‘one of the best pieces on big data I’ve read, disguised as a cheat sheet for what it really takes to leak anonymously’.
• On metadata and cartoons: far more fun than you might suspect – a post by James Baker on the Digital scholarship blog from The British Library.
• Laptop U: it’s well worth reading The New Yorker‘s Nathan Heller on MOOCs (‘massive open online courses’) and the developing revolution in academia.
• The role of blogging in the academic feedback cycle: Adam Crymble thoughtfully compares the value of a conventional conference paper with a blog post.
Header image: The Old House, Grove Street, Salford, 1948 by L.S. Lowry and Lucien Freud’s Girl with a Kitten, 1947.