Throughout the summer my MacBook Pro was developing little signs of fatigue. The ‘u’, the ‘i’ and ‘o’ keys started working only intermittently. The lower part of the screen sometimes showed a light brown stain. Then somehow or other, I really don’t know how, the casing got damaged and the power input proved dodgy. Just over a fortnight ago I took it to the ‘Genius Bar’ at the Apple Retail Store in Bromley (it was the only place I could get an appointment) and now , with nothing to pay because it was still – just – in warranty, I have it back in perfect working order. I had no idea how disruptive this would prove to my life but I am happy to have it all resolved. There have been occasions on which I have been driven mad by Apple, and especially by various ‘Genius Bars’, but on this occasion my sincere thanks are due to the Apple staff in Bromley. And now… there are some links below, with thanks due this week to @emilynussbaum, @lukemckernan, @KarlinMarc and @Chi_Humanities.
• Hatchet jobs, anonymity and the internet – being a film critic in the 21st century: an engaging extract from Mark Kermode’s new book, courtesy of the Guardian.
• The Grandmaster – moving forward, turning back: David Bordwell on Wong Kar-wai’s martial arts movie.
• Modern Romance: I missed this by Julien Allen on Moving Image Source back in June, but as an excuse for highlighting it here I can point to the DVD release this coming December of the restored version of Journey to Italy, 1954, Rossellini’s astounding tale of a alienated couple; and while we’re here…
• Crime scenes in suburbia: one of a great bunch of features in the new online edition of Senses of Cinema, this is Jason Coyle’s reflections on Bachelard, Benjamin and Atget, and on Deborah Stratman’s 2002 film In Order Not to be Here.
• We get to see this crazy movie after all: Aisha Harris at Slate has the news about the imminent release of the dystopian feature Escape from Tomorrow, which was filmed covertly at Disney’s theme parks; after much buzz at festivals, and seemingly no legal constraints from the Big Mouse, the film comes out in the States on 11 October – this is the trailer…
• From Anonymous to Bitcoin, The Good Wife Is the Most Tech-Savvy Show on TV: while we wait for More4 to bring us the fifth series of the adventures of Alicia, here is Clive Thompson in Wired detailing one of the reasons we like the show so much. As Thompson says of the show, ‘it may be the best force for digital literacy in pop culture right now’.
• How HBO’s The Newsroom used Topsy to break news: more on the tech-savviness of contemporary television in the States, here from Natan Edelsburg at lost remote.
• Nashville boss Callie Khouri on what she learned from last season: Denise Martin has an interview at Vulture to mark the return of another show to which we’re really looking forward.
• How to Watch Television – The Walking Dead: Henry Jenkins hymns the new collection of articles edited by Ethan Thompson and Jason Mittell (currently £8.79 for the Kindle edition in the UK), and makes available his own contribution…
• How to Watch Television – Phineas and Ferb:… and here is the piece about a children’s show by co-editor Mittell from his blog Just TV…
• Entertainment Tonight – the first in entertainment news:… and this is the offering by Anne Helen Petersen. But buy the book anyway!
• The camera(s) that changed the world: for The American Society of Cinematographers, John Bailey, ASC, writes about the 16mm cameras that made direct cinema possible in the 1960s; inevitably, perhaps, he writes about the 85-second shot, executed by Al Maysles, in the 1960 documentary Primary, that begins around 50 seconds into the extract below – you can never see this too many times.
• Restoration and reflection – the 2013 re-releases of Le Joli Mai and Far from Vietnam: Justin Ridgeway at documentary.org on the rediscovery of two important political documentaries from the 1960s co-authored by Chris Marker.
• BBC Four’s Storyville announces premieres on BBC iPlayer and new autumn run: I don’t often link directly to press releases but this points to a significant shift in the relative standings of broadcast and online for niche offerings from the BBC.
• British Library Sound Archive: a short video documentary from The Wire Magazine…
• Projecting Tomorrow – an interview with James Chapman and Nicholas J Cull: part one of a Henry Jenkins interview with the authors of Projecting Tomorrow: Science Fiction and Popular Film; part two is here.
• Browsing the bookshop of the future: a rich report from BBC arts reporter Ian Youngs.
• Bob Dylan – The Complete Album Collection, volume 1: it’s an ad, I know, but it’s a beautifully evocative one…