Links for the weekend

8th December 2013

I was in Ghent over the weekend – at an excellent symposium about arts documentaries – and as a consequence I am behind with my posting schedule. I aim to build my list of links across today and also to to post a first Belgian blog. One place to start, at least for those of us interested in television and performance, is news of NBC’s live (yes, truly live) broadcast last week (at a reported cost of ¢9 million) of the stage musical The Sound of Music (above). Who would have thought it – and who would have thought that, despite a critical and Twitter-storm mauling, it would have been a ratings smash? Despatches from Charlotte Alter at Time, Lisa de Moraes for Deadline Hollywood (‘live TV is wonderfully messy’), Jaimie Etkin for BuzzfeedLindsey Weber, Kyle Buchanan and Amanda Dobbins for Vulture, and also for Vulture Josef Adalian. Disappointingly, the links are all geo-locked but the stills give you a good sense of what it looked like – which, for television in 2013, is strange. I look forward to further analysis. Meanwhile, there are more links across the jumps, with thanks this week to @zimbalist@annehelen, @audiovisualcy and @filmstudiesff.

WHAT THE FLUCK!: another astonishing post from Adam Curtis, courtesy of the BBC; this one is about Tamara Mellon, the Jimmy Choo brand, the rituals of modern journalism, the evils of modern capitalism, Tommy Yeardye, Diana Dors, private investigators, personal data and more.

The survival of American silent feature films, 1912-1929: a downloadable .pdf of a new report by David Pierce from the Council on Library and Information Resources demonstrating, depressingly, that

only 14% of the feature films produced in the United States during the period 1912–1929 survive in the format in which they were originally produced and distributed, i.e., as complete works on 35mm film. Another 11% survive in full-length foreign versions or on film formats of lesser image quality such as 16mm and other smaller gauge formats.

Lamplight: as part of David Cairns’ The Late Show Blogathon (which attracted some really wonderful posts about all sorts of oddball films), Daniel Ricculto posted a short piece (and a video!) of Jean Epstein’s truly weird final film, The Lights that Never Fail (1948) – a documentary short about lighthouses made for the United Nations.

Great film restorations of 2013: for Fandor Aaron Cutler explains, with examples, just why ‘we live in a thrilling time for film preservation’.

Keyframe: Is this Cinerama?: this is a very smart video essay (below, the text is at the link) by Kevin B. Lee for Fandor responding to Flicker Alley’s DVD release of the restored This is Cinerama (1952) – particularly interesting, perhaps, to those of us who watched Napoléon ten days ago.

I don’t know I’m beautiful: Jane Hu for the Dear Television blog is terrific on the music videos of Taylor Swift – truly!

Dead man’s curve: the scene at Paul Walker’s crash site and the way we mourn now: a terrific essay by Alex Pappademas at Grantland.

A new Crystal Palace?: an interesting post from Victorianist academic Charlotte Mathieson about Chinese plans for the rebuilding.

Making the modern museum: a richly interesting review for the Los Angeles Review of Books by Ed Schad of Capital Culture: J. Carter Brown, the National Gallery of Art, and the Reinvention of the Museum Experience.

Heart-squasher: Julian Barnes on Lucian Freud (and Flaubert, natch) for London Review of Books.

MAN’s best books of 2013: Tyler Green at Modern Art Notes has gift suggestions in a listing of the best art books of the year.

Top 5 – Snowfall-style story-telling: this is pretty essential – a choice from Submarine Channel of the best long-form, interactive journalistic essays which develop the style of last year’s ground-breaking New York Times piece.

My Life Without Technoviking: An Interview with Matthias Fritsch: a fascinating Rhizome exchange by Domenico Quaranta about the ownership and controlk of images in the digital age.

• Captain Picard sings ‘Let It Snow’ (which has been all over the web these past few days, plus it has a charming pitch for the maker’s new videogame afterwards):

ImageThe Sound of Music Live! with Carrie Underwood as Maria with (back, l-r) Ella Watts-Gorman as Louisa, Michael Nigro as Friedrich, Ariane Rinehart as Liesl, Joe West as Kurt; (front, l-r) Grace Rundhaug as Marta, Sophia Ann Caruso as Brigitta, Peyton Ella as Gretl; photo by: Will Hart/NBC.

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