Links for the weekend

6th January 2013

One of the things you quickly learn as a producer is not to use ‘Happy Birthday to you’ in a film. Remarkably, the song remains in copyright, and as a consequence, you need to secure clearance for its use and pay a fee. In You say it’s your birthday in 2011 Paul Collins for Slate questioned whether the copyright claim really stands up – and pointed out that the original tune, ‘Good morning to all’ (above), written by Louisville kindergarten teachers Patty and Mildred Hill, has long been in the public domain. Now – and how great is this – the Free Music Archive and Creative Commons have launched a contest to replace the song with one that can be licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution license. If you fancy having a go, you have until 13 January to submit an entry. As for the rest of my new year links, which follow across the jump, h/ts, among others, to @filmstudiesff, @KnightLAT, @mia_out, @adrianmartin25, @brainpicker, @alexismadrigal and @tiffanyjenkins.

The ten best films of… 1922: the now-traditional annual post by Kristin Thompson looking back ninety years to the great releases of the day.

Nouvelle vague in New York style: Nicolas Rapold for The New York Times introduces what looks like a revelatory Film Forum season (concept: J. Hoberman) about indie filmmaking in the metropolis 1953-73, New Yawk New Wave (where there are brief notes on all of the films, many of which are truly obscure).

A picture of great significance – Hitchcock’s Sussanah: a wonderfully visual post by The Cine-Tourist (whose site continues to offer new treasures) about a painting in Psycho that, rather wonderfully too, turns out at the end to be redundant.

Color and the look of a film – visual analysis: interesting post, very nicely illustrated, from filmschoolthrucommentaries.

• Cinematographer Caroline Champetier, AFC, discusses her work on Holy Motors by Léos Carax: one of those pieces that inspires a sense of awe about artists working at the very top of their game – great images too.

The future of French cinema: Richard Brody is very interesting for The New Yorker on current debates about film production in France.

This is 45 – a year in Keyframe video essays: last month Kevin B Lee rounded up the video essays that he had made during the year and offered some interesting thoughts on the form as a whole.

Single women and the sitcom: Elaine Blair for The New York Review of Books:

The novel took as one of its great subjects the calamitous realization that you have to livewith your marriage. Now that we don’t really have to live with our marriages, or enter them in the first place, the choice of whom, if anyone, to settle down with is not a great subject but a middling one—about sitcom-sized, it turns out.

• Haunted by Seriality – The Formal Uncanny of Mulholland Drive: Jason Mittell’s presentation this week to the Modern Language Association conference, about the importance of thinking about about David Lynch’s ‘movie’ as the failed television pilot that it was.

Top web series for 2012 set new bar for quality: thanks to Fruzsina Eordogh at readwrite for drawing together this great list of digital web series, including several from Yahoo! Screen and this adaptation of Jane Austen from YouTube, which is episode 1 of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

9 predictions for social TV in 2013: the coming year as seen by Lost Remote (with a whole host of interesting ideas).

Live from New York, it’s Mozart and Strauss: the way the Met Opera Live simulcasts look from San Luis Obispo, California, courtesy of Pacific Satndard and Tom Jacobs, who suggests that perhaps

rather than cannibalizing audiences, the simulcasts are helping casual music lovers make the leap from once-in-a-great-while to pretty-regular-patrons

CDs know that ears have eyes: yes, we too love the cover art for the CDs from ManfredEicher’s ECM label (as The New York Times‘ Dana Jennings reminds us).

•  10,000 Images Capture Individual Dance Moves In NUDE: The Creators Project highlights the remarkable photographs of dancers by Shinichi Maruyama; compare the work of Étienne-Jules Marey from around 1882:

Dave Hickey’s politics of beauty: a great profile of the maverick art critic by Laurie Fenrich for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Telling stories about the stories we tell: an interview by Cécile Auldy for Boston Review with writer Philip Gourevitch about memory, media and humanitarianism.

New year, new dish, new media: a declaration of independence by The Dish blogger Andrew Sullivan, until recently of The Daily Beast

What Andrew Sullivan’s new venture could teach us about the web: … and then you need to read Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic to understand the potential significance of Sullivan’s move.

Resistance in the materials: a terrific new paper (with slides here) by Bethany Nowviskie, who is Director, Digital Research & Scholarship, University of Virginia Library, and who takes her inspiration from William Morris.

• and finally, for all you Martin Freeman fans… The Office: An Unexpected Journey:


  1. […] “Shut everything down. Is that something that…. You want us to shut everything down? Then we’ll shut everything down.” Jason Mittell makes a good case that critics have too often ignored the production history of Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, and underappreciated the strange formal ellipses that result from taking a TV pilot busy setting up its multiple plotlines and making it the first 2/3rds of a self-contained movie. Via John Wyver. […]

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