New year links

2nd January 2017

Links to take us forwards into 2017. With no reason beyond me finding them interesting or stimulating. Thanks to those who drew my attention to many of them on Twitter and elsewhere, and apologies for not crediting every one of you.

• The new reality of TV: all Trump, all the time: a brilliant piece by New York Times television critic James Poniwozik.

• Two bubbles of unrealism – learning from the tragedy of Trump: Bruno Latour in translation, courtesy of LA Review of Books.

• Winter is coming: prospects for the American press under Trump: from Jay Rosen – part 1 here; and part two.

World War Three, by mistake: don’t read this just before trying to go to sleep – by Eric Schlosser for The New Yorker.

The best journalism of 2016: you need to read all of these; courtesy of David Uberti at the Columbia Journalism Review (which has had a great Twitter feed this year).

The ten best films of… 1926: an annual highlight, from Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell.

Future shock: Abraham Riesman for Vulture, where the piece is trailed like this: “Director Alfonso Cuarón revisits Children of Men, his overlooked 2006 masterpiece, which might be the most relevant film of 2016.”

Vittorio Storaro – the tragedy of modern technology and its effect on cinematography: a fascinating – if overly pessimistic – interview with Sven Mikulec for the essential Cinephilia & Beyond.

2016’s audiovisual essays by Cristina Álvarez López and @AdrianMartin25 and…

The best video essays of 2016: … as compiled from a poll overseen by Kevin B. Lee for Fandor, including this from Lee himself, ‘How the Bourne movies changed fight films’:

How the Bourne Movies Changed Film Fights from Fandor Keyframe on Vimeo.

In memoriam – Peter Hutton: Max Nelson for Film Comment.

Franco Rosso, 1942-2016: an obituary by John Eden of a significant independent filmmaker.

• Philip Saville, 1930-2016: an exceptional post from Forgotten Television Drama by Lez Cooke, including a terrific previously unpublished interview, with and about one of British television’s most important drama directors.

Beyond expectations – rereading Dickens: a lovely piece by David Denby for The New Yorker.

Read it with the ears: for the TLS Dennis Duncan reviews Matthew Dubery’s study of audio books.

Wham bang, teatime: Ian Penman is exceptional on Bowie for London Review of Books.

Dublin in the Dark: The Story of Emerald Noir – in 360: an innovative, immersive portrait of the city with crime writer Tana French; from the Financial Times.

On the exponential view: a wide-ranging and endlessly stimulating talk about tech and much more from @azeem.

Picnics, pit stops and potty breaks: a delightful social history of American rest areas, by Richard Ratay at Future Travel.

• and (above too)… both to mark the death of Debbie Reynolds and because we all need cheering up:


  1. […] “And I wrote one volume just about light, and one volume about color, because after Apocalypse Now, I felt the need to stop and understand exactly what these things are—I was using them without knowing anything about them. So I stopped for one year and stayed in my house to read books, watch movies, and listen to music, but mainly read books, to understand what was “inside” light and color. I discovered the symbology, physiology, and dramaturgy of color, and I started a new chapter in my life.” In two recent interviews Vittorio Storaro has fully committed to the doomsayer classicist persona he’s been crafting for some time. With Yonca Talu (as quoted above) he breaks up the complaints about how the current generation just doesn’t get it with details of his collaborations with Allen, Coppola, and Saura; his interview with Sven Mikulec doesn’t bother with such pleasantries, despairing nonstop about technological devices and ignorant filmmakers that have let the art of cinematography, of telling stories through pictures, in such a wretched state. (“Video cameras today are very sensitive, they have 1000, 2000 ASA, which is a number that tells you their speed. At the beginning, the number was 16 or 25. So you had to know the use of light to make the image visible. Today they don’t know. Wherever they put the camera, you see an image. That’s it. They don’t interpret it. You need one kind of a scene, one kind of a visual concept, and in order to achieve those you have to use different kinds of light. That’s the problem today.”) Via John Wyver. […]

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