It’s been a week of Hamlet, the live cinema broadcast of which I produced for the RSC on Wednesday, and also of talking about Kenneth Clark’s television at a BFI Southbank screening on Thursday and a Broadcasting the Arts: Architecture on TV seminar at Birkbeck yesterday. Which, along with other work, the cricket and the football, has not left much time for the blog. As always, I aim to do better next week, but in the meantime here are links to articles and videos that I have found interesting over the past week.
• Trump – the haunting question: Elizabeth Drew, New York Review of Books:
It’s by now clear that the presidential election of 2016 is something larger than and apart from just another quadrennial contest for the highest office; it’s a national crisis.
• of the North / Tabu: in an interesting essay for Reverse Shot, Max Carpenter reflects on film, anthropology, documentary and truth as he responds to Dominic Gagnon’s found-footage documentary and Miguel Gomes’ remake of Murnau’s feature.
• Le amiche – Friends—Italian style: a new essay by Tony Pipolo for The Criterion Collection about Antonioni’s underrated 1955 feature film, available in this country in the Masters of Cinema DVD series.
• Acting under a spell – Jean Pierre Leaud in Rivette’s OUT 1: a strange and rather wonderful video essay for Fandor by Daniel Fairfax and Kevin B. Lee:
• Out of it: … and for more on Rivette’s 1971 epic film, see Luke McKernan’s blog post here.
• Never had it so good – Bert Hardy’s archive of mid-century life – in pictures: a wonderful gallery of images by the photographer best known for his Picture Post work; tied to a show at The Photographers’ Gallery. The image above is a detail from Cockney Life at the Elephant and Castle, 1949; © Bert Hardy Estate/Getty Images.
• Reinventing the International Center of Photography for the selfie age: interesting New York Times article by Philip Gefter about the re-opening of Manhattan’s institution dedicated to “photography and visual culture”; the first show is Public, Private, Secret from the splendid Charlotte Cotton, ICP Curator-in-Residence.
• Shakespeare scholar vents 500-tweet ‘bitterly sarcastic’ attack on book: Matthew Reisz reports for THES on the scholarly dispute prompted by Holger Syme’s (highly entertaining) Twitter torrent of critique of Sir Brian Vickers’ new book on King Lear – and the erudite discussion continues in the detailed responses.
• Thomas Keneally – what really happened during Napoleon’s exile: a delightful article from the Guardian in which the author reflects on his latest novel.
• How Silicon Valley nails Silicon Valley: smart writing on the smart TV series by Andrew Marantz for The New Yorker.
• The inside story of Apple’s forgotten project to change how we explore the world from our computers: I remember Quicktime VR, and I even worked with it, and this is a fascinating fragment of media archaeology from Kif Leswing for UK Business Insider.
• In the depths of the digital age: Edward Mendelson for New York Review of Books reviews recent reading on digital selves:
The explicit common theme of these books is the newly public world in which practically everyone’s lives are newly accessible and offered for display. The less explicit theme is a newly pervasive, permeable, and transient sense of self, in which much of the experience, feeling, and emotion that used to exist within the confines of the self, in intimate relations, and in tangible unchanging objects—what William James called the “material self”—has migrated to the phone, to the digital “cloud,” and to the shape-shifting judgments of the crowd.
• How to grow a Weetabix: James Meek on farms and farming in Britain (and the EU) for London Review of Books – a long but rewarding read.
• A Bruce Springsteen show makes you feel like the best version of yourself: I was at Wembley last Sunday and this Michael Hann piece pretty much sums up my feelings; he finished the three and a half hour set with an acoustic version of this (which I think is from 1975)…