Sunday links

19th June 2016

Links spotted or recommended to me (for which thanks, and apologies for the lack of name-checks) over the past week.

Lost colours: The estimable Luke McKernan has added to his flickr site a wealth of images from filmmaker Charles Urban’s 1912 Catalogue of Kinemacolor Film Subjects, and has written this erudite background post as context. The images are rich, resonant and remarkable, like the one above (edited to a 16:9 frame) advertising Shakespeare Land, produced in 1910 by the Natural Color Kinematograph Company. The scene in Stratford-upon-Avon looks much the same today.

A Brighter Summer Day – Yang and his gangs: let David Bordwell convince you to purchase the The Criterion Collection’s Blu-ray edition of Edward Yang’s 1991 feature, so that you can experience ‘one of the very great films of the 1990s, made available to us on one of the finest DVD editions ever mounted’; this is a great post.

• High contrast and the girls will be beautiful – Willy Kurant on shooting Godard’s Masculin Féminin: for, Duncan Gray and Quentin Carbonell speak with the veteran cinematographer about working with Jean-Luc, Maurice Pialat, and Agnès Varda.

• What makes every Pixar movie tick, in one chart: how Pixar gets you to cry into your popcorn, in a single fascinating table – by Caroline Framke and Javier Zarracina for Vox.

• Galton and Simpson – earliest recordings of BAFTA Fellowship writers discovered: Tristan Brittain-Dissont, newly appointed archivist of the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society, details a delightful discovery at The British Library of recordings of the 1951 radio show Happy-Go-Lucky.

A love letter to Carol White: for BFI, Catharine Des Forges writes about the actress who starred in Ken Loach’s 1967 Poor Cow, which has been recently restored and is being re-released in cinemas and then on DVD.

Marty Feldman – explored: Andrew Roberts for Network Releasing on the strange world of the British comedian and his 1970 movie Every Home Should Have One.

Confessional: a compelling profile of Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, creator of the compelling series UnREAL, written by D.T. Max for The New Yorker.

• Demolition of Russian ‘workers’ villages’ raises fears for avant-garde heritage: Ola Cichowlas on the fragile state of monuments of the Soviet revolution, for The Moscow Times via the Guardian.

• Verdi’s Nabucco starring Plácido Domingo live on BP Big Screens: I’m not sure how long this will be available, but here’s the full (and official) stream from The Royal Opera – a touch static as productions go, but with some glorious singing

Tales of three cities: Martin Filler for New York Review of Books on three collections – two shows and a book – of urban photography from London, Paris and New York.

Waking up in Europa: this reminiscence is gorgeous and glorious, from Clive James at TLS.

Richard Smith (1931-2016): an essential, moving tribute to the abstract painter by Barbara Rose for Artforum.

The Satoshi affair: a wonderfully intricate essay by Andrew O’Hagan, released online ahead of the next London Review of Books.

Fail, fail again, fail better: for L.A. Review of Books, Josh Cook reads Dan Fox’s book-length essay, Pretentiousness: Why It Matters.

• Beatrix Potter, Enid Blyton and the ‘pictureskew’: at the Guardian, China Miéville on the counter-tradition in children’s literature to cosy ideas about England’s ‘picturesque’.

• History is being locked away. Google’s museum is changing that: a love letter to the Google Cultural Institute by Oliver Franklin-Wallis for Wired.

• Tracing the roots of media literacy – Raymond Williams and John Fiske: Henry Jenkins on two critical writers of overwhelming importance, with a particular focus on Williams’ 1958 essay ‘Culture is ordinary’.

• 5 things publishers can learn from how Jeff Bezos is running The Washington Post: from Dan Kennedy at NiemanLab.

• The 15 things I’ve learned about transmedia storytelling: Ingrid Kopp at IndieWire offers some basic but hugely useful lessons.

Brexit – A.A. Gill argues for in: there has been some exceptional writing over the past week, including Polly Toynbee’s ‘The mood is ugly, and an MP is dead’, but because it’s behind The Times’ paywall you may have missed this one, which has been handily uploaded here.

• Bandaloop takes flight in Boston: … and just to try to cheer you up, here is an amazing single-shot record of six members of the vertical dance troupe Bandaloop performing on the façade of a new building as a way of commemorating its opening at Boston’s Seaport District.

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