Sunday links

8th February 2015

Interesting things from the past week and more, with sincere thanks as well as apologies to those who pointed me towards some of them, and who I have failed to acknowledge below.

• Grammys 2015: transcript of Bob Dylan’s MusiCares Person of Year speech: Wow! Do read this. (As reported by Randall Roberts for the Los Angeles Times).

Principle drift: Russell Davies on what the BBC is getting wrong about digital.

Go digital by all means, but don’t bring the venture capitalists in to do it: Cory Doctorow for the Guardian on the irreducible importance of public service being the bedrock of the BBC (and more).

Why no one is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the feature film: Godfrey Cheshire for Vulture on D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation, which premiered a century ago this week.

The getting of rhythm – room at the bottom: David Bordwell writes on Lea Jacobs’ new book, Film Rhythm after Sound: Technology, Music, and Performance, with a great selection of related clips at University of California Press (click audio/video tab).

Book excerpt – Mise en scène and film style: from classical Hollywood to new media art by Adrian Martin: close analysis of a scene from Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder (1959), courtesy of

Every Man for Himself – themes and variations: Amy Taubin for The Criterion Collection on Jean-Luc Godard’s 1980 film.

Tangerine team on capturing the look and feel of their iPhone-shot Sundance hit: Dan Mecca for The Film Stage talks with the makers of a new movie shot (above) entirely on iPhones: ‘So Sean [Baker, director] called Radium Cheung, who’s Sean’s DP, and he’s like ‘Radium we’re going to shoot this movie on iPhones.’ And Radium was like, ‘Fuck, Right?’

Toon of the month – You Look Like Me: Chris Robinson for Sight & Sound introduces the latest short film from veteran Canadian animator Pierre Hébert, which can be seen here:

You look like me from Pierre Hebert on Vimeo.

Moscow – night at the museum: a terrific report on cinephilia in Russia by Daniel Witkin for Reverse Shot.

How virtual reality technology is changing documentary filmmaking: after Sundance Deniz Tortum reports for IndieWire.

How much creative liberty can a theater director take?: German director Frank Castorf versus the Brecht estate, reported on by Sabine Damaschke for DW.

German theatre, the old, and the now – Theatertreffen troubles: Holger Syme on the declining interest in the classics in German theatre.

Why are we obsessed with the Nazis?: fascinating essay by Richard J. Evans for the Guardian about the historiography of Nazi Germany.

Into the underworld: I just caught up with this wonderful Iain Sinclair essay for London Review of Books about what lies beneath.

My Dad, the pornographer: surprising, touching family history by Chris Offutt for The New York Times.

• What is an @uthor?: musings on writers and readers and critics and the digital world by Matthew Kirschenbaum for Los Angeles Review of Books.

R U there?: Ruth Gregory for The New Yorker on counselling by text message.

I turned the caps locks on for a week and everybody hated it: Kashmir Hill for Fusion: ‘On Twitter, broadcasting widely, my caps usage just seemed eccentric, but in one-on-one conversations the sudden shift conveyed rage.’

Wanna play?: Merete Sanderoff for Medium on ‘building bridges between open museum content and digital learning in public schools’.

Why I’ve found that online communities on media sites always seem doomed to fail: lessons learned by Martin Belam from communities created for the Guardian and the BBC.

• El estreno de las películas de Marc Karlin sobre la revolución sandinista: this is truly wonderful – a report on the Channel 4 series that the late Marc Karlin made about the Sandanista revolution finally screening in Managua, after 24 years – bravo Holly Aylett, bravo Hermione Harris, and bravo Marc!

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