I was going start by committing to a boycott this week of Trump and Brexit. After all, and especially after this week, what is there to say? But I have included a couple of exceptional pieces, before I get to links to other things that I’ve found interesting and stimulating over the past truly hideous few days.
• Autocracy – rules for survival: Masha Gessen, New York Review of Books – essential.
• The forces that drove this election’s media failure are likely to get worse: Joshua Benton for NiemanLab is also good on what we might do next.
• The nightmare begins: Adam Shatz, London Review of Books, a really good analysis – and do also read Joan Scott’s response in the Comments.
And then there’s this, from Saturday Night Live, with Kate McKinnon as Hillary performing the late Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. You’ll have seen it already, but watch it again – and weep.
• Murnau before Nosferatu: David Bordwell on the early films of F.W. Murnau.
• Wishful space: F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu: another exceptional video essay by
• Sergei Eisenstein: My Art in Life: a rather splendid Google Arts & Culture online exhibition.
• How I wrote Arrival (and what I learned doing it): screenwriter Eric Heisserer on how he adapted Ted Chiang’s Story of Your Life, via The Talkhouse…
• Film of the week – Arrival: … and here’s Jonathan Romney’s review for Film Comment.
• Cinephilia down the ages – a Museum of the Everyday: Pamela Hutchinson for Sight & Sound on film fans at different moments in the history of cinema, as revealed in an exhibition at Brikbeck’s Peltz Gallery.
• Go to LACMA for John McLaughlin, possibly the most important postwar artist you don’t know: LA Times art critic Christopher Knight on a retrospective of this major abstract artist who died in 1976.
• Eggleston’s empty America: a short piece about the American master’s photographs adapted from Alexander Nemerov’s introduction to William Eggleston: The Democratic Forest, Selected Works, published by David Zwirner Books; above, a detail from William Eggleston: Untitled, from The Democratic Forest, 1983-1986, © Eggleston Artistic Trust.
• Online viewing of Antigone – only until 16 November: this is really pretty special (and it has English subtitles), but you only have three days to engage with it:
We live-streamed Antigone, a site-specific contemporary interpretation of the Greek tragedy, on West Kowloon’s official YouTube channel and Facebook page from a rooftop against the backdrop of the Hong Kong skyline at sunset from 4 to 6 November. The performance is directed by critically acclaimed Hong Kong director Tang Shu-Wing and performed by an all-female cast from the young Beijing-based Baiguang Theatre
• Remembering through void: an interesting TLS piece by Kate Symondson about modernist approaches to not depicting the horrors of war.
• The fate of reading in a multimedia age: a stimulating essay by Sabrina Ricci for LA Review of Books:
It’s easy to assume that people are reading less because of the myriad options they have to choose from. But is that really the case? What if we redefined what it means to read, as well as what constitutes literature?
• The closing of the liberal mind: back to the beginning (of this post anyway)… a major essay for the New Statesman by John Gray.
• Filming Iguana vs Snakes – Behind the Scenes 360° – Planet Earth II: a rehearsal for “that” sequence in an interactive video – amazing!