Television links

2nd March 2019

Following yesterday’s list of recent links to interesting articles about photography, here’s another pull-together, this time of pointers to pieces about the medium formerly known as television. The wonderful image of the early television studio at Alexandra Palace was posted online recently by the delightful Twitter feed Ally Pally ‘Museum’; do follow them here.

“The art game”: television, Monitor, and British art at the turn of the 1960s: a really excellent, comprehensive online journal article by Michael Clegg about the visual arts on the influential BBC cultural magazine series, courtesy of the invaluable British Art Studies published by the Paul Mellon Centre.

Color TV transformed the way Americans saw the world, and the world saw America: a fascinating article by Susan Murray for Smithsonian.com about ‘color TV’ as a quintessentially Cold War machine:

Color television was more than just an addition to, or enhancement of, black and white television. In the postwar era, it represented the final step in the technological replication and extension of human sight: the enhancement of perception, the peak of consumer vision and display, as well as an idealized Cold War technology of truth and revelation.

And now… the news in colour: a tremendous BBC Genome blog post with Roger Wilson, who worked in the BBC Stills Library, recalling the launch on 5 February 1968 of BBC Two’s Newsroom, the first British news programme to be broadcast in colour; some wonderfully evocative images too.

Can’t Afford to Tell the Truth: published by London Review of Books just before Christmas, this is an important essay about the finances of the BBC, and especially the funding for its news operations, in a world increasingly defined by Netflix and Amazon.

VH1 story-tellers with Bruce Springsteen: just released in toto on YouTube, this is the 2005 show with the Boss telling the tales behind some of the songs – and then singing them; what more could you want, including this great version of ‘Nebraska’…

The clever thrill ride of Russian Doll: as worthwhile and enjoyable as ever, Emily Nussbaum reviews the Netflix series for The New Yorker.

Russian Doll: what to read about the hit Netflix series: a great round-up, courtesy of The New York Times, of articles about the series.

Bandersnatch is just the start – the next big thing in interactive media is AI storytelling: a good piece by Jenna Ng from the University of York on The Conversation about interactive screen story-telling, where it’s come from and where it might go in the future.

“Hollywood is now irrelevant,” says IAC Chairman Barry Diller: courtesxy of the Recode podcast (audio and transcript), lots of interesting insights about television, movies and more from the former CEO of Paramount and Fox who now runs IAC and the Expedia Group.

Interview: Shengze Zhu: as if to bear out Barry Diller’s words, although in terms that he might not entirely expect, this is an interview for Film Comment by Becker Voelcker with the director of a new documentary, Present. Perfect, about the cultures of live-streaming in China. The film recently won a Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Here’s the trailer:

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