The Sunday dozen

7th April 2024

John Wyver writes: the week’s collection of articles and audio that I have enjoyed, learned from, appreciated and been challenged by over the past week, and that I think are worth sharing.

All 40 Marlon Brando film performances ranked, in honor of his 100th birthday: a hugely enjoyable run-down of all of Brando’s movies, including the great The Godfather, 1972, above, compiled by Wilson Chapman and Noel Murray for IndieWire; of Last Tango in Paris, which comes in at no.3, they write:

Actress Maria Schneider remained friends with Brando until his death in 2004, but Brando and Bertolucci’s behavior was inexcusable. Brando also delivers an irreducibly complex performance of the highest empathy and sensitivity, a performance that reveals what his work, at its best, could achieve: An illumination of the idea that people are more than one thing and that multiple, seemingly conflicting things can be true at the same time.

Living London: a fascinating tale of film archaeology from Luke McKernan, focussed on variants of a Charles Urban actuality originally filmed in 1904; like the immaculate historian that he is, Luke includes an invaluable ‘further reading’ list at the close.

A Taxi Driver remake – why Arthur Jafa recast the Scorsese ending: Aruna D’Souza for The New York Times [gift link] on an intriguing new artwork that remakes part of Scorsese’s 1976 classic film.

Conflict zone: on Jonathan Glazer’s Oscars speech: Jonathan Romney for Sight&Sound is serious and sane, and more than worth your time.

Two Shakespearean triumphs in Paris, or a plague on both their houses?: a New York Times review [gift link] by Laura Capelle of radical French productions of Macbeth at the Comédie-Française, directed by Silvia Costa, and Christiane Jatahy’s take on Hamlet at the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe; needless to say, I’d love to see both.

Flesh and fluff: for Artforum [limited free access], Harmon Siegel is very good on how hard it is ow to look at the art of the Impressionists.

Renaissance Goo Beauty Sensorium film: terrific from historian Jill Burke about what reconstructing cosmetic recipes can revealed about the lives of Renaissance women.

Teddy Boys: Post-War Britain and the First Youth Revolution by Max Décharné: Mathew Lyons’ engaging review makes me want to read a new book about the style group of the 1950s.

A sense of agency – a conversation with Lauren Oyler: a rewarding conversation for The Paris Review by Sheila Heti with the novelist and essayist.

The real reason we voted for Brexit – the grinding misery of inequality: exceptional, and surprising, analysis by Stuart Donald for Bylines Scotland.

GB spews: Gavin Esler for Prospect [register for limited access] on ‘what I learned watching Britain’s most ghastly television news channel—so you don’t have to’; closely observed and thoughtful, this is funny but also serious:

Even if many Brits, like me, never normally watch it on television, GB News is beginning to have a profound impact on our society. In political circles, it is said to have considerable influence with Conservative party members—to the extent that it may play a key role in selecting the next party leader. 

Antimarket: a dense but important LRB essay [£, but limited free access] by William Davies responding to Brett Christophers’ The Price is Wrong: Why Capitalism Won’t Save the Planet, new from Verso.

And finally…: fifty years ago last night, this was the winning song for Eurovision, since when, amongst much else, it has racked up some 87 million views on Youtube:

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