The week’s links 6-12/5 [Updated]

7th May 2012

Working intensively on our BBC film of the RSC’s Julius Caesar over the past few weeks, I’ve missed out on a lot of reading and viewing – not to mention blog recommendations. Today’s column of links (to which as usual I’ll add during the week) is part of the catch-up, and it starts with Epithet, a fascinating short drama with Patrick Stewart directed by Angus Jackson. Written by Mark O’Rowe and inspired by the experience of Stewart and Jackson working together at the Young Vic on Edward Bond’s Bingo, it features the great actor playing ‘an admired and respected poet of middle years’ who is also a womaniser. For background, see also Jackson’s Shakespeare, bear-baiting and bad language – how we made Epithet. Further links in the jump.

If you take my advice, I’d repress them: ‘I thought I would tell the story of Britain’s involvement in the government and the security of Bahrain over the past 90 years. Especially as the present King of Bahrain is coming to have lunch with the Queen on May 18th.’ Another essential Adam Curtis blog with wonderful illustrations from the BBC archive.

In the zone of alienation – Tarkovsky as video game: a remarkable piece by Gabriel Winslow-Yost on a series of first-person shooter games based on Tarkovsky’s Stalker created between 2007 and 2010 by a Ukrainian video game developer named GSC Game World.

Woman with a lens, restored: Manohla Davis for The New York Times on Shirley Clarke, who she (rightly ) says is ‘one of the great undertold stories of American independent cinema’.  The background is the Shirley Clarke Project from Milestone Films which aims to restore and re-release a number of Clarke’s important films.

Talking smack about junk – Shirley Clarke’s The Connection: J. Hoberman at The New York Review of Books on the most famous (and notorious) of Clarke’s films, about which he writes that it is ‘not a great movie but it is a singular and multi-faceted historical artifact’.

Watching Maya Deren with Livia Bloom: a neat Fandor video-essay on the influential avant-garde film poem Meshes of the Afternoon.

A man and his Focus: nice David Bordwell blog about screenplay writer and producer James Schamus – a screenplay is ‘a description of the best film you can imagine’.

The pleasures of Charles Rosen: Alastair Macaulay hymns the classical music critic for The New York Review of Books – ‘We return to Rosen not to remind ourselves of his greatness but to come to a better understanding of Mozart’s and Mallarmé’s, to enrich our appetites for classicism, Romanticism, and modernism, and to deepen our love of music, literature, and civilization.’

The five myths about contemporary classical music: Tom Service series for the Guardian, which has started with A guide to Elliott Carter’s music.

Radio 3’s fifty modern classics: this is a great complement to the Tom Service series – a wonderful series of short podcasts, now 27 episodes in, including one on Elliott Carter’s String Quartet No 3.

• Shakespeare at the British Council: Stuart Ian Burns on two precious short films in the series Famous Scenes from Shakespeare produced by the British Council in the 1940s and now available online; one is the Forum Scene from Julius Caesar (to which I’ll return in a future blog), the other two fragments of Macbeth.

ENO chief claims opera screenings don’t attract new audiences: The Stage reports John Berry saying the presentation of live shows in cinemas is a distraction ‘“It is of no interest to me,” he said. “It is not a priority. It doesn’t create new audiences either.”’

In The Rockford Files, James Garner played a PI who was in on the joke: Todd VanDerWerff on perhaps the greatest US television series of the seventies.

Making great TV even better – the BBC’s approach to companion experiences: Victoria Jaye on the Corporation’s current thinking about and plans for social TV.

• One square at a time – building the digital public space: important Tony Ageh blog aboutThe Space – the BBC’s collaboration with ACE – as a step towards the digital public space.

Between page and screen: Buzz Poole at Imprint on an augmented reality ‘book’ created by poet and book artist Amaranth Borsuk and programmer Brad Bouse.

‘Niggas in Paris’ for Francois Hollande: … and finally, given today’s result, you have to ask is this what won it for Francois? (It is quite an amazing official campaign video, cut to Kanye West and Jay-Z thanks to Linda for the link).

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