Videos for the weekend

26th January 2013

A selection of interesting videos that I came across during the past week and – well, that’s it really… Above is an image from the Saul Bass title sequence to Otto Preminger’s Carmen Jones (1954), a film discussed by Christian Keathley in no 10. below.

1. Richard II, directed by Rupert Goold, BBC, 2012

Why not? Following the news this week that David Tennant is to play the king for the Royal Shakespeare Company in the autumn, here is a brief reminder of last year’s The Hollow Crown presentation (discussed in my blog post here) with Patrick Stewart as John of Gaunt chastising Ben Whishaw’s Richard.

2. The last roll of Kodachrome

Terrific 30-minute National Geographic documentary about photographer Steve McCurryin 2010 shooting the 36 exposures on the final roll of film to come out of Kodak’s factory. Open Culture has the background, along with further links.

3. The Man Who Knew Too Much: restoration demonstration

The Criterion Collection in the States has just released on Region 1 DVD and area B Blu-ray its new restoration of Hitchcock’s great 1934 thriller. For background, read the online essay The Man Who Knew Too Much: wish you were here by Farran Smith Nehme. This is Criterion’s short film about the processes necessary to get it looking wonderful today…

4. The Man Who Knew Too Much: a shooting

… and this is a  5-minute immaculately shot and assembled scene from the climax of the movie.

5. Akira Kurosawa interviewed by Nagisa Oshima

One giant of the Japanese cinema talking with another, recorded for Japanese television in 1993 and now on YouTube (turn on captions) in eight parts of which this is the first. Nagisa Oshima died just over a week ago.

6. Daphne

Jeremy Millar’s new 18-minute film, which he describes in this way: ‘A film made in the Photographic Collection of the Warburg Institute, London, during which time research is undertaken into images of Daphne, and her transformation into a laurel tree; other transformations occur, also.’

7. Sapphire, 1959

I greatly enjoyed this week watching the British noir Sapphire, directed by Basil Dearden in 1959. The film parades an impeccably liberal response to the racial tensions of the time, but it also embraces the stereotypes of the day, most notably in this flamboyant sequence of Eastmancolor expressionism (director of photography Harry Waxman) set in a Shepherd’s Bush ‘dive’ called Tulip’s. The attitudes may appear dated but the film-making flair remains impressive – and somehow atypical of what we imagine the British cinema of the 1950s to have been.

8. Ian Nairn’s journeys – The Orient Express

@agatapyzik enthused during the week about this remarkable BBC documentary from the 1970s, and it is indeed well worth a look – to coin a phrase, they don’t make them like this anymore. There’s more on Nairn here from Jonathan Glancey.

9. The Stuart Hall Project, extract

This looks fascinating – John Akomfrah and Smoking Dogs’ new film about the great theorist and activist, premiered at Sundance this week; this two-minute extract comes courtesy of The Huffington Post.

10. Découpage and Otto Preminger’s Carmen Jones by Christian Keathley

A REFRAME video recording a fascinating (for those interested in film theory applied to Hollywood) 50-minute presentation about formalist and expressive approaches to Preminger at a Film Studies research seminar given by Christian Keathley at the Centre for Visual Fields, University of Sussex, on December 4, 2012.


  1. Stuart Ian Burns says:

    The Stuart Hall Project was featured in a three screen version at the Blue Coat as part of the Liverpool Biennial last year. Its installation is featured in this video:

  2. Helene says:

    Speaking of “Richard II,” Jeremy Irons provides an analysis of the play in an upcoming PBS episode of “Shakespeare Uncovered,” which is examing eight Shakespeare plays for American audiences.

    Last night’s episode focused on “Macbeth,” with many snippets of both of Illuminations’ versions of the play and interviews with Anthony Sher and Harriet Walter.

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