Videos for the weekend

2nd February 2013

I have my colleague Todd Macdonald to thank for the weekend’s first clip: a timelapse panorama of the courtyard observed by Jeff (James Stewart, above) in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954). Todd was laid up with a bug for much of the week and instead of spying on his neighbours he watched a lot of stuff online – and chronicled this on a blog post. Jeff Desom‘s remix was one of his discoveries – and it’s a revelatory reworking of the film and the studio space in which it was made. The artist also shows this as an installation. Across the jump there are nine other clips that I encountered during the week that I hope you may enjoy.

2. Women Unseen: Avant-Garde Film

An engaging short video essay by Nelson Carvajal for Fandor that is a kind of trailer for artists’ films made by women, from Germaine Dulac to Lori Felker; you need to read the accompanying Fandor page which identifies the films from which extracts have been taken.

3. Lost in Austen – Amanda Price sings ‘Downtown’

Compiling my twelve clips to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, I was pleased to discover the 2008 ITV serial Lost in Austen in which a modern-day woman is transported back to the world of the Bennets; this is a very funny scene that was apparently dropped from the DVD, presumably because of the difficulty (and cost) of clearing music rights beyond a television broadcast.

4. Petula Clark – ‘Downtown’

And for no other reason than that it’s great, here is the original…

5. Marianne Faithfull – ‘The Ballad of Lucy Jordan’

Marianne Faithfull’s great and glorious 1979 album Broken English has been re-released this week (see Alexis Petridis’ acute review for the Guardian). The highlight for me has always been this song, for which the late Derek Jarman made this desperate and defiant video. I only wish the image quality was better, but please note the neat thematic link with the video above.

6. Behind the Scenes – Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925

MoMA curator Leah Dickerman and Columbia Business School professor Paul Ingram explain how with some smart graphic designers they visualised the friendships and relationships between the artists featured in the museum’s current blockbuster survey of abstract art.

7. Michael Dobson interviews Greg Doran, Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company

The technical quality isn’t perhaps of the first order but this is a great hour-long video discussion between Michael Dobson at the Shakespeare Institute and the man who has recently taken over at the RSC – and with whom, of course, Illuminations has made films of Macbeth (2000), Hamlet (2009) and the recent Julius Caesar (2012).

8. Monitor: Pop Goes the Easel, 1962

In my class at the Royal College of Art this week we looked at parts of Ken Russell’s thrilling BBC film about four young pop artists: Peter Blake, Peter Phillips, Derek Boshier and Pauline Boty. If you watch nothing else, fast forward through Huw Weldon’s po-faced opening and enjoy the circus sequence cut to James Darren’s ‘Goodbye Cruel World’ which starts at 02:45.

9. DVD of the week: Band of Angels

Richard Brody for The New Yorker considers Raoul Walsh’s plantation drama from 1957 which the French critic Jean-Francois Rauger has recently claimed as ‘one of the presumptive sources of inspiration’ for Tarantino’s Django Unchained; see also Brody’s blog post here.

10. The Ultimate Form – dress rehearsal

… and finally here’s a short trailer produced by Illuminations for The Hepworth Wakefield for a major new performance piece conjured up by the artists Linder which will premiere on 11 May this year; the work is part of one of three exhibitions from Alice Channer, Jessica Jackson Hutchins and Linder that open on 16 February  – there is much more information on the Vimeo page from which this is embedded.


  1. Paul Tickell says:

    Re Faithfull’s ‘Lucy Jordan’: the song was used to great effect in the 1981 film MONTENEGRO by director Dusan Makavejev.

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