Struggling to finish my paper for the Society of Cinema and Media Studies conference, which kicks off in Boston a week from Wednesday. Read these things for me, won't you?
- Girish posts on the video essay and is involved with TWO panels at SCMS. I don't know how he does it, but I'm hoping to meet the man at long last.
- Long read 1: "An unfinished autobiography and a 1980s biopic turned Frances Farmer, one of the great golden-era stars, into a lobotomized zombie. The main trouble: Frances Farmer wasn’t lobotomized. An investigation to set one of Hollywood’s most convoluted stories straight."
- Long read 2, the delightful Anne Helen Peterson [whom I'd also love to meet at SCMS] on Katharine Hepburn: "When Hepburn died in 2003, at the age of 96, it was not so much a single woman dying as it was the death of an age of female film stardom — an age when a woman with nontraditional beauty, a powerful voice, and a disregard for Hollywood rules could be a major star for half a century. When Barbara Walters asked her if she even owned a skirt, she replied, 'I have one, Ms. Walters. I’ll wear it to your funeral.' That. That is what I’m talking about."
- Long read 3: "PEOPLE say that the savage no longer exists in us, that we are at the fag-end of civilization, that everything has been said already, and that it is too late to be ambitious. But these philosophers have presumably forgotten the movies."
- Long read 4: "In a minute, I'll be shown 400,000 canisters of irreplaceable film history, containing everything from Queen Victoria's funeral to Alfred Hitchcock's nine surviving silent films. As of last summer, they have been brought together under one roof – and not just any roof: pass security and into a clearing and there stands a swanky architect-designed grass slope, swooshing up off a £12m labyrinth of airlocks and sealed-off concrete chambers. As I said, think Blofeld."
- Long read 5: "You can see I’ve only fallen about 95 years behind. Like an abandoned cineplex I visited in Indiana that had been turned into a church by an Assemblies of God splinter group, I have descended below the Cinema of Attractions into a pre-cinematic state. Even if I download an app that will let me watch the new Ghost Rider film on an iPhone in 3D, I’m not sure I could catch up."
So much Star Wars zeitgeisting all about! Or perhaps it's just that I taught Jonathan Lethem's heartbreaking "13, 1977, 21" again recently and am hyperattuned?
- Death Star over Copenhagen [above]
- How much would it cost to build the Death Star?
- “I’m going to tell Peter I saw Dark Vader”
- The Secret Lives of Droids
And, of course. This clip's been bouncing around the Facebooks for the past few weeks. For some reason. Like you need one.
- Planetary Projection, introducing some of the world’s remarkable film projectionists.
- Bilge Ebiri on "earworm cinema"
- Breaking Out and Breaking In is an exploration of the use and misuse of space in prison escapes and bank heists, where architecture is the obstacle between you and what you're looking for. Watch the films at home—or anywhere you may be—and then come back to discuss the films here on BLDGBLOG. It's a "distributed" film fest; there is no central venue, just a curated list of films and a list of days on which to watch them. There's no set time, no geographic exclusion, and no limit to the food breaks or repeated scenes you might require.
- Celluloid Cities: Symphonies and Solos - A CAMS film series.The Cinema and Media Studies wishes to contribute to the campus wide interest in the theme of the city by showing five films. Ranging from ultra-famous films (Chunking Express, exceptionally shown in its 35 mm. splendor) to rare and hard-to-find little gems (Largo Viaje and Singapore Gaga); from Ruttmann's mythical city symphony that initiated a whole genre to Linklater's just as mythical tribute to Austin (and generation X), this Thursday evening film series wishes to reach all the cinephiles in the Wellesley College community and beyond, joining them in a common celebration of urban films.
- Sean Burns, hero.
- TWO THUMBS DOWN! the headline screams in victory. [via]
- I never thought I’d see advocacy for Footloose in these pages and I was convinced that all the apologists for M. Night Shyamalan lived in Paris. So there goes my prejudices.
- "Ain't she sweet?"
- BONUS ROUND! "what we talk about when we talk about curation first of all sure ain’t curation and secondly isn’t even all that special. But mostly it’s depressing because it’s a conversation that happens at the expense of original content itself. First, let’s just get clear on the terminology here: “Curation” is an act performed by people with PhDs in art history; the business in which we’re all engaged when we’re tossing links around on the internet is simple “sharing.” And some of us are very good at that! (At least if we accept “very good” to mean “has a large audience.”)"