1. “David Lynch, Who Began as a Visual Artist, Gets a Museum Show.” Hilarie M. Sheets, for the New York Times, on “David Lynch: The Unified Field” ahead of its September 13 opening at the Pennsylvania Academy.
“Despite the cultlike devotion to Mr. Lynch’s films, ’nobody’s paid attention to him in terms of my colleagues at American museums,’ observed Robert Cozzolino, the senior curator of the Pennsylvania Academy, who organized the show. It brings together paintings and drawings from five decades and includes a trove of barely exhibited early work from Mr. Lynch’s time in Philadelphia that set the tone for everything that followed. ’I think the art world has been suspicious of David, although he was trained as an artist,’ said Brett Littman, executive director of the Drawing Center in New York, referring to the fashion of creative people prominent in one arena trying their hand in another. ’He’s not James Franco.’ Mr. Littman organized a smaller show of Mr. Lynch’s works on paper and photographs last year in Los Angeles at Kayne Griffin Corcoran, which represents the artist.”
2. “Too Much Johnson: Recovering Orson Welles’s Dream of Early Cinema.” Joseph McBride, for Bright Lights Film Journal, on the early Welles film.
“Too Much Johnson is far more elaborate than any of Welles’s other early film ventures. He reportedly shot as much as four and a half hours of footage during a ten-day period in July 1938, although only sixty-six minutes of partially edited 35mm footage survives in an apparent work print (one missing section tantalizingly described by Welles to biographer Frank Brady used miniatures to introduce the Cuban section with a fog-shrouded plantation house, a volcano, and a steamboat, a precursor of both Kane’s opening and his unrealized 1939 feature film Heart of Darkness). But a sixty-six-minute film can be considered a feature of sorts even if some of the length is made up of repeated takes and though it was to have been shown in three parts, as a lengthy prologue and shorter introductions to the second and third acts of Too Much Johnson at the August 1938 stage production at the Stony Creek Theater in Connecticut, a summer stock house at the time (now The Puppet House Theater). The abbreviated two-week run of the play that began August 16 (sans film segments) was not a success and ended the plan of Welles and his producing partner John Houseman (who not only plays a Keystone Kop in the film but also doubles in a duel) to start the Mercury’s fall season in New York with Too Much Johnson.”
3. “Webcams in Ferguson offer noncurated views distinct from TV news.” Obviously, if you want to understand what’s been happening in Ferguson, you need more than a Web stream. But it offers another way of looking at things and, in some ways, a more profound one.
“The news is by necessity, even by definition, exclusionary. But by triple-underlining the most notable or exciting aspects of a story—the ’dramatic’ elements—the media also deform the reality they report upon, the way a sore toe might feel bigger than the rest of your foot. Watching on CNN, the effect was much different. A headline, ’Police and Protesters in Tense Standoff’ may have accurately described the situation, but it also decided something for the viewer. The constant rerunning of the most sensational footage, rooted in cable news’ need to make it seem that something big is happening at all times, distracts you from the bigger picture, in which nothing is happening most all of the time. Watching a Web stream, which may be organized only to the extent of where the camera is placed and pointed, you get a different and paradoxically wider sense of things. Though the field of view may seem restricted, the framing static, the shots interminable, unmediated video invites you in to look around and make your own decisions.”
4. “Unrecorded Dreams: Anthony Gonzalez on M83’s Early Years.” With M83’s first three albums getting reissued, Anthony Gonzalez looks back on his dreams as a small-town teenager in France—and how he made them a reality.
“To be fair to Nicolas [Fromageau], I didn’t want to come up with the same sound because I feel like that was something we worked on together. I wanted to try to change the drum tracks, for instance, and replace all the drum machines with a proper drum kit. I could’ve never done this album without the help of Antoine Gaillet, who produced it. We just locked ourselves in a house that we rented for two months. It was two hours outside of Paris, in the middle of nowhere. There was absolutely nothing, and it was beautiful—we were just making music all day. I had the songs, but if you compare the final versions to the demos, Antoine really created an alchemy between the drums and the bass and the synths. Everything is glued together beautifully. It’s a very unlyrical album, but also very powerful.”
5. “The Star Wars George Lucas Doesn’t Want You To See.” The original 1977 version of the saga is nearly impossible to find, so these fans made their own.
“It’s not that fans want to ban the new versions of Star Wars—no matter how much they may dislike them. They simply want to have a choice. Harmy even admits that he might watch the special edition every now and then. ’If both versions were available in the same quality I would probably enjoy watching the special edition once in a while. It’s not about George Lucas not being able to do these special editions. If people like the special editing, they can continue watching those. As long as both versions are available.’”
Video of the Day: The trailer for Jon Stewart’s Rosewater:
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