Kine Weekly: continuity of film and digital, Nolan and 70mm, TV shows of the midcentury etc.

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I’ve let this column mothball for a bit, because I’ve been using Pinboard as well as social media to share links. However, I’ve found that setting aside the time to compile a regular links column prompts me to actually read and absorb the things that I share online. So, I’ve decided to start it up again.

So, here we go, here’s a big ol’ bumper list of things I’ve been reading related to moving image history, heritage and archiving.

Bay Area Coalition (BAVC) > ‘BAVC Releases Version 0.5 Of QCTools‘ >> FAO. archivists working with born-digital or digitised video.

Flavorwire > ‘”The Simpsons,” “The Wire,” and Why You Should Care About Cropped TV Shows‘ >> The tendency to stretch or crop a moving image is an obnoxious habit or current distributors and exhibitors.

AMIA Education Committee > ‘Welcome to the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) Education Committee‘ >> A new resource for students and trainee moving image archivists.

Silent London > ‘Cocktails and canapés with the stars of the silent screen‘ >> One of my supervisors, Nathalie Morris, has managed to fuse the two passions in her life – film history and cocktails – because she’s cool like that.

British Library Sound and Vision Blog > ‘Listening to the radio‘ >> Really hoping to make The Dark Tower next month.

Transdiffusion > ‘Schedules‘ >> I’ve been enjoying Transdiffusion’s ‘Tonight’s TV…’ column, which details and comments on old TV listings. For example: ‘Tonight’s Southern TV… in 1968’.

Transdiffusion > ‘Pride of a Peacock’ >> More midcentury TV goodness, happy birthday once again to BBC 2!

NPR Monkey See > ‘Gilligan’s Island At 50: A Goofy Show From A Time Of TV Innocence’ >> Happy birthday to Gilligan’s Island, a show I really ought to watch.

cinema scope > ‘Quest for Happiness: A Conversation with Peter von Bagh’ >> I was sad to hear of the death of Peter von Bagh, not long after I returned from Il Cinema Ritrovato, the festival of rediscovered and restored cinema that von Bagh was Artistic Director of.

Kickstarter > ‘LONDON SYMPHONY‘ >> Just two weeks left and nearly £3000 to go, so please spare what you can to get this new City Symphony for London in production.

Observations on film art > ‘An auteur, three archives, and the archivist as auteur‘ >> David Bordwell recommends some books; 75000 Films is now on my bedstand.

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more) > ‘How Buster Keaton Filmed The General’ >> A fun resource for all the historical location scouts out there.

George Eastman House > ‘George Eastman House receives digital laboratory from Eastman Kodak Company’ >> Good news as Eastman House expands its digital preservation capability, also meaning that its training of future film archivists will also expand and diversify.

Hollywood Reporter > ‘How Christopher Nolan’s Crusade to Save Film Is Working’ >> Sadly I think that the BFI IMAX in London will soon be no longer equipped to show its old proprietary 70mm format, so we Brits may be forced to see Interstellar in some other format.

Yahoo! Movies > ‘What’s Behind the Struggle to Save Film Stock?’ >> More on the auteurs who support celluloid.

Hollywood Theatre > ’The Hollywood Theatre is Going 70mm!’ >> Lovely.

Kickstarter > ‘100 More Years of Analog Film by FILM Ferrania’ >> If you like reversal film, and use it in your still photography or small gauge filmmaking, then you may want to consider donating to this kickstarter.

Extension 765 > ‘Raiders’ >> Fascinating experiment that takes away the sound and colour of the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark to enable analysis of its ‘staging’.

The National Archives > ‘Building the future and preserving the past’ >> Linked because I think ‘continuity’ is an important part of archival access technologies and preservation practices that has yet to be fully unpacked.

American Archive of Public Broadcasting > ‘Opening Data Is Not Like Opening a Door’ >> Another perspective on the tricky task of wrangling archival records and metadata with a view to access.

The Onion > ‘Community Loses Interest 3 Days After Rallying To Save Local Theater’ >> Made me giggle.

The Guardian > ‘End of an era as BBC hands over Television Centre to developers’ >> Prompting the saddest photo ever, taken by Elliot Felton for The Evening Standard.

The Guardian > ‘”Holy grail” of Sherlock Holmes films discovered at Cinémathèque Française’ >> Ending on a high note with a lovely find.

 

Why I’ll Miss ‘Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide’

Recently, the longstanding film critic Leonard Maltin announced that this year’s edition of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide will be the last. Maltin himself is not retiring from film guidance and criticism altogether; he’s very much an active and valued historian and critic. The startlingly similar compendium, Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide, will still be available for the film guide faithful.

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I will miss Maltin’s coffee table filmopaedia – though I, personally, have never bought it. I have never purchased Halliwell’s Film Guide, either, or subscribed to the Sight & Sound archive (though, as luck would have it, I am in receipt of a physical collection of old editions of the Monthly Film Bulletin). Like most modern cinephiles, when looking for production credits, technical specifications or other filmographic information, I refer to the IMDb. If I want to know the critical consensus of a particular film, I refer to online aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes or MetaCritic. I fully acknowledge my hypocriticticism.

However, there are several reasons to mourn the passing of yet another printed filmographic resource. I say mourn because the loss of Maltin’s guide is one in a sequence of losses. For example, last year Sight & Sound announced that it would no longer be committing itself to publishing the full credits for every film on release in Britain, a task it had inherited when it merged with the Monthly Film Bulletin in the early 1990s, because in the age of IMDb, recording filmographic information isn’t really a viable use of resources.

There have been a lot of changes in film criticism in the past ten to fifteen years. New media has usurped print and broadcast media as the go-to place to read or hear film reviews. Blogs, podcasts, vlogcasts and aggregators have diversified the field of criticism, which used to be the province of professional staff critics working for newspapers, journals, television and radio. Even the few staff critics who remain now use the internet to stay relevant: Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review is more often consumed as a podcast than as a radio broadcast;  Roger Ebert’s online presence keeps him posthumously relevant;  even Leonard Maltin himself has achieved cult status through the ‘Leonard Maltin Game’, created by critic Doug Benson for his Doug Loves Movies podcast. There is also now a new generation of critics, who have built on their indie blogs or youtube channels and their direct rapport with their audience, and are often funded through subscriptions, donations, sponsorship and advertising revenue, rather than contracted.

I don’t intend to suggest a hierarchy by pointing out the two spheres of criticism, suffice to say that Leonard Maltin and his contemporaries performed a service that the newer online-born resources don’t. They produced historical records of moving images, entrenched in print, preserved in their own socio-cultural historical contexts.

Like the newspapers of record, film journals and guides that list comprehensive information and opinions about many films function as references for film scholars, journalists and fans. Such publications are accurate, authoritative and reliable. When something is incorrect, an amendment can be published in the next edition. If an opinion is revised, you can cross reference the revised edition with the original and gain an insight into the shifting values of film appreciation.

Of course, online resources are authoritative too, in their own way. Crowdsourcing or mining large repositories of information (or ‘interoperable metadata’) are both methods to quickly populate a film resource with useful info. That information can be browsed and searched quickly, in contrast to the slow process of sifting through indexes to multi-volumed publications. Moreover, that information has the capacity to grow and change at a rate faster than can be achieved by small, discrete numbers of individuals.

However, these resources are not permanent and are thus less reliable. They are also only retroactively verified and thus less accurate. For all the thousands of cinephiles volunteering information, there are often startling gaps in knowledge, particularly when it comes to foreign language, independent and older/forgotten/lost moving images. Also, when these resources are revised or amended, it can be hard to access earlier editions. If you can get to an earlier version of a record or a review it is often stripped of its original formatting and/or utterly incomprehensible – I mean, have you tried reading the ‘revision history’ tab on a Wikipedia entry?

Maltin’s guide was originally intended for local television viewers as a guide to the films on their TVs. Over time it became more than that: it became one critic’s curated canon of cinema. And I don’t mean ‘curated’ in the received, online-jargon, urban dictionary sense of the word; I mean that Leonard Maltin has spent his adult life exhaustively watching, researching and evaluating cinema. Thanks to his Guide, that work has been preserved – a testament to his life’s occupation.

 

Kine Weekly: Il Cinema Ritrovato and more rare and restored film news

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I’m off to Bologna to attend the Il Cinema Ritrovato festival. I’ll probably produce some sort of write-up when I return, in the meantime you can keep up with my adventures on Twitter, Tumblr and on Letterboxd.

In the meantime, here are just a few links from the world of moving image history, heritage and archiving.

Silent-ology > ‘Silent-ology Interviews Susan Buhrman About New “The General” Finds’ >> Interview with the president of the International Buster Keaton Society about the newly found archive of materials related to The General.

National Archives Media Matters > ‘Film Preservation 101: This 80 Year Old Film Printer Still Contributes to Preservation’ >> Happy 80th to the US National Archives. ‘Believe it or not, we not only still have that printer, we occasionally use it!’

The Atlantic > ‘The Forgotten Stars of Silent Film’ >> Next month the Library of Congress will host film historians, fans and informed individuals to view films and fragments from a bunch of archives and contribute any knowledge they have about them

Reap Mediazine > ‘Is Film Really Dead?An Interview With Steve Cossman’ >> I met Tara (the interviewer) a couple of years ago at Le Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone, and I’m happy to read about the fascinating MONO NO AWARE group.

MOI Digital > A new online resource to do with the early years of the Ministry of Information, including material related to its Film Unit.

Library of Congress > ‘Recommended Format Specifications from the Library of Congress: An Interview with Ted Westervelt” >> For all the format fans out there!

Lastly, here’s AMIA Film Advocacy Task Force’s first in a series of upcoming video interviews -‘Five Minutes with Leonard Maltin’ – in which  the legendary film critic and historian shares his thoughts.

Kine Weekly: Space Films, War Films, Dylan Thomas etc.

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Newsround > ‘Glasgow School of Art clean-up underway’ >> Most people in the art world (and beyond) know of the terrible fire in the Glasgow School of Art last week. Just horrific. Best wishes to those involved in the clean-up.

BBC News > ‘Dylan Thomas: First film footage found’ >> Well, Dylan Thomas was found IN the film (the film itself was not lost), but still… cool!

Wired > ‘The Hackers Who Recovered NASA’s Lost Lunar Photos’ >> An archivist from the NARA alerted the AMIA Listserv to the following film from the late sixties, which details the original production of the images, the contents of which were recovered by the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (I’m a Mad Men fan, so I’ve had the moon on my mind this week!)

MUBI Notebook > ‘The Forgotten: “Mickey” (1918)’ >> As a Mabel Normand fan, I’m glad her first real ‘star vehicle’ is featured in David Cairns’s regular ‘Forgotten’ column.

UCLA Film & Television Archive > ‘World War I Symposium at FIAF Conference’ >> Lovely recap of the commemorative event, including a very personal rediscovery for the historians and archivists in Skopje, Macedonia.

Picturegoing > ‘The War Films’ >> Henry Newbolt’s beautiful 1916 poem, published in The Times in response to the film The Battle of the Somme.

Buzzfeed > ‘Online Film Archive Provides Fascinating Look At Life In Wartime Britain’ >> Pretty much. Congratulations to the British Council, for making it to the internet’s most prominent repository of viral hits.

Observations on film art > ‘THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS: A usable past’ >> David Bordwell discusses the use of allusionment and shared storyworlds to create histories within films.

Media Industries > A brand new open access peer-review journal that may be of use to some. I’ve already added Des Freedman’s piece about media policy to my PhD bibliography!

Reframe > ‘The Death of Film Is Felt Hardest In the City Built on Kodak’s Reign’ >> A photographer’s view of Rochester during the decline of Kodak.

Lastly, congratulations to all those involved in the City of Nottingham’s tribute to Torvill and Dean (see below for the film and the original). This video pretty much sums up why I’ve become so fond of this unassuming, often overlooked city these past few years. Also, a brilliant start for Notts TV.

Kine Weekly: the Australian budget, fictional film archiving fun, and historicising and memorialising film and TV

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News and views from the world of moving image history, heritage and archiving.

The Sydney Morning Herald > ‘Merging cultural institutions would be disastrous, say former directors’ >> Well, a lot can (and has) been said about the Australian budget this week, but here’s a piece of direct relevance to the cultural/heritage industries, and the National Film and Sound Archive in particular.

Fredrik on Film > ‘On wonderment and film’ >> The process of researching, analysing, evaluating and, yes, even exhibiting and archiving moving images can sometimes get in the way of sheer cinephillic wonderment.

The National Archives Blog > ‘Managing information: Are you game?’ >> I hate the word ‘gamification’ and everything it stands for, but that being said, I have found myself thinking about strategies for effective record/information management.

The Self-Styled Siren > ‘Missing Reels: The Siren’s Novel’ >> A novel about the ‘archivist ingenue’? A forgotten silent film? Ennui channelled into obsessive watching of film? This book sounds worryingly like it’s been plundered from my head.

Silent London > ‘An exclusive interview with @MsLillianGish’ >> Speaking of forgotten silent film stars, I’m delighted to find that Lillian Gish is active on Twitter.

VDFK > ‘Flugblatt für Aktivistische Filmkritik’ >> ‘Pamphlet for Acitivist Film Criticism’ (scroll down for translation).

AMIA Film Advocacy Task Force > ‘Projection: The Politics of Passivity’ >> Admittedly some of this went over my head, but it does contribute to the discussion of film projection, arguing that it is about more than format fetishisation.

kinetta > ‘Digitalisierung von Schmalfilm in HD… a response’ (PDF) >> OK, so this is written by a manufacturer of a scanner, but still an interesting presentation about the scanning resolution required for digitising small gauge film.

BFI > ‘BFI DVD releases announced for August/September 2014’ >> Someone buy me Out of the Unknown – kthx.

Pebble Mill > ‘North 3 Wins an “Oscar”’ >> ‘The last BBC Type 2 colour scanner still on the road, CMCR9/North 3, has won an award.’ The Duncan Neale Award for Excellence in Preservation, no less!

CST online > ‘Memorialising BBC2’ >> Pat Holland looks at the changing face of BBC2, through an analysis of indents and other moments celebrating its 30th, 40th and now 50th anniversary.

Institute for Screen Industries > ‘The Value of Historicising Media Industry Practices’ >> A fellow Nottingham-based PhD candidate, Matthew Freeman, explains why it is important to historicise seemingly modern media industry practices.

Lastly, as the Cannes Film Festival kicks off, here’s some footage of the very first fest in 1946:

Kine Weekly: a slew of rediscoveries from EYE, Welles memorabilia up for auction, more conferences announced, etc.

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So last Friday Pamela and I discussed our mutual love for British silent cinema starlet Betty Balfour (who has a starring role in this year’s British Silent Film Festival). I am overjoyed about the rediscovery of Love, Life and Laughter (George Pearson, 1923) starring Our Betty, five minutes of which played at the Orphan Film Symposium on Wednesday.

I actually have a post about Betty coming up early next week. In the meantime, here’s a selection of other news from the world of moving image archiving:

LA Times > ‘A treasure trove of silent American movies found in Amsterdam’ > Well done to the EYE Filmmuseum and the National Film Preservation Foundation. Koko and Mickey and chickens – oh my!

Self-Styled Siren > ‘Good News for Silent Film Fans’ >> The Siren discusses the very early Mickey Rooney film Mickey’s Circus, one of the film rediscovered and announced this week (see above).

Moving Image Archive News > ‘A Secret Ceremony, Preserved on Film’ >> There are many reasons why certain events go unrecorded, or why those recordings are lost, or why they are put under embargo when they do survive. This piece explains how film archivists have to approach recordings of local customs with tact and compassion.

The Hollywood Reporter > ‘Orson Welles’ Camera, Scripts, ‘Citizen Kane’ Memorabilia Up for Auction’ >> ‘The legendary director’s youngest daughter […] says her dad would want them in the hands of film buffs.’ Surely he would want them in an archive…?

Open Culture > ‘The History of the Movie Camera in Four Minutes: From the Lumiere Brothers to Google Glass’ >> Lovely!

Archaeologies of Media and Film > ‘Call for Papers’ >> An upcoming conference that could be of interest to those working or researching in film history, heritage and archiving.

Detroit Free Press >  ‘5 questions with filmmaker and archivist Rick Prelinger’ >> Prelinger explains his fascination with Detroit and the archival film he’s uncovered about the city.

Trevor Owens > ‘Digital Preservation’s Place in the Future of the Digital Humanities’ >>’In short, I think there is a critical need for a dialog and conversation between work in the digital humanities and work building the collections of sources they are going to draw from.’

Warwick Film and Television Studies > ‘The Projection Project’ >> Exciting fully-funded PhD project available for a student interested in the representation of the projectionist in film.

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting > ‘PBCore is Back in Action’ >> Further development of the US Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary.

BFI > ‘Film education strategy’ >> The BFI announces a new policy document, based in part on the responses of film educators.

The most recent More Podcast, Less Process podcast discusses the challenge of archiving video:

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And lastly, as I wrap up another chapter draft of my PhD thesis, I think I deserve a pat on the back, courtesy of British Pathe:

Kine Weekly: archiving information, film exhibition past and present, thoughts on theory etc.

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Time > ‘Meet the Geniuses on a Quixotic Quest to Archive the Entire Internet’ >> My interest in the archiving of information technology stems from moving image archiving, considering that many of our moving images are produced, formatted, distributed, exhibited and stored on a computer.

Silent London > ‘Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema 2014: reporting back’ >> Looks like fun!

Open Culture > ‘Architects Dress as Famous New York City Buildings in Vintage 1931 Photo’ >> From a 1931 ball for the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects. Includes a link to a tiny snippet of newsreel footage of the event (sadly not open access).

Flicker Alley > ‘Glass Slides from Early Chaplin Movies’ >> Gorgeous, full-colour digitised lantern slides promoting vintage Charlie.

Fredrik on Film > ‘Theory readings – An introduction’ >> ‘When theoretical texts are discussed or criticised it is usually through the use of another theory, on whether it contradicts or agrees with some other text. But that is not really critical thinking, that is compare and contrast. For me it is when a text is criticised on its own terms, from within, that it becomes interesting and meaningful’ <- My feelings exactly.

Cinema Fanatic > ‘Female Filmmaker Friday: Sedmikrásky (Daisies), 1966 (dir. Věra Chytilová)’ >> Appropriate write-up of Chytilová’s seminal film given the filmmaker’s death last week.

MUBI > ‘Movie Poster of the Week: “Sunshine of Paradise Alley”’ >> Adrian Curry’s poster column is a well-known weekly joy, but this poster I found to be particularly unusual and arresting.

 Observations on film art > ‘Dispatch from another 35mm outpost. With cats.’ >> Residents of Rochester, NY are spoiled for film on film. I braved a cat allergy to visit The Cinema for a few double-bills in 2012 and did not regret it.

National Archives > ‘The information management academy awards’ >> A neat riff on the Oscars.

British Library > ‘The Newsroom’ >> While the British Lbrary’s Newspaper Archive in Colindale was/is an important archival heritage site that will never be replaced, the new Newsroom facility does look pretty spiffy, and it’s nice that so much of the microfilm will be open-access.

Kine Weekly: Alaskan records, access and exhibition of archival film and television, silent cinema selfies, etc.

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This was supposed to go out on Friday, but I was having tech issues. Apologies.

MoveOn Petitions > ‘Keep Alaska’s Records in Alaska’ >> Alaskans/Americans interested in disputing the NARA’s decision should sign this.

Hippodrome Festival Of Silent Cinema’s Photos > ‘Oscars Schmoscars, HippFest can do a selfie too’ >> Bo’ness is obviously where to cool kids hang out.

Zotero > ‘Online Access to Audio-Visual Content’ >> The EUscreenXL project has created a library of readings on the topic of access to moving images. I believe members can supplement this bibliography by adding their own citations.

Dr Film > ‘The Religion of Vinegar Syndrome’ >> ‘The belief system of how vinegar syndrome works and affects prints has become unshakeable.  It’s much like a religion, the difference being important: real religion covers matters untestable and unknowable.  Vinegar syndrome is testable and knowable.’

Scope > Issue 26 >> The University of Nottingham’s own open-access peer-reviewed journal of Film and Television Studies boasts a particularly interesting article by Max Sexton on the use of 16mm film in the television industry (PDF).

CST Online > ‘In Memory of Studio Drama: Curating and Presenting the BFI Southbank “Dramatic Spaces” Season’ >> A fascinating piece by Leah Panos, reflecting on her experience co-curating a season of studio-based television plays for the BFI. I was lucky enough to catch one of those screenings when I was last in London.

Moving Image Archive News > ‘The Guilty Pleasure of Wallowing in Quasi-Archives Constructed in Thoroughly Disapproved Ways’ >> Fun blogpost about the subversive delights of accessing archival footage through online ‘anti-archives’ such as Youtube.

Observations on film art > ‘You can go home again, and maybe find an old movie’ >> David Bordwell considers his home town of Penn Yan, NY and presents a history of film exhibition there.

Newcastle University > ‘A History of Women in British Film and Television’ >> A new project drawing on the oral histories collected by the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU).

ATV Today > ‘Bangor “Local TV Station” Dropped >> My research into regional independent television has led me to a greater understanding of how commercial interests and broadcasting infrastructes have influenced exactly which ‘regions’ had a chance to be represented on television. This is a case in point.

BBC News > ‘Five lesser-spotted things Tony Benn gave the UK’ >> As Postmaster-General, Benn has a place in broadcasting and communications history. He was enthused about new technologies, and revelled in the opening of the Post Office Tower in 1966.

Kine Weekly: leading ladies of all kinds, film fashion, the problem with clouds, etc.

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It’s almost Oscar time! I will be watching with glasses of Mary Pickford and Ginger Rogers. Here are some links to keep you occupied in the meantime.

Moving Image Archive News > ‘China Girls, Leading Ladies, Actual Women’ >> An in-depth article detailing the history and meta-history of the ‘China Girls/ colour bar “timing control strips”’ that were part of the head leader of film reels and ‘provided certified, dependable guiders for the technicians as they printed film.’ The article covers the technical function of the frames as well as the problematic pictures of women that featured on them.

Northwest Chicago Film Society > ‘China Girls / Leader Ladies’ >> More info about the China Girls, including lots of examples and a handy diagram.

The Guardian Fashion Blog > ‘Funny Face: a film in love with fashion’ >> I love it when resident old film nut Pam does the fashion blog at the Guardian, for it is indeed ‘like taking a trip through fashion history’.

Cosmopolitan > ‘Every Best Actress Oscars dress since 1929’ >> This infographic has been doing the rounds in the run up to the Oscars this weekend. Ginger Rogers always gets my vote.

British Libray Inspired by… blog > ‘Fashion & Film – Sequins, lamé and plunging necklines in American Hustle’ >> What it says on the tin.

Wiped News > ‘Kaleidoscope uncovers lost BBC drama in RNLI vault’ >> After digging through its collection of film cans, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution found that they had a complete recording of the 1959 docudrama Medico that featured one of their lifeboats. The drama in question was believed to have never been recorded in the first place. You can see it at the Kaleidoscope event ‘Missing Believed Wiped in the Midlands’ on 5 April.

Cloud of Data > ‘Can the cloud do “in perpetuity”?’ >> Paul Miller is part of the team that has been contracted by the National Archives to answer this very question.

The National Archives > ‘Cloud storage and archives: a match made in heaven?’ >> More info about the NA’s new project team investigating whether cloud storage can ever be a reliable storage option for archives.

GSA > ‘Artists and Archive: Artist Moving Image at the BBC’ >> Six artists will be making new moving image artworks inspired by the BBC archives.

The British Pathe Archive Blog > ‘British Pathé presents: WW1 – The Definitive Collection’ >>  This being the centenary year of World War One, expect many more links of this nature.

The BBC’s iPlayer currently features The Magic Box, the 1951 film about William Friese-Greene starring Robert Donat, and Of Time And the City, Terence Davies’s documentary of Liverpool made entirely of archival film extracts.

Lastly, watch this short documentary about the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by The Vinyl Factory.

Kine Weekly: RIP Stuart Hall and Shirley Temple, and everything is better as a silent movie…

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Because nothing says ‘I love you’ like a bunch of links to do with the history, heritage and preservation of moving images.

Monkey See > ‘The Beatles, As America First Loved Them’ >> It’s been 50 years since The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. This gives me a neat excuse to link to my favourite ever story from This American Life.

Northwest Chicago Film Society > ‘Beacons of Cinema: In Defense of Trailers‘ >> ‘Civilian audiences complain of endless trailers at the movie theater; film collectors always want more. They spend hours splicing together reels and reels of the stuff, hoping to impress audiences with the perfect trailer compilation.’

The National Archives > ‘A-Z of Information Management’ >> ‘Y is for… Yoda. Mix Star Wars and information management and what do you get?’ – simply brilliant.

The Telegraph > ‘Margot Fonteyn lost kiss scene rediscovered’ >> Rediscovered footage from a 1959 BBC broadcast of the ballet Sleeping Beauty has been found and will be screened in March.

Self-Styled Siren > ‘In Memoriam: Shirley Temple, 1928-2014’ >> More obits I liked here and here. I will be breaking out the grenadine and ginger ale.

Silent London > ‘Silent comedy on TV – Inside No 9: A Quiet Night In, and more’ >> I can’t wait to catch-up with this modern day silent comedy.

Of course, everything is better as a silent movie. To prove it, I offer these 3 examples pulled from my Facebook feed in recent days:

Exhibit A. The Onion discusses the original RoboCop

Exhibit B. What if Star Trek was a silent movie?

Exhibit C. An unofficial video for The Divine Comedy’s ‘Napoleon Complex’, compiled from clips of Abel Gance’s Napoleon.

And lastly, like every researcher studying any facet of British media and culture, I owe a debt of gratitude to Stuart Hall, the seminal cultural theorist who sadly died this week. I like this obituary, and I also like this interview he gave to the Guardian a couple of years ago. There is also The Stuart Hall Project, the documentary about his life and work that is now available on DVD.