- This 2001 documentary directed by Stanley Kubrick's long-time assistant Jan Harlan features interviews with many actors from Kubrick's films as well as directors like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. It's full-length, so you might want to come back to it.
- From a Telegraph feature called "How historical figures would look today" comes these images of Henry VIII and his younger daughter. Elizabeth I looks a bit like Edie Falco as Nurse Jackie to me, while her dad's remake evokes the smugness of Kevin Spacey's character in Netflix's House of Cards. Like many other people, I find The Tudors endlessly fascinating.
|Quite the dandy, Henry kept a collection of dolls dressed in some of his best outfits.|
- Speaking of fashion, has anyone been following Tom & Lorenzo's dissections of costuming tropes on Mad Men? Called "Mad Style," their episode-by-episode analyses of how color and couture convey character and unify themes are well worth following.
|"Mother/Maiden/Crone has been reconfigured as Mistress/Maid/Executive – and in this story, they’re all seen as whores by the men around them." Click here for more on this episode.|
- For a few minutes' stimulation, this Buzzfeed list of 20 literary facts has a few items that don't pop up in most lists of this sort (plus it's well illustrated).
- Virginia Woolf gave a free-ranging commentary on writing for the BBC in 1937, the only time she was recorded on tape. Her accent is a bit surprising at first—a bit like the Queen Mum, or Posh Spice. Wish she could be reading from one of her novels, but it's jolly great to hear her speak, all the same. Belowis an excerpt from her talk; follow the link for the audio and a transcript.
For though at this moment at least a hundred professors are lecturing upon the literature of the past, at least a thousand critics are reviewing the literature of the present, and hundreds upon hundreds of young men and women are passing examinations in English literature with the utmost credit, still — do we write better, do we read better than we read and wrote four hundred years ago when we were unlectured, uncriticized, untaught? Is our Georgian literature a patch on the Elizabethan? Where then are we to lay the blame? Not on our professors; not on our reviewers; not on our writers; but on words. It is words that are to blame. They are the wildest, freest, most irresponsible, most unteachable of all things. Of course, you can catch them and sort them and place them in alphabetical order in dictionaries. But words do not live in dictionaries; they live in the mind. If you want proof of this, consider how often in moments of emotion when we most need words we find none. Yet there is the dictionary; there at our disposal are some half-a-million words all in alphabetical order. But can we use them? No, because words do not live in dictionaries, they live in the mind. Look again at the dictionary. There beyond a doubt lie plays more splendid than ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA; poems more lovely than the Ode to a Nightingale; novels beside which Pride and Prejudice or David Copperfield are the crude bunglings of amateurs. It is only a question of finding the right words and putting them in the right order. But we cannot do it because they do not live in dictionaries; they live in the mind. And how do they live in the mind? Variously and strangely, much as human beings live, by ranging hither and thither, by falling in love, and mating together. It is true that they are much less bound by ceremony and convention than we are. Royal words mate with commoners. English words marry French words, German words, Indian words, Negro words, if they have a fancy. Indeed, the less we enquire into the past of our dear Mother English the better it will be for that lady’s reputation. For she has gone a-roving, a-roving fair maid.
Photograph by Leonard Woolf