Monday, December 2, 2019

Links out

I announced it on Twitter and perhaps you’ve already noticed the change here, but for the record: WSW now moderates comments. This is a change I had thought about doing before, but I didn’t believe it was truly necessary until the spammers started getting bolder. I don’t want this; we’ve gone this far without needing to moderate comments, but I believe it’s better this way, at least for now. You (and you know who you are) have always provided insight and wit to go along with my posts. You’re not the problem and never were.


My third 5K run turned out well, but it didn’t feel that way. I beat my personal best time by perhaps three minutes, but the whole run felt tougher than usual. It was windy, but not gusty, the sky was mostly cloudy, and there was no hint of rain or snow. I just felt like the whole thing was a harder push than usual, like I was pushing harder than before. I slowed to a walking pace a lot, and I had to remind myself to not get comfortable. And once again, the presence of so many other people changed my mental approach, making me think of the competition instead of my own game... but I still set a personal record. I did something right.


Last month Virginia and I went to an unusual twin bill of Georges Melies films: A Trip to the Moon and Kingdom of the Fairies. Both silents were accompanied by original live scores by composer Kyle Simpson and his chamber orchestra, held at The Dimenna Center for Classical Music in Manhattan. A university professor, musician and conductor, as well as a composer, he briefly talked of his love for film in general and how with this project, he sought to create scores that would match the story and themes of these movies, and I thought he did. His scores made both films feel almost contemporary. In addition to the movies, there was an “undercard” of film scores by Phillip Glass and Alexander Borodin, performed by the Red Line String Quartet. I’ve always liked Glass’ music. I’ve seen it performed live before, but not like this. It felt different, yet recognizable as his work. Virginia loved the whole thing, of course.

Links on the other side.

Raquel reviews a documentary about the pioneers of film cinematography.

Paddy reads a book about Old Hollywood actors who weren’t stars but should’ve been.

Ruth explains how Carmen Miranda rocked that fruit-basket-on-her-head look.

Fritzie critiques an old book about how to make silent movies.

Netflix buys the single-screen Paris Theater in Manhattan and saves it from oblivion.

What would reunite Henry Thomas with ET 37 years later?

A deep dive into British filmmaker Michael Apted’s long-running “Up” documentary series, including the latest installment, 63 Up.

Martin Scorsese is working on a doc about the 70s music scene in New York.

The Hallmark Channel attempts to make Hanukkah movies, fails horribly.

Julia Roberts as Harriet Tubman? It almost happened!

Nicolas Cage as Nicolas Cage in an upcoming movie about Nicolas Cage.

2019 was a lousy year for movie trailers.

In the comments to last month’s post about the Metallica movies, Paddy linked to a current exhibit in Toronto featuring Kirk Hammett’s collection of classic horror movie posters. Here’s an interview with the man himself, talking about how his love for classic horror began.

Modes of transportation in The Wizard of Oz, ranked.

Finally, I’ve linked to the blog Sister Celluloid (love that name) before, but this post of hers is different. If you only read one of my links in this month’s roundup, read this.


  1. I'm going to put the coffee on and read the Kirk interview (I feel I can all him Kirk now), and everything else that skipped my attention. Thanks.

    Congratulations on a new personal best. Often, it is when we don't think we are at our best that we do the great things.

    A chamber orchestra at the silent screening. That sounds lovely. We have some lovely accompanists for Toronto screenings, a jazz trio for Chicago, and a contralto for Carmen. Someday we'll get the string players.

  2. It was a small orchestra, maybe twenty pieces or so, and the original scores went very well with the Melies films. I’ve seen similar treatments at screenings done by people like Philip Glass and the Alloy Orchestra, and they were a bit more left of center than Kyle Simpson’s compositions, but that’s okay. I still liked it.

    1. Changing the subject. The interview just flew by and I passed the link along to Janet. I have got to start paying more attention to the lineup on "q".

  3. An interesting collection of links (as usual). I cannot believe someone was going to cast Julia Roberts as Harriet Tubman.(!)

  4. I was gonna say it could’ve been worse, but when I think about it, no, it actually couldn’t have.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.