Henry Miller on New York

(NOTE: some strong language here...)

Back in 1975, filmmaker Tom Schiller (only 20 years old at the time) made a short documentary on the novelist Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn). In the scene above, Miller, then 81 years old, reminisces about his difficult early life in New York, and it all takes place on the set used to shoot the movie Hello, Dolly!. Schiller’s complete film, Henry Miller Asleep and Awake, can be watched for free on Snagfilms. (It’s also available at Amazon on DVD here.) The run time is 34 minutes. Excellent find by Mike.

Note: We’ve added Henry Miller Asleep and Awake to our growing film collection: Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Film Noir, Documentaries & More

Handy Octopus Opens Bottles

Perhaps best filed under Random…

Ten Rules for Writing Fiction

The Guardian asked twenty nine writers to give their 10 Rules for Writing Fiction. Those given by Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections) were arguably the pithiest, and we list them below. The full lineup of writers (including Elmore Leonard, Margaret Atwood, and Richard Ford) can be found here. (The New Yorker has since followed up with some commentary on the Guardian list.)

  • The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.
  • Fiction that isn’t an author’s personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn’t worth writing for anything but money.
  • Never use the word “then” as a conjunction – we have “and” for this purpose. Substituting “then” is the lazy or tone-deaf writer’s non-solution to the problem of too many “ands” on the page.
  • Write in the third person unless a really distinctive first-person voice ­offers itself irresistibly.
  • When information becomes free and universally accessible, voluminous research for a novel is devalued along with it.
  • The most purely autobiographical fiction requires pure invention. Nobody ever wrote a more auto biographical story than “The Meta­morphosis”.
  • You see more sitting still than chasing after.
  • It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction.
  • Interesting verbs are seldom very interesting.
  • You have to love before you can be relentless.

via @kirstinbutler

Lawrence Lessig Speech Streamed Live Today

A quick heads up…

Flumotion and the Open Video Alliance will be streaming a live event on Thursday, February 25th featuring Lawrence Lessig, the foundational voice of the free culture movement. The 45-minute speech will be delivered live from Harvard Law School via Flumotion’s Streaming Platform, and will explore the relationship between copyright, fair use, politics and online video. The speech takes place at 6:00 PM local time (23:00 GMT) and [can be watched live here.]

Get more details from Flumotion here.

PS On a related note, TEDxNYED will stream talks live on March 6th.  Speakers will include Lawrence Lessig, Henry Jenkins, Jeff Jarvis, Michael Wesch and others. Looks like a great event. Get more details here.

Blowin’ in the Wind

The BBC brings you Folk America, a three-part documentary series on American folk music, “tracing its history from the recording boom of the 1920s to the folk revival of the 1960s.” We feature above the third segment, Blowin’ in the Wind, which takes you straight to the 1960s, when Bob Dylan and Joan Baez hit the stage. The other two segments that make up Folk America include Birth of a Nation and This Land is Your Land.

via Metafilter

Give Librivox a Hand

Perhaps you’re already familiar with Librivox. If not, you should be. Librivox provides over 3000 free audio books. The books (all in the public domain) are recorded by a passionate community of volunteers, and they’re all made freely available to you. (See their catalogue here.) Millions of people have downloaded their books. And, as you can imagine, the web hosting costs can run quite high. For the first time in 4+ years, Librivox is looking to raise some money. Please consider making a donation, however small or large, and support this very worthwhile project.  You can find more information and donate here.

The Deepest Part of the Ocean – To Scale!

The Mariana Trench is the deepest part of the ocean and also the lowest known elevation on earth, plunging down some 36,200 feet. This graphic, sent along by Bill and Ian, puts the Trench into perspective, allowing you to see it in scale just how low it goes…

Bernstein Breaks Down Beethoven

In the mid-1950s, the American composer Leonard Bernstein made several appearances on Omnibus, a television show dedicated to covering the sciences, arts and humanities. During his visits, Bernstein walked audiences through the art of making music. Take for example the clip above where he breaks down the making of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Just how did Beethoven craft it? And what decisions did he need to make along the way? What parts to include? And not to include? (You can see the full program here: Part 1Part 2Part 3, & Part 4). Other episodes focus on the work of Bach, and also the worlds of Jazz, OperaAmerican Musicals, and the conductor’s craft. Happily, all seven of Bernstein’s appearances have been collected in a newly released DVD collection, which you can find on Amazon. Hat tip to Mike.

via The New York Times

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.