A Glimpse Into How Wes Anderson Creatively Remixes/Recycles Scenes in His Different Films

Wes Anderson’s movies always trig­ger a healthy buzz in the pop cul­ture world, and his recent­ly released Grand Budapest Hotel is no dif­fer­ent. Already, the film has won the Sil­ver Bear at the Berlin Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val, and if IMDB rat­ings are any­thing to go by, it’s well on its way to becom­ing anoth­er Ander­son clas­sic.

Anderson’s cin­e­mat­ic style is one of the most dis­tinc­tive in Hol­ly­wood today, and we’ve recent­ly writ­ten about two video essays that high­light some of his favorite styl­is­tic tech­niques. If you’ve ever seen The Roy­al Tenen­baums, you’ll imme­di­ate­ly rec­og­nize his trade­mark visu­als: the soft, sur­re­al palette, the tight­ly framed cen­tered shots, and the steady cam­er­a­work are among his favorite tools.

Above, we bring you yet anoth­er visu­al essay on Anderson’s film­mak­ing, cour­tesy of the Cri­te­ri­on Col­lec­tion. This time, how­ev­er, the focus is Anderson’s sole ani­mat­ed fea­ture, Fan­tas­tic Mr. Fox. The clip, enti­tled The Fox & Mr. Ander­son, is a split-screen short, which match­es Mr. Fox to Anderson’s oth­er films, shot for per­fect shot. Here we see the Mr. Fox pro­tag­o­nists march­ing in step with the broth­ers of The Dar­jeel­ing Lim­it­ed, and Steve Zis­sou, of The Life Aquat­ic With Steve Zis­sou fame, mir­ror­ing the scowl of Mr. Fox him­self; here is Rat, Fox’s mor­tal ene­my, lying wound­ed, oppo­site Rush­more’s  injured Max Fis­ch­er. While brief, the col­lec­tion is a beau­ti­ful anthol­o­gy of Ander­son­’s work and some of the visu­als that make encore per­for­mances.

via Bib­liok­lept

Ilia Blin­d­er­man is a Mon­tre­al-based cul­ture and sci­ence writer. Fol­low him at @iliablinderman, or read more of his writ­ing at the Huff­in­g­ton Post.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch 7 New Video Essays on Wes Anderson’s Films: Rush­moreThe Roy­al Tenen­baums & More

Wes Anderson’s Favorite Films: Moon­struckRosemary’s Baby, and Luis Buñuel’s The Exter­mi­nat­ing Angel

Watch Wes Anderson’s Charm­ing New Short Film, Castel­lo Cav­al­can­ti, Star­ring Jason Schwartz­man

Wes Anderson’s First Short Film: The Black-and-White, Jazz-Scored Bot­tle Rock­et (1992)


Pink Floyd Plays With Their Brand New Singer & Guitarist David Gilmour on French TV (1968)

In 1968, Pink Floyd’s rela­tion­ship with increas­ing­ly drug-addled lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Syd Bar­rett unrav­eled. Though Barrett’s depar­ture wasn’t offi­cial­ly announced until April, that band had already begun, by neces­si­ty, per­form­ing and record­ing with­out him late the pre­vi­ous year, adding gui­tarist David Gilmour to the line­up to sup­plant Syd’s errat­ic per­for­mances. In Feb­ru­ary of ’68 the band appeared minus Syd on a French live-music pro­gram called Baton Rouge. Six­ties music blog A Dandy in Aspic describes the show as cap­tur­ing dur­ing its year-long run “some of the best British Mod/Psych bands at their peak,” includ­ing The Small Faces, The Moody Blues, and the Yard­birds, with Jim­my Page.

This Floyd footage, how­ev­er, is espe­cial­ly sig­nif­i­cant for its por­trait of the band find­ing its way through the trau­ma of its chief architect’s men­tal demise, with a seem­ing­ly awk­ward Gilmour tak­ing over:  “It still sounds great, but the band are vis­i­bly uncom­fort­able. Roger Waters’ dark psy­che­del­ic gem ‘Set The Con­trols For the Heart Of The Sun’ sounds amaz­ing, and ‘Let there Be [More] Light’ is an indi­ca­tion of Pink Floy­d’s new, post-Syd direc­tion.”

In addi­tion to those two songs from their upcom­ing sec­ond album A Saucer­ful of Secrets, the band plays two songs from their debut, Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The weird mys­ti­cal chant “Astron­o­my Domine” doesn’t suf­fer at all, since key­boardist Richard Wright sang the lead vocals on the album ver­sion and does so again here. David Gilmour takes over the lead for Barrett’s “Flam­ing,” which is such a Syd song, with its dis­turb­ing and child­like lyrics and loopy vocal melody, that his absence becomes notice­able. But it comes off fine, if some­what stiff, and the song remained in their set for years after­ward.

For more clas­sic psy­che­del­ic per­for­mances from the 1967–68 Baton Rouge, head over to A Dandy in Aspic.

via Kurt Loder/Dan­ger­ous Minds

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch Doc­u­men­taries on the Mak­ing of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here

Psy­che­del­ic Scenes of Pink Floyd’s Ear­ly Days with Syd Bar­rett, 1967

Syd Bar­rett: Under Review, a Full Doc­u­men­tary About Pink Floyd’s Bril­liant and Trou­bled Founder

Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour Sings Shakespeare’s Son­net 18

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

Hear Orson Welles’ Radio Performances of 10 Shakespeare Plays (1936–1944)

welles shakes

Before he direct­ed Cit­i­zen Kane, Orson Welles was already famous. He was an enfant ter­ri­ble of that new medi­um radio — one of his plays, an adap­ta­tion of War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, famous­ly ter­ri­fied the nation in 1938. He was also known as a wun­derkind of the stage.

Dur­ing the late 1930s, Welles and his pro­duc­ing part­ner John House­man (yes, that John House­man) were the toast of Broad­way, thanks to a string of auda­cious clas­si­cal revivals. The most famous of these pro­duc­tions was a 1937 adap­ta­tion of William Shakespeare’s Julius Cae­sar, which gave the play an unex­pect­ed rel­e­vance. Welles dressed the cast in mod­ern attire; sol­diers were out­fit­ted to look like Nazi black shirts. And the show was lit in a man­ner meant to recall a Nurem­berg ral­ly. Pre­sent­ed at a time when Hitler’s pow­er was grow­ing, the pro­duc­tion jolt­ed Amer­i­can audi­ences and made Welles famous. Time Mag­a­zine even put him on its cov­er.

Being a trail­blaz­er in both radio and the stage, Welles adapt­ed many of his stage pro­duc­tions for the wire­less.  The Inter­net Archive has post­ed many of these record­ings online, which you can lis­ten to for free. The selec­tion includes per­for­mances of Ham­let, Romeo and Juli­et, Richard III, Mac­beth and, of course, Julius Cae­sar, among oth­ers. In most cas­es, these record­ings — along with a few set pho­tos — are the only doc­u­ments left of Welles’s ground­break­ing pro­duc­tions.

But if you want to get a sense of what Welles’s Julius Cae­sar actu­al­ly looked like, you can check out Richard Lin­klater’s lit­tle-seen, crit­i­cal­ly-praised com­e­dy Me and Orson Welles (2008). The movie stars Zac Efron as a young actor who lands a small part in the pro­duc­tion only to find him­self com­pet­ing with the great direc­tor for the affec­tions of a girl. The movie might be a tri­fle but experts have mar­veled at how close the film is to Welles’s vision. Check out the trail­er below.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Lis­ten to Eight Inter­views of Orson Welles by Film­mak­er Peter Bog­danovich (1969–1972)

Watch Orson Welles’ The Stranger Free Online, Where 1940s Film Noir Meets Real Hor­rors of WWII

The Hearts of Age: Orson Welles’ Sur­re­al­ist First Film (1934)

Orson Welles Explains Why Igno­rance Was His Major “Gift” to Cit­i­zen Kane

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrow.

Watch the Talking Heads Play Live in Dortmund, Germany During Their Heyday (1980)

Back in 2012, we fea­tured a 1975 Talk­ing Heads con­cert at CBGB, ref­er­enc­ing Gen­er­a­tion X author Dou­glas Cou­p­land’s telling def­i­n­i­tion of who, exact­ly, con­sti­tutes that cohort: “If you liked the Talk­ing Heads back in the day, then you’re prob­a­bly X.” Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly iron­ic and sin­cere, artis­tic and com­mer­cial, ram­shackle and pol­ished, cere­bral and impul­sive: the sen­si­bil­i­ties of David Byrne’s influ­en­tial new-wave band and the zeit­geist pro­file of Gen­er­a­tion X share too many qual­i­ties to list. 1975, for a Gen Xer, would cer­tain­ly count as “back in the day,” though per­haps a bit too far back in the day for many of them to have gained entrance to such a vibrant­ly scuzzy venue as CBGB. Just five years lat­er, though, many more of them would have come of just enough age to engage with the Heads, who by that point had blown up in pop­u­lar­i­ty, play­ing huge venues all over the world.

You may have seen the band play­ing Rome in 1980 when we post­ed that show in 2012, and today we give you anoth­er of their Euro­pean gigs from that same break­out year, in Dort­mund. That loca­tion, about 250 miles from Cou­p­land’s Cana­di­an Air Force base birth­place in Ger­many, in a Ger­many still divid­ed, brings to mind not just the impor­tance of themes of the late Cold War to the nov­el­ist’s work, but to Gen­er­a­tion X itself, the last kids to grow up under the cred­i­ble threat of sud­den nuclear anni­hi­la­tion. Such an uneasy psy­cho­log­i­cal and ide­o­log­i­cal envi­ron­ment would have an effect on the for­ma­tion of any­one’s cre­ative mind, as it must also have on that of Gen­er­a­tion X’s pre­de­ces­sors, the Baby Boomers — a group in which the 1952-born Byrne falls right in the mid­dle. The Cold War may have end­ed, but the Talk­ing Heads’ music, as you’ll expe­ri­ence in this Dort­mund con­cert, tran­scends both tem­po­ral and geo­graph­i­cal con­text.

Set list:

  1. “Psy­cho Killer”
  2. “Cities”
  3. “Zim­bra”
  4. “Once in a Life­time”
  5. “Ani­mals”
  6. “Crosseyed and Pain­less”
  7. “Life Dur­ing Wartime”
  8. “The Great Curve”

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Talk­ing Heads Play CBGB, the New York Club that Shaped Their Sound (1975)

Live in Rome, 1980: The Talk­ing Heads Con­cert Film You Haven’t Seen

Talk­ing Heads’ “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” Per­formed on Tra­di­tion­al Chi­nese Instru­ments

David Byrne: How Archi­tec­ture Helped Music Evolve

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

Electric Photo of Nikola Tesla, 1899

tesla lab

Quite the shot: Niko­la Tes­la appears in a mul­ti­ple-expo­sure pho­to in 1899, while a Tes­la coil dis­charges mil­lions of volts.

Want to see more old sparks fly­ing? Here we have an image of Mark Twain, the lit­er­ary giant, tin­ker­ing in More Tes­la’s lab­o­ra­to­ry in 1894.


Relat­ed Con­tent:

Mark Twain Plays With Elec­tric­i­ty in Niko­la Tesla’s Lab (Pho­to, 1894)

Thomas Edi­son and Niko­la Tes­la Face Off in “Epic Rap Bat­tles of His­to­ry”

“Sweet Home Alaba­ma” Played on Tes­la Coils

How the Tes­la Mod­el S is Made: A Behind-the-Scenes Tour

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Read All of Shakespeare’s Plays Free Online, Courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library


Just a few short years ago, the world of dig­i­tal schol­ar­ly texts was in its pri­mor­dial stages, and it is still the case that most online edi­tions are sim­ply basic HTML or scanned images from more or less arbi­trar­i­ly cho­sen print edi­tions. An exam­ple of the ear­li­est phas­es of dig­i­tal human­i­ties, MIT’s web edi­tion of the Com­plete Works of William Shake­speare has been online since 1993. The site’s HTML text of the plays is based on the pub­lic domain Moby Text, which—the Fol­ger Shake­speare Library informs us—“reproduces a late-nine­teenth cen­tu­ry ver­sion of the plays,” made “long before schol­ars ful­ly under­stood the prop­er grounds on which to make the thou­sands of deci­sions that Shake­speare edi­tors face.”

The schol­ar­ly Shake­speare edi­to­r­i­al process is far too Byzan­tine to get into, but suf­fice it to say that it mat­ters a great deal to seri­ous stu­dents which edi­tions they read and the new­er, often the bet­ter. And those edi­tions can become very cost­ly. Until recent­ly, the Moby Text was as good as it got for a free online edi­tion.

Oth­er online edi­tions of Shakespeare’s works had their own prob­lems. Bartleby.com has dig­i­tized the 1914 Oxford Com­plete Works, but this is not pub­lic-domain and is also out­dat­ed for schol­ar­ly use. Anoth­er online edi­tion from North­west­ern presents copy­right bar­ri­ers (and seems to have gone on indef­i­nite hia­tus). In light of these dif­fi­cul­ties, George Mason University’s Open Source Shake­speare project recent­ly pined for more: “per­haps some­day, a group of indi­vid­u­als will pro­duce a mod­ern, schol­ar­ly, free alter­na­tive to Moby Shake­speare.” Their wish has now been grant­ed. The Fol­ger Shake­speare Library has released all of Shakespeare’s plays as ful­ly search­able dig­i­tal texts, down­load­able as pdfs, in a free, schol­ar­ly edi­tion that makes all of its source code avail­able as well. Tak­en from 2010 Fol­ger Shake­speare Library edi­tions edit­ed by Bar­bara Mowat and Paul Wer­s­tine, the dig­i­tal plays con­sti­tute an invalu­able open resource.

You will still have to pur­chase Fol­ger print edi­tions for the com­plete “appa­ra­tus” (notes, crit­i­cal essays, tex­tu­al vari­ants, etc). But the Fol­ger promis­es new fea­tures in the near future. Cur­rent­ly, the dig­i­tal text is search­able by act/scene/line, key­word, and page and line num­ber (from the Fol­ger print edi­tions). Fol­ger touts its “metic­u­lous­ly accu­rate texts” as the “#1 Shake­speare text in U.S. class­rooms.” Per­haps some prick­ly expert will weigh in with a dis­par­age­ment, but for us non-spe­cial­ists, the free avail­abil­i­ty of these excel­lent online edi­tions is a great gift indeed.

Not to be ful­ly out­done, Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press offers its own free edi­tion of Shakespeare’s first folio (fron­tispiece above), the first com­plete col­lec­tion of Shakespeare’s plays from 1623, in their orig­i­nal spelling and orthog­ra­phy. These are only avail­able in ePub ver­sions through iTunes, yet it seems utter­ly peev­ish to com­plain about the con­di­tions of such an offer­ing. Read, read, read, and read again instead.

As you know by now, Shake­speare’s plays can always be found in our col­lec­tion of Free eBooks.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Free Course: A Sur­vey of Shakespeare’s Plays

What Shake­speare Sound­ed Like to Shake­speare: Recon­struct­ing the Bard’s Orig­i­nal Pro­nun­ci­a­tion

Dis­cov­er What Shakespeare’s Hand­writ­ing Looked Like, and How It Solved a Mys­tery of Author­ship

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

A Romp Through the Philosophy of Mind: A Free Online Course from Oxford

These days, neu­ro­science seems to have a monop­oly on the mind. Flip to the sci­ence sec­tion of an estab­lished news­pa­per or mag­a­zine, and you’ll like­ly see the most allur­ing head­lines describ­ing the lat­est neur­al find­ings. So, now that pow­er­ful meth­ods of neu­roimag­ing can delve deep­er into the struc­ture of the brain than ever before, is there any­thing that we don’t know about the mind? Well, yes. Apart from stat­ing that it is a man­i­fes­ta­tion of the brain, sci­ence doesn’t offer much to explain what the mind is. In an unfor­tu­nate turn for neu­ro­science, no amount of brain scan­ning will reveal that, either.

It is at this sort of junc­ture that sci­ence pass­es the baton to phi­los­o­phy. Over the past few weeks, we’ve brought you two intro­duc­to­ry phi­los­o­phy cours­es (Crit­i­cal Rea­son­ing for Begin­ners and A Romp Through Ethics for Com­plete Begin­ners) by Oxford University’s Mar­i­anne Tal­bot.

Today, we bring you anoth­er of Talbot’s excel­lent philo­soph­i­cal primers: A Romp Through the Phi­los­o­phy of Mind.  The five-part lec­ture series begins with a dis­cus­sion of René Descartes’ dual­ism, which com­pris­es the idea that the mind is non-phys­i­cal and is there­fore dis­tinct from the body. The course then moves through an expo­si­tion of Iden­ti­ty The­o­ry, accord­ing to which all of our men­tal states are mere­ly man­i­fes­ta­tions of an anal­o­gous set of brain process­es. Once Tal­bot out­lines the draw­backs to each of these the­o­ries, she explains the views of sev­er­al oth­er phe­nom­e­no­log­i­cal camps, includ­ing the epiphe­nom­e­nal­ists, who see men­tal states as real but not phys­i­cal, and elim­i­na­tivists, who do not think that men­tal states are real at all. She then prompt­ly pro­ceeds to upend these con­cep­tions of the mind. As with all of Talbot’s pre­vi­ous cours­es, this one is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed.

A Romp Through the Phi­los­o­phy of Mind is cur­rent­ly avail­able on the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford web­site in both audio and video for­mats, and also on iTune­sU. (See the lec­tures above.) You can find it list­ed in our col­lec­tion of Free Online Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es, along­side class­es like Con­tem­po­rary Issues in Phi­los­o­phy of Mind & Cog­ni­tion, Hegel’s Phe­nom­e­nol­o­gy of Spir­it, and Mer­leau-Pon­ty’s Phe­nom­e­nol­o­gy of Per­cep­tion. They’re all part of our col­lec­tion, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

Ilia Blin­d­er­man is a Mon­tre­al-based cul­ture and sci­ence writer. Fol­low him at @iliablinderman, or read more of his writ­ing at the Huff­in­g­ton Post.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Oxford’s Free Course Crit­i­cal Rea­son­ing For Begin­ners Will Teach You to Think Like a Philoso­pher

Learn Right From Wrong with Oxford’s Free Course A Romp Through Ethics for Com­plete Begin­ners

The His­to­ry of Phi­los­o­phy With­out Any Gaps – Peter Adamson’s Pod­cast Still Going Strong

Publisher Places a Politically Correct Warning Label on Kant’s Critiques


Most times when I hear some­one on a tear about the dan­gers of “polit­i­cal cor­rect­ness” I roll  my eyes and move on. So many such com­plaints involve ire at being held to stan­dards of basic human decen­cy, say, or hav­ing to share resources, oppor­tu­ni­ties, or pub­lic spaces. But there are many excep­tions, when the so-called “PC” impulse to broad­en inclu­siv­i­ty and soft­en offense pro­duces mon­sters of con­de­scend­ing pater­nal­ism. Take the above omnibus edi­tion of “Kant’s Cri­tiques” print­ed by Wilder Pub­li­ca­tions in 2008. The pub­lish­er, with either kind but painful­ly obtuse motives, or with an eye toward pre-empt­ing some kind of legal blow­back, has seen fit to include a dis­claimer at the bot­tom of the title page:

This book is a prod­uct of its time and does not reflect the same val­ues as it would if it were writ­ten today. Par­ents might wish to dis­cuss with their chil­dren how views on race, gen­der, sex­u­al­i­ty, eth­nic­i­ty, and inter­per­son­al rela­tions have changed since this book was writ­ten before allow­ing them to read this clas­sic work.

Where to begin? First, we must point out Wilder Pub­li­ca­tions’ strange cer­tain­ty that a hypo­thet­i­cal Kant of today would express his ideas in tol­er­ant and lib­er­al lan­guage. The sup­po­si­tion has the effect of patron­iz­ing the dead philoso­pher and of absolv­ing him of any respon­si­bil­i­ty for his blind spots and prej­u­dices, assum­ing that he meant well but was sim­ply a blink­ered and unfor­tu­nate “prod­uct” of his time.

But who’s to say that Kant didn’t damn well mean his com­ments that offend our sen­si­bil­i­ties today, and wouldn’t still mean them now were he some­how res­ur­rect­ed and forced to update his major works? More­over, why assume that all cur­rent read­ers of Kant do not share his more repug­nant views? Sec­ond­ly, who is this edi­tion for? Philoso­pher Bri­an Leit­er, who brought this to our atten­tion, humor­ous­ly titles it “Kant’s 3 Critiques—rated PG-13.” One would hope that any young per­son pre­co­cious enough to read Kant would have the abil­i­ty to rec­og­nize his­tor­i­cal con­text and to approach crit­i­cal­ly state­ments that sound uneth­i­cal, big­ot­ed, or sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly dat­ed to her mod­ern ears. One would hope par­ents buy­ing Kant for their kids could do the same with­out chid­ing from pub­lish­ers.

None of this is to say that there aren’t sub­stan­tive rea­sons to exam­ine and cri­tique the prej­u­di­cial assump­tions and bias­es of clas­si­cal philoso­phers. A great many recent schol­ars have done exact­ly that. In her Phi­los­o­phy of Sci­ence and Race, for exam­ple, Nao­mi Zack observes that “accord­ing to con­tem­po­rary stan­dards, both [Hume and Kant] were vir­u­lent white suprema­cists.” Yet she also ana­lyzes the prob­lems with apply­ing “con­tem­po­rary stan­dards” to their sys­tems of thought, which were not nec­es­sar­i­ly racist in the sense we mean so much as “racial­ist,” depen­dent on an “ontol­ogy of human races, which under­lay Hume and Kant’s val­ue judg­ments about what they thought were racial dif­fer­ences” (an ontol­ogy, it’s worth not­ing, that pro­duced sys­temic and insti­tu­tion­al racism). Zack respects the vast gulf that sep­a­rates our judg­ments from those of the past while still hold­ing the philoso­phers account­able for con­tra­dic­tions and incon­sis­ten­cies in their thought that are clear­ly the prod­ucts of will­ful igno­rance, chau­vin­ism, and unex­am­ined bias. An informed his­tor­i­cal approach allows us to see how books are not sim­ply “prod­ucts of their time” but are sit­u­at­ed in net­works of knowl­edge and ide­ol­o­gy that shaped their authors’ assump­tions and con­tin­ue to shape our own—ideologies that per­sist into the present and can­not and should not be papered over or eas­i­ly explained away with skit­tish warn­ing labels and didac­tic lec­tures about how much things have changed. In a great many ways of course, they have. And in some sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers, they sim­ply haven’t. To pre­tend oth­er­wise for the sake of the chil­dren is disin­gen­u­ous and does a grave dis­ser­vice to both author and read­er.

via Leit­er Reports

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

Man Shot in Fight Over Immanuel Kant’s Phi­los­o­phy in Rus­sia

100 Free Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es Online

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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