Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf was first released on June 22, 1966 — 50 years ago to the day. At the time, the film, taken pretty much verbatim — with the exception of some scenic switches to alternate locations — from Edward Albee’s 1962 play, was lauded by critics who seemed to be just as disenchanted by their nuclear familial-prizing era as the play itself. This scathing, wholly unsubtle deconstruction of two marriages (that of a New England college president’s daughter, Martha, and a history professor, George, both middle-aged, and biologist Nick and housewife Honey, both in their late 20s) was an encapsulation of the tensions brought about by the heightened marital/childrearing ideals that invalidated all existence beyond them in the U.S. in the 1950s.”

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“Three very influential artists are partaking in the making of an upcoming Netflix miniseries. The first is Margaret Atwood, providing source material through her based-on-a-true-story crime novel, Alias Grace. The second is writer/director/actor Sarah Polley — known for her beautiful documentary Stories We Tell her odd, contemplative rom-com, Take This Waltz, and her Oscar nominated drama, Away From Her. According to Deadline, she’ll be writing and producing. And the third is American Psycho‘s Mary Harron, who’ll be directing.”

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The second installment of The Directors Series’ examination of the films and careers of Joel and Ethan Coen. This half-hour documentary covers the Coens’ trio of “retro-surreal” period pictures made in the early 1990s: Miller’s Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994).

More videos and reviews at the superb The Directors Series.

Finnegans Wake imagined technology which did not even exist. It is a novel—if we are to call it such—written for the 21st century, and perhaps the only way it can be adapted in other media is through the internet’s nonlinear, labyrinthine structures; the online project First We Feel Then We Fall does just that, creating a multimedia adaptation of Finnegans Wake that “transfers” the novel ‘to audiovisual language,’ and demonstrates the novel as—in the words of The Guardian’s Billy Mills—’the book the web was invented for.'”

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“The Novel That Took Marguerote Duras to the Edge of Fiction and Sanity”

To the extent that she is familiar to Americans, Marguerite Duras is known for Hiroshima mon amour, the 1959 screenplay she wrote for Alain Resnais. Among its other accomplishments, that film has the distinction of being the anti-singularity of modern cinematic language, an originary limit point that acknowledges how the immense weight of an immediate and incomprehensibly violent past has broken the time of the present and preemptively attacked the future. One would have thought that Duras’ contribution, which did earn her an Oscar nomination, would have hardened her legacy in this country. But her tendency, in her near-perfect later films and fiction, to work at the edge of narrative, along with a basic American negligence — an irony given that American postmodern writers would co-opt her techniques to weakened effect — has obscured her importance. The situation is compounded in the literary present, which joins supposedly disparate political camps in their frenzy for positive identification. Duras instead wrote identification slantwise; she wasn’t offering an anti-self so much as a refusal to offer. She isn’t Yeats; she’s Duras. (more…)

“Instagram user Phil Grishayev, who we first learned about on Design Taxi, documents famous movie locations — the way they look then and now. He publishes a side-by-side comparison of scenes from popular films, and the occasional historic photo, revealing what’s different and, in some cases, how time stands still.”

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“Among Eraserhead’s many admirers was none other than Stanley Kubrick, who appropriated a great deal from Lynch’s film for his own horror masterpiece, 1980’s The Shining. The latter uses the same relentless background noise and lingering shots to build a sense of dread that eventually crescendos into a fever dream of madness. Even The Shining’s famous “Room 237” is a not-so-subtle allusion to Spencer’s sultry neighbor’s apartment room 27. In The Shining as in Eraserhead, sex masquerades as an escape but ultimately propels its central character further into his downward spiral.”

Source: The Atlantic.