Helen Hollyman (Munchies) talks to the American filmmaker and artist about his love of the espresso, the latte, and the cappuccino
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David Lynch

Do you remember the first time you drank a cup of coffee?
I don’t remember the first time exactly, but I’d like to think that I was loving coffee from an early age.

How early are we talking here?
I’m not sure, but I might have been quite little. Maybe three.

Three?
I’m not sure about that, but as a kid I always loved the smell of coffee roasting and brewing.

OK, so what do you consider a ‘good’ cup?
For me, it’s the flavor. It should have no bitterness, and it should be smooth and rich in flavor. I like to drink espresso with milk, like a latte or a cappuccino, but the espresso should have a golden foam. It can be so beautiful, Helen. (more…)

Luke Buckmaster (BBC Culture) explains the significance of David Lynch’s dreamlike Hollywood mystery

42a25-mulholland-drive-set-designCinema in the early years of the 21st Century has experienced something of an existential crisis. Terms such as ‘TV-like’ or ‘television-esque’ were once intended as insults; now, in a period most commentators consider a new ‘golden age of television’ – a Don Draper here, a Walter White there – that is no longer the case. So, if television has evolved to a point where it is no longer considered an inferior art form, what does this mean for cinema? (more…)


This morning, I was surprised to read that Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore has been cancelled.

The Larry Wilmore Show, which had come about under Michele Ganeless’ time as Comedy Central president, and which she had described as ‘a panel of diverse voices, a panel of underrepresented voices’ that was something that wasn’t ‘being done right now,’ has just been canceled under new network president Kent Alterman. He said in a statement that it ‘hasn’t connected with [their] audiences in the way that [they] need it to.’

The timing of the cancellation is somewhat bizarre, considering the show’s excellent coverage of the ungoing American presidential election. Larry Wilmore has become a staple commentator of social justice issues and civil rights activism since The Nightly Show began, using playful monologues and group discussion to bring urgent and neglected issues to light. (more…)

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“Don Draper’s got nothing on Matthew Weiner. Weiner, after all, is the creator, director, executive producer, and writer of one the the most esteemed prestige dramas ever to light up our living rooms: Mad Men. For this week’s New York Public Library Podcast, we’re proud to present Weiner in conversation with the wonderful author A.M. Homes, discussing writing the character’s inner life, what he realized about Don Draper after seven seasons, and Frank O’Hara.”

More at The New York Public Library.

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If you’re a struggling writer attempting to get your first project off the ground, Matthew Weiner has some reassuring life advice
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Christina Hendricks and Matthew Weiner on the set of AMC’s Mad Men

I remember studying Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan” in high school. According to Coleridge, upon waking from a deep, opium-induced reverie, he recalled a vision and immediately wrote the 54 famous lines. But when we started doing the poetic analysis, it became clear that there was no way this poem came out all at once. It has this amazing structure. We learned from letters and notes that had been discovered that it was likely Coleridge had not only worked on “Kubla Khan” for several months, but that he also sent it to friends for feedback.

Artists frequently hide the steps that lead to their masterpieces. They want their work and their career to be shrouded in the mystery that it all came out at once. It’s called hiding the brushstrokes, and those who do it are doing a disservice to people who admire their work and seek to emulate them. If you don’t get to see the notes, the rewrites, and the steps, it’s easy to look at a finished product and be under the illusion that it just came pouring out of someone’s head like that. People who are young, or still struggling, can get easily discouraged, because they can’t do it like they thought it was done. An artwork is a finished product, and it should be, but I always swore to myself that I would not hide my brushstrokes. (more…)

Mark Lawson (The Guardian) reviews a new BBC period drama and traces its contemporary relevance
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Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent

As they watch a suicide bomber with explosives strapped to his chest walk through a London that feels on the brink of political collapse, some viewers may suspect that the new TV adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novel, The Secret Agent, has been tweaked to maximise contemporary relevance.

Those elements, though, are in the original, making the BBC1 three-parter – with Toby Jones as Verloc, an anarchist who becomes involved in a plot to blow up Greenwich Observatory – the latest example of Conrad’s story becoming a prism through which modern political insecurities are viewed. It is a tactic that goes back to 1936, when Alfred Hitchcock filmed the story, under the title Sabotage, as a reflection of the developing political pressures in Europe.

Ever since, the years that sees an adaptation of The Secret Agent is unlikely to have been a good one for democracy. The BBC put the book on the screen twice in quick succession, in 1967 and 1975, straddling an era of international instability, marked by the rise of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, student riots in France and assassinations in the US. There had even been, in the early 70s, a period of actual anarchist terrorism in England, with bombings carried out by the Angry Brigade. (more…)

“Though his work is not as widely known as some of his contemporaries — J.G. Ballard, for example, or Anthony Burgess — D.G. Compton’s speculative fiction is just as attuned to the relation between technology and death.”

More at Flavorwire.

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