Archive for the ‘Video’ Category
In September of 1935 Paramount Pictures released a nine-minute movie remarkable in several ways. Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life is one of the earliest cinematic explorations of African-American culture for a mass audience. It features Duke Ellington and his orchestra performing his first extended composition. And perhaps most notably, it stars Billie Holiday in her first filmed performance.
The one-reel movie, directed by Fred Waller, tells the story of Ellington’s “A Rhapsody of Negro Life,” using pictures to convey the images running through the musician’s mind as he composed and performed the piece. Ellington’s “Rhapsody” has four parts: “The Laborers,” “A Triangle,” “A Hymn of Sorrow” and “Harlem Rhythm.” Holiday appears as a jilted and abused lover in “A Triangle.”
Holiday’s only previous screen appearance was as an uncredited extra in a nightclub scene in the 1933 Paul Robeson film, The Emper0r Jones. Symphony in Black was produced over a ten-month period. Holiday was only 19 when her scenes were shot. She sings Ellington’s “Saddest Tale,” a song carefully selected by the composer to fit the young singer’s style. “Saddest tale on land or sea,” begin the lyrics, “Was when my man walked out on me.” In the book Billie Holiday: A Biography, author Meg Greene calls the performance “mesmerizing”:
Symphony in Black marked an important milestone in the development of Billie Holiday, the woman and the singer. Ellington’s deft handling enabled Billie to distinguish herself from other torch singers. She did not wear her emotions on her sleeve; instead, she revealed herself gradually as the song unfolded. Hers was a carefully crafted and sophisticated performance, especially for a woman only 19 years old. This carefully woven tapestry of life and music was the origin of the persona that audiences came to identify with Billie. Other singers such as Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland may have more successfully established and cultivated an image, but Billie Holiday did it first.
A wonderful talk I encountered on Open Culture, where Dan Colman notes:
Right now, you can find 1,520 TED Talks compiled into a neat online spreadsheet. That’s a lot of TED Talks. And the most popular one (in case you’re wondering) was delivered by Sir Ken Robinson in 2006. If you regularly visit our site, then chances are you’re among the 20 million people who have viewed Robinson’s talk on why Schools Kill Creativity. There’s also a good chance that you’ll want to watch his newly-released TED Talk,How to Escape Education’s Death Valley. Filmed just last month, this talk takes aim at America’s test-centric educational system, a system that increasingly treats education as an industrial process and bleeds creativity and curiosity out of our classrooms. You get that problem when you put technocrats and politicians, not teachers, in charge of things. And you’re only going to get more of it (sorry to say) as computer scientists start putting their stamp on America’s educational future.
Watch just the first 4 minutes. That will hook you.
An interesting post for Bruce Lee fans, with videos of his daughter reading some of his poetry and also “If,” by Rudyard Kipling..
Via Open Culture, where Mike Springer notes:
Here’s an extraordinary film of the great Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung speaking at length about some of his key contributions to psychology. Jung on Film (above) is a 77-minute collection of highlights from four one-hour interviews Jung gave to psychologist Richard I. Evans of the University of Houston in August of 1957. In “Sitting Across From Carl Jung,” an article for the Association of Psychological Science, Evans explains how the interviews came about:
I was teaching a graduate seminar called Approaches to Personality when it seemed like an interesting idea to have the graduate students in the seminar role-play in front of the class and pretend to interview the various personality theorists that I was presenting. Carl Jung was one of those theorists, and during the seminar, I learned that he had never agreed to an extensive recorded interview except for a brief exchange on the BBC. I wrote a letter to Dr. Jung to request an interview because I believed that filmed interviews of eminent psychologists would encourage students to read their work.
Jung, who was 82 years old at the time, agreed to the interview and set aside an hour a day over a four-day period. Evans met with Jung at the Federal Institute of Technology, or ETH, in Zurich. In the excerpts above, Jung talks about his early association with Sigmund Freud and how he came to disagree with Freud’s fixation on the sex drive as the primary influence in mental life. He talks about his theory of personality types and about universal archetypes, including the anima and animus. He talks about the interplay between instinct and environment, and about dreams as a manifestation of the unconscious. At one point he stresses the urgency of understanding psychology in a world where man-made threats, like the threat of the hydrogen bomb, are greater than those posed by natural disasters. “The world hangs on a thin thread,” says Jung, “and that is the psyche of man.”
Except for the opening background music (which, mercifully, is quickly over), a good video:
The blurb at BillMoyers.com states:
The violent Boston rampage triggered a local and federal response that, according to journalist Glenn Greenwald, adds a new dimension to troubling questions about government secrecy, overreach, and what we sacrifice in the name of national security. Greenwald joins Bill to peel back layers that reveal what the Boston bombings and drone attacks have in common, and how secrecy leads to abuse of government power.
“Should we change or radically alter or dismantle our standard protocols of justice in the name of terrorism? That’s been the debate we’ve been having since the September 11th attack,” Greenwald tells Bill. “We can do what we’ve been doing, which is become a more closed society, authorize the government to read our emails, listen in our telephone calls, put people in prison without charges, enact laws that make it easier for the government to do those sorts of things. Or we can try and understand why it is that people want to come here and do that.”
Greenwald also talks about the limitations of government surveillance as an anti-terrorism tactic, and draws a parallel between the Boston bombings — which he calls a “political event” — and U.S. drone attacks.
“There certainly are cases where the United States has very recklessly killed civilians,” he tells Bill. “So at some point, when a government engages in behavior year after year after year after year, that continues to kill innocent people in a very foreseeable way, and continues to do that, in my mind that reaches a level of recklessness that is very similar to intentional killing.”
Full transcript at the link (a tab you click).
Melissa Clark in the NY Times shows how to cut up a chicken. Since this is practical knowledge, you will have to practice. By now I have cut up entire flocks of chickens, so I can do it easily, but everyone starts from ground zero.
Another good thing to know is how to spatchcock a chicken:
Juan Cole has an excellent post (with a video)
HSBC estimates that if the world adopted the policies necessary to keep global warming to only 2 degrees C. (3.6 degrees F.), oil companies would abruptly lose 60% of their value, as Hilde øvrebekk Lewis points out.
Likewise, if the true cost of climate change and the inevitability of the need to move quickly to renewables were publicly recognized, countries like Norway might be plunged into crisis as long as their conservative governments had no plans to deal with the problem.
Daryl Hannah made similar points in a Young Turks interview last summer: . . .
Click link to see the (3-minute) video, which is interesting.
UPDATE: Michael Mann talks about his life as a target in The Scientist.
Interesting to know what’s in store for us:
Thanks to Jack in Amsterdam for pointing out this clip: