WHAT’S IN MY INSTAPAPER: MONDAY MORNING LINKS
I normally try to post my links-fests on Sundays, but here’s a one-day late compendium of articles in my Instapaper.
If you read our newsletter, you’ll have seen my link to novelist Stacy D’Erasmo’s essay on the writer’s life, “The Long Haul,” over at The Rumpus. For any artist struggling to figure out not how to make work, but how to live a life that involves the perpetual making of work, including films, this is an essential read. In its clarity and wisdom I found it inspiring. An excerpt:
Over the long haul, whether you ever intended to or not, you find yourself building a system of values that supports your art as much as, if not more than, any of your grants, publishers, prizes, editors, or good reviews. And to see this is also to see that what I have created over the years is a sort of double life, split between two communities. There is my public community at the university where I work, at all the universities and other institutions where I’ve worked. But there is also a more fluid, polyglot, polymorphous, rambling, private community of writers, artists, rent boys, intellectuals, musicians, dancers, activists, and freaks of various stripes which is where I live, and who are part of that mysterious community in my mind of the living and the dead, friends, lovers, and admired strangers, to whom I write. Michael and Maud and Chris and Alice are in there, along with Elizabeth Bowen, and Joni Mitchell, and every man or woman I’ve ever loved. My public community is where I speak, where I listen, and where, hopefully, I create an environment in which people can learn how to make good prose. My private community is where I dream, where I feel most deeply that I can be known, where I am bowled over, where I am changed, where I break down, where I break through; it’s where I sweat, and who I sweat with.
It seems to me no accident that this community, a community of outsiders in one way or another, has sustained me over the long haul. But both of these communities, the public one and the private one, share the belief that to make art, to make something new in this world any which way you can, rewarded or not, is of transcendent value. I need them both and feel lucky to have them. Without them, and without the values that we share, I would have gone under a long time ago. I’m brave enough, but I’m not bulletproof.
Also in my newsletter (and if you don’t subscribe, why don’t you? It’s free), I also linked to “Sledgehammer and the Whore” over at Josh’s I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing. It’s a critique of television pitches told in the form of a shaggy-dog real-life detective tale involving a late-night call from a hooker, a sympathetic wife, and the iPhone 4.
Ted Hope has had good stuff over at his blog empire this week. At his Let’s Make Better Films, J. Blakeson, writer/director of the brilliantly executed kidnapping thriller The Disappearance of Alice Creed, has a two-parter on making a successful movie with few resources. He writes, “But always remember that writing within your own limitations doesn’t mean you have to be less ambitious with your movie. It actually means you have to be more ambitious, just smart about it.” And: “Only have three characters.” I thought Blakeson’s film was gripping and ingenious, and his advice is recommended as well. And, over at Truly Free Films, the filmmakers of The Way We Get By contribute a five-parter on the making and distribution of their doc.
The news that eclipsed all else this week was the word that Google and Verizon may be negotiating a backroom deal signaling a move away from Google’s support of net neutrality. The Associated Press has the details here. DSLR Reports has more:
Again, the goal here is to pre-empt tougher FCC neutrality rules by crafting either a voluntary group of largely meaningless, self-regulatory principles, or by laying the framework for new Verizon-written laws the telco’s massive lobbyist army can then ram through Congress with the help of loyal politicians. Said laws of course would have oodles of loopholes, and would not apply to wireless in order to protect Google and Verizon’s Android love affair.
John Hillcoat has directed viral videos to promote the new Grinderman album. One is below, and more are at The Playlist.
This link is both inevitable and, because it’s to Fleshbot, adults only and NSFW: The Human Centipede is getting a porn remake. I wouldn’t need to link to the site to tell you that… but they have also posted the screenplay. The filmmaker is Lee Roy Myers, whose The Big Lebowski: An XXX Parody Lauren Wissot reviewed here.
Sex — of a tantric kind — figures in this interesting profile of actor Clarke Peters (The Wire, Treme) from The Guardian.
A while I ago I blogged the question, what’s up with Shane Carruth? After making the ingenious no-budget sci-fi pic Primer he has gone underground. Well, he has a 244-page screenplay, A Topiary, that he is trying to make. Review at Script Shadow.