Michael Blowhard links to two pieces of interest about films. The first is to an old post of his about b/w movies, which contains the following bit:
[D]oes it seem to you, as it does to me, that the media diet most Americans feed themselves on is the equivalent of a food diet of Big Gulps and bags of crunchiness, trans-fats, salts, and chemicals? It's a punch-pow, knock-yourself-out, whack-yourself-around, pig-out-now, whee-burp experience, or it's nothing at all. A fair number of people seem to have awakened to the fact that eating that kind of food isn't a great idea; I wonder why more don't wake up to the fact that feeding a brain on an equivalent media diet isn't a good idea either.
I guess you could simply substitute "western Europeans" for "Americans" in the quote and find myself agreeing - which I guess goes to show that I'm not that young anymore (and see the footnote). But it seems ironic that he makes this observation in the context of film. Even something like The Fast and the Furious*, which is as superficial, bang-bang-bang, in-yo-face as it gets is meant to be and often is seen in one go. Ninety minutes, that's a pretty long time! Compare and contrast with the attention span much of TV and almost all of radio expect - not to mention new communication formats like text messaging and, ahem, blogs. As long as you can get the young'uns to pay what is a substantial amount of money for them to sit on their arses and stare at a screen for ninety minutes, I refuse to get too pessimistic about attention spans - which may have to do with the facts that the second time I read a novel for fun was when I was 19 and I now consider myself an avid reader of books. (Regular readers of this blog, who may have come to the conclusion that my media diet this year so far has consisted almost excusively of DVDs, may be interested to learn that I have a backlog of about ten books to review. Don't worry, I've written down all the titles! Soon!)

The second is a review of Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, which is being re-released in Britain, from the Telegraph. I knew this much:
On Barry Lyndon, Kubrick and cinematographer John Alcott set themselves the task of shooting as many sequences as possible without recourse to electrical light. For the many densely furnished interior scenes, this meant shooting by candlelight, a feat difficult enough in still photography, let alone with moving images to capture. For months they tinkered with different combinations of lenses and film stock to make this possible, before getting hold of a number of super-fast 50mm lenses developed by Zeiss for use by Nasa in the Apollo moon landings. With their huge aperture and fixed focal length, mounting these was a nightmare, but they managed it
I also knew that during large portions of the film, the actors put in what you might call an extremely subdued performance - which makes sense to an extent because not everything goes well for Barry and Lady Lyndon suffers from depression. But get this:
[L]it only by candles, the actors in the many sequences of dining and gambling were under instruction to move as slowly as possible, to avoid underexposure.
Not in a lifetime would I have thought of that. How nice it is to read something that makes you go a-ha! from time to time.

The Telegraph also informs us that Mick Jagger evinced an interst in playing the lead role in Clockwork Orange. Lucky us! And lucky Brits who can see Barry Lyndon on the big screen.

*Yes, I've seen it. But I have a more vivid memory connected to the sequel 2Fast2Furious (their spelling), which I haven't seen. After having watched some film at a multiplex a friend of mine and I once ran into a crowd of a few hundred of the most badly-dressed, loutish, moronic, gum-chewing, stupid-haircut youths you can imagine. Naturally, I had to ask one of the employees what had been showing on that screen and she informed me that it was 2Fast2Furious. I was feeling the kind of relief that you feel when you learn that society isn't broken after all.

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