What I Read the Week of November 18

Not much this time around. This is a little embarrassing, but I’m already a little tired of doing these. They take up time that could be spent writing my own stuff, so they’ve gone from being a crutch to being a burden. I may do one more “what I read” post in two weeks to make it an even ten, but I figure what I’ve already done is enough to show the kinds of things I like to read on the internet. Besides, I’m considering joining a group that is going to read Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time over the course of 2013, which would require me to slow down a lot when it comes to reading internet articles. That will probably be good for me. But this has been a fulfilling exercise, and I hope I’ve introduced some stories of interest to someone out there. Thanks, as always, for reading.

“Video: Steadicam progress — the career of Paul Thomas Anderson in five shots” by Kevin B. Lee, BFI — The article contains a brief introduction to the video and also a transcript for those of you who can’t watch or listen to the video at the moment. Naturally, it’s best to see Anderson’s tracking shots as Lee discusses them. This is a very informative video. I knew a little bit about long takes and tracking shots, but the video goes into a lot of detail, showing exactly where the camera moves and what is being communicated in that movement. If you love movies, a complex long take can be thrilling. In this video, Lee shows how Anderson’s shots have gotten less flashy over the years, but possibly even more interesting at the same time.

“With 35mm Film Dead, Will Classic Movies Ever Look the Same Again?” by Daniel Eagan, The Atlantic — I’ve talked about the “death of film” (specifically, the celluloid medium, not “the movies” themselves) on this blog before. This article gives us an update on how quickly things have progressed. It’s getting more and more difficult to acquire and project actual film prints. What’s worse, preserving movies digitally has a lot of problems, at least as it’s done today. So this article is a little depressing, but awareness can always lead to positive change.

“The Naked Racism of an Obama America” by Alan Noble, Christ and Pop Culture (Patheos blog) — To me, the title is sort of a bait-and-switch. Noble specifically denies that Obama has actively stoked racial tensions as president. Instead, when Noble sees reports of increased racism toward blacks over the past four years, he believes that having a black president has only unearthed something that was already there. To be sure, racism has been an important part of American history, and I’m wary of anyone who thinks it’s been eradicated or defeated. Racism is sin, and sin is going to be around until Christ returns. There are some very good and important thoughts to be found in this article, even if there are also points of contention.

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