Around the web ~ theatre notes

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Around the web

Prompted by recently seeing Endgame, I've been having a private Beckett-fest of my own lately, revisiting some of those inimitable writings and - via the wonder of the internet - watching some classic performances. George Hunka at Superfluities has tracked down at YouTube one of my favourites of the Beckett on Film series, shown a while back on SBS - the exquisite Charles Sturridge film of Ohio Impromptu, starring Jeremy Irons in both roles. More than worth the spare ten minutes you'll need to view it.

Over at Ubu, one of the great web resources, they've YouTubed many of their confusing video files, making them much more accessible. Their Beckett page has both the astounding Billie Whitelaw performance of Not I and Film, which stars Buster Keaton. (Among many riches, there's also the eye-popping performance of Joseph Beuys as politico-pop star - kind of Eurovision meets Billy Bragg. I'll never think of Beuys in quite the same way again...)

Ben Ellis has been putting me to shame lately by posting all the blogs that I keep resolving to add to my blogroll. Well, it's time for some housekeeping...I've now remedied some long-standing oversights. Of note are a number of new local blogs: performer Mink-Zhu Hii is blogging heroically over at Mink Tails with, among other posts, some fascinating notes on a workshop with Italian director Romeo Castelluci, recently here for the Melbourne Festival; Avi Lipski has started a theatre review blog, The Rest is Just Commentary and Matthew Clayfield is making an excellent fist of a general arts blog with Esoteric Rabbit. And check out, too, Jana's blog at Mono No Aware and the waspish gender bender Supernaut. For cinephiles, Paul Martin has started the review blog, Melbourne Film.

Meanwhile in Sydney, my old boss on the Bulletin, Diana Simmonds, is running the arts site Stage Noise, which is right swank and covers everything, including some excellent theatre coverage.

And that's just Australia! A couple of links to British blogs - the excellent My London Life, by theatre director Paul Miller, has revitalised itself, and there are blogs by theatre writers Fin Kennedy and David Eldridge (One Writer and his Dog). And I finally got around to adding Richard Foreman to the blogroll too.

7 comments:

Chris Kohn said...

www.ubu.com is a brilliant resource, a treasure chest. The video content has really taken off this year. Some of my faves are a 1981 film/theatre hybrid version of a Richard Foreman production, a video by Guy Debord based on his Society of the Spectacle and a Meredith Monk doco/perfomance directed by Peter Greenaway. I think the Billie Whitelaw Not I is a different performance from the one of hers I've seen around in the past.

A long time favourite in the audio files is Artaud, Roger Blin and friends performing To Have Done With the Judgment of God, the version banned from French radio in 1947. Awesome.

Minkshoe said...

Heroically. That's lovely, thanks Alison. And thank you for the addition to your blogroll. Although I've just completed whacking a probably less heroic and more foolishly bold post up there re: everyone's favourite festival of ten-minute plays...

Minkshoe said...

Ooh, but can you check the link in the blogroll? It might be my browser being retarded, but I wasn't able to navigate back to me by clicking...

Alison Croggon said...

Hi Minkshoe - I don't know what's wrong. The code is as it should be, but it keeps connecting to TN. For reasons that are utterly mysterious.

I'll try again tomorrow to see what is going on - it's late now! Any hints from anyone else deeply appreciated, of course...

Alison Croggon said...

Hi Minkshoe - fixed up now. That was one puzzling glitch.

Matthew said...

Thanks for the link, Alison. I've become an avid reader of your blog, too, and wish I had the time to respond at length to much of what has been said here recently about criticism (it's been a fascinating discussion to follow and one I've very much wanted to partake in). Just quickly: I believe the critic's only obligations are: (a) to her audience, the reader; (b) to the work she is reviewing as it exists a concrete event, made up of bodies, images and sounds, which should be discussed, as much as possible, in and of themselves as such (we owe them that much); and (c) to herself (in the first and last instance). Any intellectual dishonesty at all—such as a leniency towards local product in the interest of its box office return, which, far from helping local art (be it theatrical, visual, literary or cinematic), ultimately does nothing but allow for continued mediocrity—is to be seen as a failure of these obligations. This is why I simply cannot agree with Paul Martin when he talks up David and Margaret (who fail on at least two of those counts, at least in my opinion), and also why I applaud your decision to publish what you wrote about Requiem for the 20th Century. But I've already written more than I had intended and should be working on other things—!

Paul Martin said...

Hi Matthew, I pretty much agree with your post but am not too sure what you mean by "he talks up David and Margaret". Are you referring to my opinion that their reviews can have a marked effect on small films? I'm certainly not putting them on a pedestal or making any comment about their critical abilities (and I agree with you about failing some of those criteria).

It's just an observation based on my experiences at cinemas right after their reviews. For me, a vivid example was Russian Ark. Under normal circumstances, there would not have been the full sessions at the usually poorly attended Lumiere Cinema (which has since closed due to poor attendances). But after D&M gushed over it and both gave it 5 stars, the Lumiere had sales I've only seen on one other occasion (the about to be banned Baise Moi, due to it having its classification removed).

Or have I made a mistake and you're referring to some other comment I've made about David & Margaret? I'm a little perplexed.