Tuesday, 21 February 2017

World Class Cinema

World Class Cinema
Gone With The Wind
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Rebel Without A Cause
2001: A Space Odyssey
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
Following the Festival Of Classic Movies (2007) and เมื่อครั้งเสด็จฯ ทอดพระเนตร ภาพยนตร์ (2016), there will be another season of Hollywood classics showing in Bangkok this year. World Class Cinema will feature nine films, all screened at the Scala cinema, beginning with Victor Fleming's Gone With The Wind on 12th March. Other highlights include Howard Hawks' Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on 9th April; Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without A Cause on 2nd July; Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey on 17th September; and Sergio Leone's The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly (the restored version) on 15th October.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Art Record Covers

Art Record Covers
Art Record Covers, written by Francesco Spampinato and edited by Julius Wiedemann, features over 500 album covers designed since 1955. Rather than a guide to the greatest album covers (such as The Art Of The Album Cover by Richard Evans, or Album: Classic Sleeve Designs by Nick de Ville), it's the first survey of covers created by artists as opposed to graphic designers. Appropriately, this lavish and comprehensive book is almost the same size as a 12" LP.

Thursday, 9 February 2017


The Sunday Times
The Sun
An injunction against The Sunday Times has been partially lifted after details of the case appeared in other publications at the weekend. The injunction, granted in December 2016, prevented The Sunday Times from revealing that David Beckham's email account had been hacked. On 5th February, the newspaper printed a brief notice on its front page: "The Sunday Times has been gagged by an injunction preventing it from reporting details about a celebrity's personal and professional life. The judge anonymised the individual using initials."

Beckham's emails were among thousands leaked to the German news magazine Der Spiegel earlier last year, and Beckham's publicist applied for an injunction after The Sunday Times planned to publish them. Like other anonymised injunctions (such as those relating to PJS, NEJ, RA, and D), the restriction applied only in England and Wales. Unusually, the injunction was granted solely against The Sunday Times, enabling The Sun (despite being owned by the same company) to publish the story on 4th February.

On its front page, under the banner headline "BECKS C-WORD FURY AT 'SIR' SNUB", The Sun wrote that Beckham had criticised the committee recommending new year's honours as "a bunch of cunts" and "unappreciative cunts". This was then reported by other UK and European news websites later that day. The terms of the injunction against The Sunday Times were subsequently relaxed, allowing it to report information already in the public domain.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Daily Dose

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has ordered Voice TV to suspend broadcasting The Daily Dose for seven days. In a majority decision, the NBTC ruled that The Daily Dose, a daily current affairs programme hosted by Nattakorn Devakula, featured politically divisive content in violation of an order issued to the media by the NCPO.

The episode in question, broadcast on 23rd January, began with an assessment of the need for reform of the judiciary. (Contrary to a report in the Bangkok Post newspaper, the programme's 6th February episode was not the reason for the NBTC's ruling.) Voice TV, a digital terrestrial channel, is owned by Panthongthae Shinawatra, son of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

100 Manga Artists

100 Manga Artists
100 Manga Artists, written by Amano Masanao and edited by Julius Wiedemann, is a revised version of Manga Design, which was published by Taschen in 2004. The new edition was published this month in a more compact format. Manga Design profiled 140 artists, while the new book features only 100. (Osamu Tezuka, of course, appears in both editions.) Also, the DVD included with Manga Design does not come with 100 Manga Artists.

Strangely, although Masanao and Wiedemann are both credited on the title page, only Wiedemann's name appears on the cover and spine. Wiedemann has edited numerous books for Taschen, including Art Record Covers, Logo Modernism, Information Graphics, and Understanding The World.

Manga! Manga!: The World Of Japanese Comics, by Frederik L Schodt, was the first English-language book on the subject. Maurice Horn's World Encyclopedia Of Comics features biographies of manga artists. Comics, Comix, & Graphic Novels, by Roger Sabin, includes an introduction to the manga industry. Comics: A Global History covers manga since 1968. (Manga Kamishibai is a history of the illustrated boards that were a precursor of manga comics.)

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Crisis In Six Scenes

Crisis In Six Scenes
Crisis In Six Scenes begins with Woody Allen's character, writer SJ Munsinger, telling his barber: "I'm working on an idea for a television series now." This is the first time Allen has directed for television, and the series of six episodes was shown on Amazon Prime Video last year.

In contrast to conventional sitcoms, the episodes are not self-contained, so the series would probably work if it was shown as a single film. In fact, each episode is only twenty-three minutes long, so the entire series is as long as a standard film.

In making a TV series, Allen is joining other directors such as Martin Scorsese (who directed the Boardwalk Empire pilot) and David Fincher (who directed the first two episodes of House Of Cards), though they are all following in the footsteps of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Like House Of Cards, every episode of Crisis In Six Scenes was released simultaneously.

Although Allen hasn't acted in his recent films, he appears in Crisis In Six Scenes as his familiar character, with his usual shtick. If you're already a fan (as I am), his performance will probably make the series worth watching, with the requisite one-liners about atheism, hypochondria, and neuroses. On the other hand, as episode one has virtually no plot, some viewers might stop watching before Miley Cyrus appears in episode two.

The 21st Century Art Book

The 21st Century Art Book
The 21st Century Art Book features 280 works of contemporary art, one per page, arranged alphabetically by artist. The book (which is similar to Taschen's Art Now) is effectively a sequel to The 20th Century Art Book, and follows the same format as other Phaidon titles such as The Art Book, The Photography Book, The Design Book, The Pot Book, and The Fashion Book. (It's less substantial than the others in the series, and its title is premature, because it covers only the first decade of the 21st century.)