Thursday, 20 December 2012

We are closed for Christmas...

but you can still access many resources online!

The library, along with the university, closes tomorrow at 4 p.m. for the Christmas vacation, and will reopen at 9 a.m. on the 2nd of January.

As many of you will be researching and writing assignments over the vacation, you may find either of the following links helpful.

Access to e-resources – troubleshooting guide for Xmas
This was originally posted last year, but is still relevant.

Researching assignments
This is a compendium of useful resources for researching assignments, and includes videos, and a link to our referencing guide.

I wish you a Happy Christmas!

Edmund de Waal on tact *Christmas Special*

This post is a Christmas special, designed to give you something to think about at this time of year, when you meet up with friends and family and remember those who are no longer with us.  As the title has already announced, it is Edmund de Waal's talk on tact: as important at Christmas as mince pies, wine, and wrapping skills. 

This talk was given as part of the School of Life's Sunday Sermons earlier this year, and was one of the most engaging of these sermons I have attended.  I heartily recommend finding somewhere quiet, without other distractions, and watching.

  Edmund de Waal On Tact from The School of Life on Vimeo.

Further Reading

de Waal, E. (2010).  The hare with amber eyes; a hidden inheritance. Chatto & Windus. 

In Memory of W. B. Yeats (1940) from Another Time by W. H. Auden, published by Random House.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Story of Film is on box of broadcasts...

It's a shame that Mark Cousins' narration of his fifteen-part documentary, The Story of Film: An Odyssey, which he also wrote and shot, is quite so laid-back (some might say monotonous/dreary/irritating) because behind the drone is an extraordinary document, which should be of interest to anyone studying film, and quite a few people who aren't.

The range of films shown in extracts is one of its principal delights - everything from 'Traffic crossing a Leeds Bridge' (1888) to 'Inception' (2010).  And what is also extraordinary, is the range of nations covered: is there a film culture left unexplored?  No wonder he sounds weary.

I also liked the way that scenes from one film were shown to have influenced another - for example the famous shot in 'The Seven Year Itch,' of Marily Monroe standing over an air vent, turns out to have had an earlier precedent.

The series was originally broadcast in 2011, and released on DVD this year.  There are fifteen episodes, and a total running time of 915 minutes - roughly one hour per episode.  We have a couple of copies of the DVD in the library, but you can also view the whole series on Box of Broadcasts.  Something to watch over the Christmas holiday perhaps?

It's heavy going, so my advice is to start the wrong way round - with the more recent episodes, and the films you know; and work backwards.  A lot of ground is covered, so watching it linearly is I think unnecessary (although Sheffield Doc/Fest are inviting you to ingest it all in one go).

You can also find lots of the films mentioned on Box of Broadcasts.  Some of these were broadcast as part of a Story of Film Season on Film4 and others like 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' have been broadcast at other times.  If there is anything that you can't find on either Box of Broadcasts or in the library's DVD collection, why not let me know?

In contrast to Cousins' recumbant delivery, Mark Kermode - the bastard son of Richard Nixon and Buddy Holly - has a livlier style, which is occassionally witty.  His interview with Cronenberg and members of the cast of Cosmopolis in the back of a limousine is a case in point.  This and other highlights of his year in film are available in episode 23 of The Culture Show (or here on iplayer).

Yet more roundups for 2012...

Photobook club present their "best of" list here and if I was to collate a "best of" list of "best of" lists, surely top prize would go to the photoeye 2012 list. Available now.

Always a pleasure, never a chore.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

More 2012 roundups for film and photography...

and this won't be the last one!


Which film comes top in Sight & Sound's 'Top 11 films of 2012'?  Its the beautiful but baflling, 'TheMaster.'  Sight & Sound's review is one of the better one's I have read: "It isn’t a great film – but it has a great film rattling around inside it."

The Master is also in pole position for Oscar glory - according to The Guardian's predictions this week.  They also report on the longlist for best documentary; fifteen films are listed, which will be whittled down to five nominations.


Foto8 make Poppy; trails of Afghan heroin their Book of the Year and you will find this in the library if you are interested.


Sean O'Hagan's list in the Observer includes some of the big hitters of the previous year - some with big prices to match.  There are books focussing on Cardiff at night, and Soho, which gives it a distinctly British feel.  Alec Soth comments that "2012 seems to be the year of looking back" in his Top TenThe Afronauts features in Soth's list, and in the ICP Library blog's favourites and of course in the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013 (I missed this one I'm afraid).

PDN's list of notable books is always interesting (this is part 1), and I reproduce it below because last year's disappeared from the web.  They also have a list of Indie photobooks of the year.

New American Picture by Doug Rickard
(based on a true story) by David Alan Harvey
SOHO by Anders Petersen
Classroom Portraits by Julian Germain
Exiled to Nowhere: Burma’s Rohingya by Greg Constantine 
Taking My Time by Joel Meyerowitz
Prairie Stories by Terry Evans
Tim Walker: Story Teller
The Raw and the Cooked by Peter Bialobrzeski
Behind the Walls by Paolo Ventura
Labyrinth by Daido Moriyama
Cedric Nunn: Call and Response
Paul Graham's American trilogy gets top billing in the British Journal of Photography's highlights from the year in their December issue dedicated to this theme.  There are several 'Best books of 2012' top tens by Martin Parr and others in this issue, but you will need to look at the print copy to see them.

Looking over the lists, some titles are repeated, however, you will find little consensus - which is all part of the fun I suppose.