6/02/2007



David Remnick in the New Yorker pays tribute to The Sopranos, "the richest achievement in the history of television." I wonder about the extent to which Remnick has canvassed this history. Has he watched all nineteen eps of My So-Called Life? Would he so confidently assert the equivalent for any other form, for a film or a play or a novel or a concerto? Or is it that television is so generally devalued that any outstanding work seems like it could be, unproblematically, best evs?

Battlestar is calling it quits after one more season
. Another welcome blow at the infinity model. I really want to like the show again, so I'm looking forward to the final season, the "third act," and not giving up yet despite my strong negative reaction to the ending of the season just past.

Movie Midpoints is a screen capture quiz using the middle frame of each film. I do badly at these things, so I'm glad that it comes with answers. I think I might do better with larger images, but it's still fun.

Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen are interviewed on Fresh Air about Freaks and Geeks and Knocked Up. See also this bunch of interviews etc. in Wired.

TechCrunch sez Facebook is the It website, the new Google: "Much of what we know as 'Web 2.0' will eventually be rebuilt on top of Facebook." The story here is the launch of Facebook Platform, which integrates all kinds of other functionality--Twitter, Last.fm, etc.--into one's Facebook page. Read all about it at the Facebook blog. It seems now that the age barrier is crumbling as old folks flock to the site (e.g., see Jeff Jarvis's gushy thoughts). It's certainly not too late for you, old-timer latecomers.

Jimmy Wales is interviewed by Charlie Rose (beginning around 19:45) about the future of Wikipedia and the way money is made online. He compares Facebook and MySpace around 24-25 min., praising the former. He talks about open source around 27-28, praising Firefox in particular.

And there will soon be 300,000 books published in the USA each year, reports Publishers Weekly. One of these days, among these will be mine. I just signed a contract with Columbia UP for my volume on indie cinema, loosely based on my dissertation. Keep your eyes peeled.

9 comments:

Chuck said...

Congrats on the book contract. The movie quiz is a lot of fun, btw, although I suck at them, too.

girish said...

Congratulations, Michael! I printed off your Velvet Light Trap article the other day and it's in my to-read stack.

Are you looking to make a T.O. trip this summer? If so, and if I'm there at the same time, we should meet up.

Jason Mittell said...

More grats on the book! Someday it will join your lovely wife's on my bookshelf...

Interesting how in the Sopranos article, all the texts he compares it to are novels or films, no TV. So it's such the pinnacle of its medium that it shouldn't even be compared to other examples, or the author doesn't actually watch TV beyond Sopranos. All this praise, despite that it's certainly one of the most intermittent and uneven shows in TV history! I wonder how much of the Sopranos love is based on the early praise legitimizing the show, and amongst the literati, it's still the only show you're allowed to admit to liking...

Jeff Jarvis said...

So glad to be the poster child for age. I used to be a wunderkind. Used to be.
Congratulations on the book deal. But what an old, dead medium....

Chris Cagle said...

Great news on the contract!

zp said...

100 super-congrats on the book contract. This book will be huge, huge I tell you!!

Reviews of Knocked Up confirm my opinion of F&G's Lindsay as a self-righteous priss. I'm not going to go into it, but think a minute and maybe it makes sense.

I still hate the lighting on The Sopranos.

michael z newman said...

Thanks, everybody.

Girish, I will let you know when we will be in Toronto. It would be great to meet you.

My lovely wife's book, in case you were wondering, is called Wallowing in Sex: The New Sexual Culture of 1970s American Television.

And zp, there seems to be an undercurrent in the Knocked Up press that damns the film for being conservative in its heart. Maybe there's a connection there to your observation about Lindsay.

Drew Morton said...

Congrats on the contract!

the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

mazltov!