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An Animated Introduction to Albert Camus’ Existentialism, a Philosophy Making a Comeback in Our Dysfunctional Times

When next you meet an existentialist, ask him what kind of existentialist s/he is. There are at least as many varieties of existentialism as there have been high-profile thinkers propounding it. Several major strains ran through postwar France alone, most famously those championed by Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Albert Camus — who explicitly rejected existentialism, in part due to a philosophical split with Sartre, but who nevertheless gets categorized among the existentiali...
Tags: Google, Facebook, College, France, Germany, Philosophy, Algeria, Albert Camus, Quentin Blake, Seoul, TED Talks, Alain De Botton, Facebook Twitter, Sartre, Jean Paul Sartre, Boston Review

Watch 31 Buster Keaton’s Films Online: “The Greatest of All Comic Actors,” “One of the Greatest Filmmakers of All Time”

The greatest of the silent clowns is Buster Keaton, not only because of what he did, but because of how he did it. —Roger Ebert In 1987, Video magazine published a story titled “Where’s Buster?” lamenting the lack of Buster Keaton films available on videotape, “despite renewed interest” in a legend who was “about to regain his rightful place next to Chaplin in silent comedy’s pantheon.” How things have changed for Keaton fans and admirers. Not only are most of the stone-faced comic geniu...
Tags: Google, Film, College, Orson Welles, Roger Ebert, Maine, BFI, Samuel Beckett, Mel Brooks, Werner Herzog, Don, Andrew, Keaton, Facebook Twitter, Beckett, Buster Keaton

Watch 31 Buster Keaton’s Films Free Online: “The Greatest of All Comic Actors,” “One of the Greatest Filmmakers of All Time”

The greatest of the silent clowns is Buster Keaton, not only because of what he did, but because of how he did it. —Roger Ebert In 1987, Video magazine published a story titled “Where’s Buster?” lamenting the lack of Buster Keaton films available on videotape, “despite renewed interest” in a legend who was “about to regain his rightful place next to Chaplin in silent comedy’s pantheon.” How things have changed for Keaton fans and admirers. Not only are most of the stone-faced comic geniu...
Tags: Google, Film, College, Orson Welles, Roger Ebert, Maine, BFI, Samuel Beckett, Mel Brooks, Werner Herzog, Don, Andrew, Keaton, Facebook Twitter, Beckett, Buster Keaton

How Bong Joon-ho’s Storyboards for Parasite (Now Published as a Graphic Novel) Meticulously Shaped the Acclaimed Film

In Seoul, where I live, the success of Bong Joon-ho's Parasite at this year's Academy Awards — unprecedented for a non-American film, let alone a Korean one — did not go unnoticed. But even then, the celebration had already been underway at least since the movie won the Palme d'Or at Cannes. Something of a homecoming for Bong after Snowpiercer and Okja, two projects made wholly or partially abroad, Parasite takes place entirely in Seoul, staging a socioeconomic grudge match between three...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Books, Film, College, Korea, Akira Kurosawa, Woody Allen, Ridley Scott, Seoul, Cannes, Martin Scorsese, Thomas, Facebook Twitter, Bong, Bong Joon

The Internet Archive Will Digitize & Preserve Millions of Academic Articles with Its New Database, “Internet Archive Scholar”

Open access publishing has, indeed, made academic research more accessible, but in “the move from physical academic journals to digitally-accessible papers,” Samantha Cole writes at Vice, it has also become “more precarious to preserve…. If an institution stops paying for web hosting or changes servers, the research within could disappear.” At least a couple hundred open access journals vanished in this way between 2000 and 2019, a new study published on arxiv found. Another 900 journals are in...
Tags: Google, Education, Microsoft, College, Data, Internet Archive, Libraries, Archives, Helsinki, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Hanken School of Economics, Durham NC Follow, Samantha Cole, Mikael Laasko, Shaun Khoo

Blockbuster Courses on the U.S. Presidential Election Getting Started at Stanford Continuing Studies This Week

This fall, Stanford Continuing Studies presents 150+ courses in the Liberal Arts & Sciences, Creative Writing, and Professional Development, including two major courses on the U.S. presidential election. Taught by Pamela Karlan (Stanford law professor) and James Steyer (CEO, Common Sense Media), Election 2020: A Panoramic View of America's Decisive Election will feature a lineup of distinguished guest speakers--from Bill Clinton and Kara Swisher, to Steve Schmidt, David Plouffe and Andrew Yang....
Tags: Google, College, Stanford, Russia, America, Bill Clinton, Online Courses, Silicon Valley, Facebook Twitter, Kara Swisher, Marietje Schaake, Michael McFaul, James Steyer, Andrew Yang, Roger McNamee, Stanford Continuing Studies

Why The Wire is One of the Most Brilliant TV Shows Ever

There were a lot of moments during my first view of The Wire when I realized I wasn’t watching the usual cop procedural. But the one that sticks in my head was when an obviously blitzed and blasted McNulty, the Irish-American detective that you *might* think is the hero of the show, leaves a bar, gets into his car and promptly totals it. In any other show this would have been the turning point for the character, either as a wake-up call, a reason for his boss to throw him off the case, o...
Tags: Google, Hbo, Television, Obama, College, Atlantic, Baltimore, Richard Price, Thomas, Simon, David Simon, Facebook Twitter, McNulty, KCRW, Loyola University, Ed Burns

If Werner Herzog Reviewed Trader Joe’s on Yelp: “Madness Reigns. The First Challenge Your Soul Must Endure Is the Parking Lot”

I like the Internet for various things, but it’s limited. I’m not on social media, but you will find me in the social media. There’s Facebook, there’s Twitters, but it’s all not me. —Werner Herzog in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter The night before his 2016 documentary Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World premiered at Sundance, director Werner Herzog declared himself “still a liberated virgin” with regard to his reliance on the Internet: I think we have to abandon this kind o...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Comedy, Cook, Film, College, Life, San Francisco, Gorbachev, Tom Cruise, Silver Lake, Anderson, Joe, Sundance, Werner Herzog, PAUL

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Favorite Opera Recordings (and Her First Appearance in an Opera)

U.S. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has thrown an unbearably fraught political year into further disarray, a fact that has sadly overshadowed memorialization of her inspiring life and career. Ginsburg was a personal hero for millions of activists and students—from grade school to law school; an icon casually identified by her initials by those who felt like they knew her. “For many women, and many girls,” Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes in a New York Times tribute, her loss...
Tags: Google, Music, Politics, London, Justice, College, Chicago, Vienna, Current Affairs, New York Times, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Barber, London Symphony Orchestra, Verdi, The New Yorker, Mozart

The Life, Work & Philosophy of Bill Murray: Happy 70th Birthday to an American Comedy Icon

Image by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons "Bill Murray is to me what calculators are to math," Jason Schwartzman once said of his esteemed colleague. "I never knew math before calculators, and I never knew life before Bill Murray." Having been born in the 1980s, a decade Murray entered already well-known after three early seasons of Saturday Night Live, I could say the same. Through characters like Nick the lounge singer and half a nerd couple with Gilda Radner, Murray established himself o...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Japan, UK, Comedy, Film, College, Paris, Wes Anderson, Bill Murray, Dustin Hoffman, Seoul, NICK, Toronto International Film Festival, Anderson, Thompson

A Long, Guided Tour of New York City Captured in Original Color Film (1937)

So much classic black and white footage has been digitally colorized recently, it’s hard to remember that the Eastman Kodak Company's Kodachrome film debuted way back in 1935. The above footage of New York City was shot by an unknown enthusiast in and around 1937. Dick Hoefsloot, the Netherlands-based videographer who posted it to YouTube after tweaking it a bit for motion stabilization and speed-correction, is not averse to artificially coloring historic footage using modern software, b...
Tags: Travel, Google, Usa, New York, Film, Youtube, College, New York City, History, Brooklyn, Current Affairs, Ford, Netherlands, Manhattan, Fokker, Westfield

Free Jazz Musicians Intentionally Play Terrible Music to Drown Out the Noise of a Danish Far-Right Politician

Art makes a way where politics fail. I don’t mean that in any mawkish sense. Sure, art brings people together, encourages empathy and common values. Those can be wonderful things. But they are not always necessarily social goods. Violent nationalism brings people together around common values. Psychopaths can feel empathy if they want to. When faced with fascism, or neo-fascism, or whatever we want to call the 21st century equivalent of fascism, those who presume good faith in their oppo...
Tags: Google, Music, Politics, London, College, Ornette Coleman, Malcolm X, Coltrane, Facebook Twitter, Burroughs, Josh Jones, William S Burroughs, Black Power, Durham NC Follow, Herbie Hancock Kamasi Washington, Rasmus Paludan

High-Resolution Walking Tours of Italy’s Most Historic Places: The Colosseum, Pompeii, St. Peter’s Basilica & More

The global tourism industry has seen better days than these. In regions like western Europe, to which travelers from all parts have long flocked and spent their money, the coronavirus' curtailment of world travel this year has surely come as a severe blow. This goes even more so for a country like Italy, whose stock of historic structures, both ruined and immaculately preserved, has long assured it touristic preeminence in its part of the world. So much the worse, then, when Italy became...
Tags: Travel, Google, Facebook, Europe, College, History, Rome, Italy, Vatican City, Seoul, Pompeii, Colosseum, United States of America, Facebook Twitter, Herculaneum, Palatine Hill

Watch Rare Footage of Jimi Hendrix Performing “Voodoo Child” in Maui, Plus a Trailer for a New Documentary on Jimi Hendrix’s Legendary Maui Performances (1970)

In June of 1969, the original Jimi Hendrix Experience, the band that introduced the sixties to its reigning guitar god, disbanded for good with the departure of Noel Redding following a messy Denver Pop Festival appearance. The story of that gig sounds so apocalyptic—involving heroin, riots, and tear gas—that it reads like cosmic foreshadowing of the tragedy to come: the decades' greatest psych-rockers go out in a haze of smoke. A little over one year later, Jimi is dead. But if he seeme...
Tags: Google, Music, Film, College, Jimi Hendrix, Hawaii, Redding, Denver, Haleakala, Maui, Woodstock, Madison Square Garden, Cox, Facebook Twitter, Hendrix, Josh Jones

A Side-by-Side, Shot-by-Shot Comparison of Denis Villeneuve’s 2020 Dune and David Lynch’s 1984 Dune

As a longtime fan of all things Dune, there’s no living director I’d trust more to take over the “property" than Denis Villeneuve. But why remake Dune at all? Oh, I know, the original film—directed (in several cuts) by “Alan Smithee,” also known as David Lynch—is a disaster, so they say. Even Lynch says it. (Maybe the nicest thing he’s ever said about the movie is, “I started selling out on Dune.”) Critics hated, and largely still hate, it; the film’s marketing was a mess (Universal prom...
Tags: Google, Hollywood, Film, College, David Lynch, Universal Studios, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Dune, Frank Herbert, Facebook Twitter, Lynch, Villeneuve, Herbert, Denis Villeneuve, Alan Smithee, Jodorowsky

Good Movies as Old Books: 100 Films Reimagined as Vintage Book Covers

At one time paperback books were thought of as trash, a term that described their perceived artistic and cultural level, production value, and utter disposability. This changed in the mid-20th century, when certain paperback publishers (Doubleday Anchor, for example, who hired Edward Gorey to design their covers in the 1950s) made a push for respectability. It worked so well that the signature aesthetics they developed still, nearly a lifetime later, pique our interest more readily than those o...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Books, Design, Film, College, Wes Anderson, Ridley Scott, Philip K Dick, Seoul, Alfred Hitchcock, David Fincher, Stephen Frears, Agatha Christie, Steven Spielberg, Rian Johnson

A Short Introduction to Manga by Pretty Much Pop #60 with Professor Deborah Shamoon from the National University of Singapore One of our goals on Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast has been to look into not just our favorite creators and genres but into things that get a lot of buzz but which we really don't know anything about. Manga is a great example of a "look what these crazy kids are into today" kind of area for many (older) Americans. Deborah Shamoon, an American who teaches Japanese studies at the Natio...
Tags: Google, Japan, Podcasts, College, America, Manga, National University Of Singapore, University Of Tokyo, Facebook Twitter, Knight, Deborah, Akira, Osamu Tezuka, Meiji, Tezuka, Comics/Cartoons

Debbie Harry Demonstrates the Punk Pogo Dance for a U.S. Audience (1978)

Each generation takes what it needs from early punk and discards what it doesn't, so that countless subgenres have descended from a small, eccentric collection of punk bands from the late 1970s. The speed and brute simplicity of the Ramones took over in the 80s. The Clash’s strident, reggae-inflected anthems guided much of the 90s. The angular art rock and new wave disco of Television, Talking Heads, and Blondie defined the 2000s. But some things became almost terminally passé, or termin...
Tags: Google, Music, UK, New York, College, Manhattan, Sex Pistols, Saints, Blondie, Ramones, Facebook Twitter, Debbie Harry, Frankenstein, Josh Jones, Sid, Banshees

The Pentagon Created a Plan to Defend the US Against a Zombie Apocalypse: Read It Online

For keen observers of pop culture, the floodtide of zombie films and television series over the past several years has seemed like an especially ominous development. As social unrest spreads and increasing numbers of people are uprooted from their homes by war, climate catastrophe, and, now, COVID-related eviction, one wonders how advisable it might have been to prime the public with so many scenarios in which heroes must fight off hordes of infectious disease carriers? Zombie movies seem inten...
Tags: Google, Hollywood, Television, Film, Cdc, College, Life, Bela Lugosi, US, Pentagon, George Romero, Haiti, Tufts University, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Daniel W Drezner

Steal Like Wes Anderson: A New Video Essay Explores How Wes Anderson Pays Artful Tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman & Other Directors in His Films

Although not the debut film of director Wes Anderson, and certainly not of star Bill Murray, Rushmore introduced the world to the both of them. Anderson's first feature Bottle Rocket (an expansion of the short film previously featured here on Open Culture) hadn't found a particularly large audience upon its theatrical release in 1996. But quite a few of the viewers who had seen and appreciated it seemed to run in Murray's circles, and in a 1999 Charlie Rose interview the actor told of be...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Film, College, Wes Anderson, Grand Budapest Hotel, Seoul, Alfred Hitchcock, Anderson, Charlie Rose, Murray, Newman, Julie Andrews, Facebook Twitter, Jeff Goldblum, Barry Lyndon

In a Brilliant Light: Van Gogh in Arles–A Free Documentary

Courtesy of the Met Museum comes the 1984 documentary, In a Brilliant Light: Van Gogh in Arles, narrated by Edward Herrmann: Near the end of his life, Vincent van Gogh moved from Paris to the city of Arles in southeastern France, where he experienced the most productive period of his artistic career. During his 444 days there, he completed over two hundred paintings and one hundred drawings inspired by the region’s light, wildlife, and inhabitants. This film presents the stories behind m...
Tags: Google, College, France, Uncategorized, Georgia, Paris, Provence, Arles, Van Gogh, Facebook Twitter, Vincent Van Gogh, Edward Herrmann, Gene Hackman New Hilma

David Byrne’s American Utopia: A Sneak Preview of Spike Lee’s New Concert Film

First came the album and tour in 2018. Then the Broadway show in 2019. And now the latest incarnation of David Byrne's American Utopia--the concert film directed by Spike Lee. Debuting on HBO Max on October 17th, this Spike Lee joint shows David Byrne "joined by an ensemble of 11 musicians, singers, and dancers from around the globe, inviting audiences into a joyous dreamworld where human connection, self-evolution, and social justice are paramount." If the movie is anything like the tou...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Music, College, Theatre, Broadway, Spike Lee, David Byrne, Facebook Twitter, HBO Max, Byrne Brian Eno

The Curious Death of Vincent van Gogh

The story of Vincent van Gogh’s suicide, like the removal of his ear, has been integral to his mythos for a long time, immortalized by Kirk Douglas in the final scene of Vincente Minnelli’s film Lust for Life and in the 1934 biographical novel of the same name by Irving Stone. We’ve all accepted this as brute historical fact, but, apparently, “it’s all bunk,” Gregory White Smith and Steven Naifeh wrote in a 2014 Vanity Fair article based on a decade of research for a new biography (Van G...
Tags: Google, Art, College, History, Paris, Smith, Vanity Fair, Van Gogh, Facebook Twitter, Vincent Van Gogh, Kirk Douglas, Josh Jones, Naifeh, Theo, Vincente Minnelli, Steven Naifeh

The Joy of Watching Old, Damaged Things Get Restored: Why the World is Captivated by Restoration Videos

The internet has given us a few new ways to watch things, but many more new things to watch. It's not just that we now tune in to our favorite shows online rather than on television, but that our "favorite shows" have assumed forms we couldn't have imagined before. Thirty years ago, if you'd gone to a TV network and pitched a program consisting of nothing but the process of antique restoration — no music, no narration, no story, and certainly no stars — you'd have been told nobody wanted...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Design, College, History, Korea, Asmr, Seoul, Facebook Twitter, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, Julian Baumgartner, Restoration Videos, Mike Dozier

Explore Dozens of Drawings by Charles Darwin’s Creative Children

Charles Darwin's work on heredity was partly driven by tragic losses in his own family. Darwin had married his first cousin, Emma, and “wondered if his close genetic relation to his wife had had an ill impact on his children’s health, three (of 10) of whom died before the age of 11,” Katherine Harmon writes at Scientific American. (His suspicions, researchers surmise, may have been correct.) He was so concerned about the issue that in 1870, he pressured the government to include questions about...
Tags: Google, Science, College, History, Bbc, Cambridge, Charles Darwin, Francis, Kent, Darwin, George, Emma, Facebook Twitter, Cambridge University Library, Kohn, Horace

David Lynch Tries to Make a List of the Good Things Happening in the World … and Comes Up Blank

David Lynch's weather report for Sunday September 13th: "Here in LA, grey. Again, smoke-filled sky. Very still right now. 61 degrees fahrenheit. Today I'm making a list of all the good things that are happening in the world. [Pause.] I'm still thinking... No blue skies, no golden sunshine today." Maybe David Byrne, creator of the “Reasons to Be Cheerful” web site, would have a better shot at filling out the page. Have your own list of good things happening in the world? Add them to the c...
Tags: Google, Facebook, College, La, Los Angeles, Current Affairs, Bob, David Lynch, David Byrne, Random, Facebook Twitter

Monty Python’s Michael Palin Is Also an Art Critic: Watch Him Explore His Favorite Paintings by Andrew Wyeth & Other Artists

Many a parent who caught their kid watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus in the 1970s felt, as one 70s American dad proclaimed, that “it was the singularly dumbest thing ever broadcast on the tube.” Fans of the show know otherwise. The Pythons created some of sharpest satire of conservative authority figures and middle-class mores. But they did it in the broadly silliest of ways. The troupe, who met at Oxford and Cambridge, where they’d been studying for professional careers, decided the...
Tags: Google, Art, Television, College, Scotland, John Cleese, Bbc, Maine, Oxford, Cambridge, Monty Python, Michael Palin, Jones, Palin, Christina, Facebook Twitter

Four Classic Prince Songs Re-Imagined as Pulp Fiction Covers: When Doves Cry, Little Red Corvette & More

There’s a book-lined Knowledge Room in the late Prince Rogers Nelson’s Paisley Park, but the Prince-inspired faux-books that artist Todd Alcott imagines are probably better suited to the estate's purple-lit Relaxation Room. The Knowledge Room was conceived of as a library where the world’s most famous convert to Jehovah’s Witnesses could delve into religious literature, reflect on the meaning of life, and study the Bible deep into the night. Alcott’s covers harken to an earlier stage in Prince’...
Tags: Google, Books, Music, Comedy, Design, College, Warner Bros, Prince, Buick, Facebook Twitter, Paisley Park, Hendrix, Nikki, Jehovah, Alcott, Ayun Halliday

Behold the First Underwater Portrait in the History of Photography (Circa 1899)

The image above may at first look like a plate from a Jules Verne novel, or perhaps a still from one of Georges Méliès' more fantastical moving pictures. It does indeed come from fin de siècle France, a time and place in which Verne, Méliès, and many other imaginative creators lived and worked, but it is in fact a genuine underwater photograph — or rather, a genuine underwater portrait, and the first example of such a thing in photographic history. Taken in the 1890s (most likely 1899) by biolo...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Photography, College, France, History, Ocean, Philadelphia, Seoul, Facebook Twitter, Jules Verne, PetaPixel, Auguste, Georges Méliès, Colin Marshall, Robert Cornelius

Watch Lime Kiln Club Field Day, One of the Earliest Surviving Feature Films with an All Black Cast (1913)

For some of us (no names) the world of TikTok is baffling and bizarre. Why does Gen Z flock to it? Who knows, but they do, in droves. Anyone can be a “creator” on what Jason Parham at Wired calls “the most exciting cultural product of this time.” It also happens to be a place where “digital blackface” has evolved—an online cultural phenomenon in which Black users of a platform get disproportionately censored while others who adopt the trappings of Black American culture, often in exagger...
Tags: Google, New York, Congress, Film, College, America, San Francisco, History, Williams, New Jersey, Buckingham Palace, Staten Island, Bahamas, Jim Crow, Caribbean, The New Yorker

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