Tuesday, June 4, 2013

At the movies, 100 years ago

New York City, c1908
As a departure from the usual western movie review today, I’m showing links to videos of street scenes from the turn of the last century. I considered calling this post “The Dead,” thinking of the James Joyce story by the same name but decided it would be too off-putting as a headline.

For me, these vintage films represent the world of the early western writers, such as Owen Wister, whose novel The Virginian was published in 1902. All but one of them were shot in England, and they illustrate the congested urban landscape that western writers typically dismissed as “civilization.”

If you have time for only a couple of these, skip down to “Blackfriars Bridge,” and then follow it with “London Bridge,” which was shot in modern-day London using a 100-year-old hand-cranked 35mm camera. The differences and similarities between them are fascinating.

London Bridge (outtake from documentary, Londoners, 2012, using 100-year-old hand-cranked 35mm camera)

For more of Tuesday’s Overlooked Movies and TV, click on over to Todd Mason’s blog.

BITS is on hiatus for two months. Back in August.

Image credit: 
Flat Iron Building, New York City, Colin Power Cooper, Wikimedia Commons

Monday, June 3, 2013

A blog for writers

The New York Times publishes a regular blog of interest to writers. Called simply "Draft", the blog is described as follows:
Draft features essays by grammarians, historians, linguists, journalists, novelists and others on the art of writing — from the comma to the tweet to the novel — and why a well-crafted sentence matters more than ever in the digital age.
Click here for a sample. You can add it to your blog list with the following URL:


BITS is going on hiatus for two months. Back in August.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Saturday music, Guy Mitchell

"My Heart Cries for You," first hit of Guy Mitchell, born Albert George Cernik of Croatian parents in Detroit, Michigan, 1927. His biggest hit, "Singing the Blues," was a no. 1 song for 10 weeks in 1956.

BITS is going on hiatus for two months. Back in August.