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22 AUGUST 2015

The 1968 Buckley-Vidal debates: presaging the end, not the beginning, of the American public intellectual

"The directors of The Best of Enemies, a documentary about the 1968 debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, could have produced a riveting movie simply by splicing together old debate footage. This movie is about many weighty matters--politics, ideology, history, society and the media--but the delicious spectacle of watching two sexy men in their prime, with rapier wit, speaking in the accents of a gone American elite, slicing each other into fine ribbons, makes the film a guilty indulgence.

These two ghosts from a bygone era still make great television. It worked so well, in fact, that the series of debates, created by ABC to attach to the two 1968 conventions–Republicans in Miami and Democrats in Chicago–became the prototype for every television talking head show for the next half-century.

Sadly, no one has ever done it better. ...

The Buckley-Vidal debates could be the high moment in the history of the televised American political debate. But the spectacle contained within itself the seed of the end too. Extreme civility was about to explode and cool William Buckley, whose fate it was to manifest that explosion, would regret it for the rest of his life."

(Nina Burleigh, 1 February 2015, Newsweek)

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1968 • ABC (USA) • Best of Enemies (2015) • Buckley-Vidal debates • bygone eraChicago • Christopher Hitchens • conservative cool • conservative intellectual • conventional liberalism • crypto-fascist • crypto-Nazi • cultural elite • culture wars • Democratdocumentary film • erudite commentary • essayist • extreme civility • faggot • Frank Rich • Gore Vidal • great television • information bubble • insult • John Birch Society (JBS) • liberal ideology • liberalismMagnolia Pictures • Matt Tyrnauer • Miami • Morgan Neville • National Review (magazine) • Newsweek (magazine) • novelist • Pericles • polite society • political debate • political ideology • presage • public intellectual • Republican • Robert Gordon • Sam Tanenhaus • social conservatismspectacle • talking heads • Ted Koppel • televised political debate • the media • US elections • white male • William Buckley

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 AUGUST 2015

Pioneering instructional animators Bruce and Katharine Cornwell

"Bruce and Katharine Cornwell are primarily known for a series of remarkable animated films on the subject of geometry. Created on the Tektronics 4051 Graphics Terminal, they are brilliant short films, tracing geometric shapes to intriguing music, including the memorable 'Bach meets Third Steam Jazz' musical score in 'Congruent Triangles.' Their work, distributed by the defunct International Film Bureau, is now out of distribution."

(Geoff Alexander, 2015, Academic Film Archive)

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19762D animationabstract graphic animation • Academic Film Archive • basic geometric shapes • Bruce Cornwell • computer animationdigital pioneersearly computer-eraEuclidean geometrygeometric shapesgeometryinstructional materials • International Film Bureau (IFB) • Katharine Cornwell • mathematics educationmotion graphicspioneering animatorpolygon • Tektronix 4051 Graphics Terminal • triangle • visual representations of mathematical concepts

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 JULY 2015

Pinscreen animation Mindscape by Jacques Drouin

"A particularly creative example of the pinscreen animation technique, this film is about an artist who steps inside his painting and wanders about in a landscape peopled with symbols that trigger unexpected associations. Film without words."

"Mindscape" by Jacques Drouin, 1976, 7mins 31s.

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1976animated short film • animation technique • black and whiteboundary-crossing • crossing over • dreamlike storytelling • grey • in the mind • Jacques Drouin • landscape painting • Le paysagiste (1976) • meta-painting • Mindscape (1976) • movable pins • National Film Board of Canadapaint our own surroundingspainted world • picture within a picture • pinscreen animation technique • reality and illusion • shades of grey • stepping out of the framesurrealistic • surrealistic imagery • symbolic meaning • textural effects • without dialogue • wordless

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 JULY 2015

With Oui: dance performance using live audio and algorithmic flocking

"The narrative of the piece develops around human communication and mutually supportive relationships. A bright object in the middle of the stage acts as source of knowledge and connecting link between the dancers. This object contains inside a motion sensor (a Wiimote controller) and is used in specific moments by the dancers as a performative object to manipulate audio."

"With Oui" – May 2015 | B. Iden Payne Theater, UT Austin – Texas: Choreography: Billie Secular, Ladonna Matchett; Sound: Eli Fieldsteel; Live Visuals: Rodrigo Carvalho; Lighting Designer: Ya-Tai Chung; Dancers: Zach Khoo, Kelsey Oliver, Gianina Casale, Nick Kao, D’Lonte Lawson, and Sam O.

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2015 • artificial life programme • audio reactive • audiovisual dance performance • audiovisual performance • Billie Secular • Boids • code driven visuals • dance performance • DLonte Lawson • Eli Fieldsteel • flocking algorithmflocking behaviour • Gianina Casale • Kelsey Oliver • Ladonna Matchett • live audio input • motion sensor • movement performance • Nick Kao • performative object • Plethora library • Processing (software) • Rodrigo Carvalho • Sam O • Texas • VDMX • Wiimote controller • With Oui (2015) • Ya-Tai Chung • Zach Khoo

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 JULY 2015

Came by Boat: Vietnamese refugee who calls Australia home

"The riveting story of fleeing war-torn Vietnam for the safety of Australia, winner of the Audience Award in the Australian Shorts section at the Human Rights Arts Film Festival."

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2015 • Alisa Woraprangkul • Asia Pacific • asylumAustraliaboat • boat people • Came by Boat (2015) • Carmen Holman • documentary filmhuman rights • Human Rights Arts Film Festival • immigration • Indochina • Malcolm Bloedel • Malcolm Fraser • Marleena Forward • Melbourne • Ning Xue • Peter Frost • refugee • refugee crisis • Shannon Owen • Steve Thomas • Tri Nguyen • Victorian College of the ArtsVietnamVietnam warVietnamese • Vietnamese boat people

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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