"Melvyn Bragg continues his exploration of the idea of culture by considering its use in the discipline of anthropology. In 1871 the anthropologist Edward Tylor published Primitive Culture, an enormously influential work which for the first time placed culture at the centre of the study of humanity. His definition of culture as the 'capabilities and habits acquired by man' ensured that later generations saw culture as common to all humans, and not simply as the preserve of writers and philosophers."
(Melvyn Bragg, 2013)
"The Value of Culture: Culture and the Anthropologists", Radio broadcast, Episode 2 of 5, Duration: 42 minutes, First broadcast: Monday 01 January 2013, Presenter/Melvyn Bragg, Producer/Thomas Morris for the BBC Radio 4, UK.
"Blue Velvet begins with the lily-white small town of America's collective fantasies and shows us its dark underside: drugs, violence, sex, and particularly sexual perversion. Our hero, Jeffrey, hiding in the dark, peers through the slats of Dorothy Vallens' closet at Dorothy getting undressed and Frank's strange sadomasochistic sex with her. Jeffrey stands for all of us American filmgoers peering (voyeuristically!) at Evil in traditional American films. Lynch clues us as to how we should read his film when he shows us a cluster of ants under the Beaumonts' pretty lawn. This is Tennyson's nature red in tooth and claw-the underside of cutesy Lumberton with its free enterprise propensity for cutting down trees."
(Norman N. Holland)
"1992 - 20 years ago: all countries belonging to the European Union decided to create a single market. This meant removing the obstacles blocking the free movement of goods, people, services and capital among them.
20 years on, we can travel across Europe without having to show our passports, work and live in another country without any difficulty, and find the best deals across Europe when shopping online. But we all agree that more work needs to be done in order to have a fully functioning European single market.
If you are 20 years old, we want to hear from you: your experiences, stories, complaints and proposals to make Europe a better place to live and work."
"The theme of the lecture addresses a question: how can we design spaces in the city which encourage strangers to cooperate? To explore this question, I'll draw on research in the social sciences about cooperation, based on my book, and relate this research to current issues in urban design."
(Harvard Graduate School of Design, 28 February 2012)
"Modelled on the 13-part observational series, An American Family (US, d. Craig Gilbert, 1972), producer Paul Watson's 12-part The Family (BBC, 1974) is credited with creating the concept of the 'fly-on-the-wall' documentary in Britain. Regardless, Watson's cinema verité-style, warts-and-all portrait of the working-class Wilkins family certainly popularised an 'observational' style still seen as the defining characteristic of British documentary some twenty-five years later.
The Family follows the daily lives of Terry and Margaret Wilkins, their children and their partners, as they all struggle to live together in a small flat in Reading. The series sets out to reveal to viewers the reality of family life in Britain as never shown before. "No TV family ever has dirty pots and pans," says Margaret in episode one, and the Wilkins demonstrate a remarkable candour in their on-camera conversations with one another.
Watson and his small crew spent two months with the Wilkins prior to filming. After this the team filmed the family eighteen hours a day for three months. The result was an extraordinary portrait of family life: honest, hilarious and painful, an instant classic the impact and influence of which (on both fiction and non-fiction television) it would be difficult to overestimate.
The Family divided critics and viewers alike, and the Wilkins were villified by the tabloid press for all manner of imagined transgressions: their 'acting' for the camera or their 'real' behaviour in front of it, their use of bad language and public airing of previously taboo subjects. Watson explained that he "wanted to make a film about the kind of people who never got on to television," and clearly the sight of a powerful and opinionated woman like Margaret Wilkins, or the challenge of daughter Heather to the casual racism of 1970s middle-England, was shocking to a certain section of the British public (Mary Whitehouse was among those who called for the series to be banned, lest this 'representative' family be seen as a model to imitate)."
(Joe Sieder, BFI Screenonline)