Bright Wall/Dark Room.
12 hours ago
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"There are a handful of shows I ask everyone I talk to about television if they have seen: The Wire, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights. But when I ask them if they’ve watched and loved Friday Night Lights, what I mean is are you my kind of person? Are you all heart? Are you bothered by this 21st-century lack of earnestness, our abundance of irony? Do you wonder how we forgive and coach ourselves to do better? How we can strive again for valor and loyalty and daring and redemption? 
I fear we are defaulting to needless negativity as some kind of social currency. But Friday Night Lights is the most earnest show I’ve ever watched. Not sentimental, however: these characters aren’t perfect. In fact, this show is incredibly astute at allowing humans to have stratums of complexity: to have character and occasionally act without it, and then to live in the mire of their own dumb choices. Do I adore Coach? Yes. Do I think, as Tammy says, he is a molder of men and a husband of fierce devotion? Absolutely. Do I also think he can also be a self-involved, sexist prick who values his career over his wife’s? No question.
Regardless of the scale of the battle, the stakes in Friday Night Lights are rarely phony or contrived. It’s about winning games, sure, but its scope far exceeds that. This is a show that tests and reflects commitment not just on the football field, but back in the locker room. And in Street’s rehab room, and Saracen’s grandmother’s living room, and Julie’s bedroom, and eventually out to Luke’s farm and Tim’s prison and Tammy’s dream in Philadelphia. This commitment is not about obligation, but something more sacred. Duty. The hidden gale that blusters and grows within us and makes us yearn to give someone else exactly what they need.”
—Erica Cantoni on Friday Night Lights (Bright Wall/Dark Room, Issue #14, July 2014)

"There are a handful of shows I ask everyone I talk to about television if they have seen: The Wire, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights. But when I ask them if they’ve watched and loved Friday Night Lights, what I mean is are you my kind of person? Are you all heart? Are you bothered by this 21st-century lack of earnestness, our abundance of irony? Do you wonder how we forgive and coach ourselves to do better? How we can strive again for valor and loyalty and daring and redemption? 

I fear we are defaulting to needless negativity as some kind of social currency. But Friday Night Lights is the most earnest show I’ve ever watched. Not sentimental, however: these characters aren’t perfect. In fact, this show is incredibly astute at allowing humans to have stratums of complexity: to have character and occasionally act without it, and then to live in the mire of their own dumb choices. Do I adore Coach? Yes. Do I think, as Tammy says, he is a molder of men and a husband of fierce devotion? Absolutely. Do I also think he can also be a self-involved, sexist prick who values his career over his wife’s? No question.

Regardless of the scale of the battle, the stakes in Friday Night Lights are rarely phony or contrived. It’s about winning games, sure, but its scope far exceeds that. This is a show that tests and reflects commitment not just on the football field, but back in the locker room. And in Street’s rehab room, and Saracen’s grandmother’s living room, and Julie’s bedroom, and eventually out to Luke’s farm and Tim’s prison and Tammy’s dream in Philadelphia. This commitment is not about obligation, but something more sacred. Duty. The hidden gale that blusters and grows within us and makes us yearn to give someone else exactly what they need.”

—Erica Cantoni on Friday Night Lights (Bright Wall/Dark Room, Issue #14, July 2014)

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Friday Night Lights: All the Y’Alls from Tami Taylor (1:12)

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"There are a handful of shows I ask everyone I talk to about television if they have seen: The Wire, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights. But when I ask them if they’ve watched and loved Friday Night Lights, what I mean is are you my kind of person? Are you all heart? Are you bothered by this 21st-century lack of earnestness, our abundance of irony? Do you wonder how we forgive and coach ourselves to do better? How we can strive again for valor and loyalty and daring and redemption? 
I fear we are defaulting to needless negativity as some kind of social currency. But Friday Night Lights is the most earnest show I’ve ever watched. Not sentimental, however: these characters aren’t perfect. In fact, this show is incredibly astute at allowing humans to have stratums of complexity: to have character and occasionally act without it, and then to live in the mire of their own dumb choices. Do I adore Coach? Yes. Do I think, as Tammy says, he is a molder of men and a husband of fierce devotion? Absolutely. Do I also think he can also be a self-involved, sexist prick who values his career over his wife’s? No question.
Regardless of the scale of the battle, the stakes in Friday Night Lights are rarely phony or contrived. It’s about winning games, sure, but its scope far exceeds that. This is a show that tests and reflects commitment not just on the football field, but back in the locker room. And in Street’s rehab room, and Saracen’s grandmother’s living room, and Julie’s bedroom, and eventually out to Luke’s farm and Tim’s prison and Tammy’s dream in Philadelphia. This commitment is not about obligation, but something more sacred. Duty. The hidden gale that blusters and grows within us and makes us yearn to give someone else exactly what they need.”
—Erica Cantoni on Friday Night Lights (Bright Wall/Dark Room, Issue #14, July 2014)

"There are a handful of shows I ask everyone I talk to about television if they have seen: The Wire, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights. But when I ask them if they’ve watched and loved Friday Night Lights, what I mean is are you my kind of person? Are you all heart? Are you bothered by this 21st-century lack of earnestness, our abundance of irony? Do you wonder how we forgive and coach ourselves to do better? How we can strive again for valor and loyalty and daring and redemption? 

I fear we are defaulting to needless negativity as some kind of social currency. But Friday Night Lights is the most earnest show I’ve ever watched. Not sentimental, however: these characters aren’t perfect. In fact, this show is incredibly astute at allowing humans to have stratums of complexity: to have character and occasionally act without it, and then to live in the mire of their own dumb choices. Do I adore Coach? Yes. Do I think, as Tammy says, he is a molder of men and a husband of fierce devotion? Absolutely. Do I also think he can also be a self-involved, sexist prick who values his career over his wife’s? No question.

Regardless of the scale of the battle, the stakes in Friday Night Lights are rarely phony or contrived. It’s about winning games, sure, but its scope far exceeds that. This is a show that tests and reflects commitment not just on the football field, but back in the locker room. And in Street’s rehab room, and Saracen’s grandmother’s living room, and Julie’s bedroom, and eventually out to Luke’s farm and Tim’s prison and Tammy’s dream in Philadelphia. This commitment is not about obligation, but something more sacred. Duty. The hidden gale that blusters and grows within us and makes us yearn to give someone else exactly what they need.”

—Erica Cantoni on Friday Night Lights (Bright Wall/Dark Room, Issue #14, July 2014)

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1 day ago
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BRIGHT WALL/DARK ROOM TURNS FIVE!(and a whole lot is about to change…)
Yesterday marked our fifth anniversary, five amazing years since we first came up with a little idea for a different kind of film site, gathered some friends together, and opened up our doors. When BW/DR started, our focus was—and remains—on publishing unique and personal responses to films, about the ways that movies interact with our lives, inform them or are informed by them. For the better part of 4 years, we published an essay or two every week, right here on tumblr, convinced that it was the best place to build and grow a community of like-minded readers. And it worked, far better than we ever imagined. As of today, this site has nearly 220,000 followers and has grown beyond our wildest dreams.
About a year and a half ago, we decided to start a magazine. We found a publisher, held a fundraiser, brought in over $2000, and launched Bright Wall/Dark Room magazine in June 2013. The past year we’ve been mostly focused on making the very best magazine possible, though we kept up a presence here as well, running essays that, for one reason or another, didn’t quite fit into the magazine. We realize that led to some confusion, because, as our soon-to-be brand new publisher (we’ll get to that) told us a few months ago, “you guys have like 5 different places to go online and it’s really hard to figure out what you are or where to go to get things”. We agree, and apologize. Which is why we’re simplifying things a whole lot, beginning today.    
So basically, some really big changes are afoot here at Bright Wall/Dark Room, and we wanted to tell you all about them.
Going forward, we have officially decided to focus all of our energies on Bright Wall/Dark Room magazine, which, in the past year, has taken off in all kinds of new and interesting directions, and started opening up a lot of doors for us. Beginning with our August issue, we’ll be moving to 29th Street Publishing (home to Harper’s, Poetry, n+1, The Weekly Rumpus, The Awl: Weekend Companion, Maura, Scratch, and a whole lot more). They’ve slightly modified the magazine app (though not much), and completely revamped the online web-based version of the magazine (which we can’t wait to show you!).
Once that transition happens, we’ll be putting all of our energy entirely into the magazine, and this site—which we’ve built from the ground up and loved so dearly—will no longer be running any full-length essays. The only way to read any BW/DR essays or writing, beginning August 1st, will be to subscribe to the magazine. The magazine will be centralized at this address (http://brightwalldarkroom.com) and the current version of the site, the one you’re reading right now, will revert back to its original tumblr address (http://brightwalldarkroom.tumblr.com). We will continue to post to this tumblr, but those posts will be limited to excerpts from the magazine, as well as other film and television flotsam and jetsam. You know, how the rest of the world uses tumblr. 
Since our brand new issue just came out, we’ll be spending the rest of this week focusing largely on that around here, posting excerpts and artwork from the issue. But after that, we’ll spend the remainder of July posting some of our favorite essays from the past five years of Bright Wall/Dark Room - a fifth year anniversary celebration and a going away party of sorts, all at once.
It’s been a fantastic ride, tumblr, and we sincerely thank each and every one of you who’ve helped us get this far. We hope you’ll choose to join us as we continue building and growing our magazine—for just $2 a month (or $20 per year), you can still receive instant access to everything we do…

BRIGHT WALL/DARK ROOM TURNS FIVE!
(and a whole lot is about to change…)

Yesterday marked our fifth anniversary, five amazing years since we first came up with a little idea for a different kind of film site, gathered some friends together, and opened up our doors. When BW/DR started, our focus was—and remains—on publishing unique and personal responses to films, about the ways that movies interact with our lives, inform them or are informed by them. For the better part of 4 years, we published an essay or two every week, right here on tumblr, convinced that it was the best place to build and grow a community of like-minded readers. And it worked, far better than we ever imagined. As of today, this site has nearly 220,000 followers and has grown beyond our wildest dreams.

About a year and a half ago, we decided to start a magazine. We found a publisher, held a fundraiser, brought in over $2000, and launched Bright Wall/Dark Room magazine in June 2013. The past year we’ve been mostly focused on making the very best magazine possible, though we kept up a presence here as well, running essays that, for one reason or another, didn’t quite fit into the magazine. We realize that led to some confusion, because, as our soon-to-be brand new publisher (we’ll get to that) told us a few months ago, “you guys have like 5 different places to go online and it’s really hard to figure out what you are or where to go to get things”. We agree, and apologize. Which is why we’re simplifying things a whole lot, beginning today.    

So basically, some really big changes are afoot here at Bright Wall/Dark Room, and we wanted to tell you all about them.

Going forward, we have officially decided to focus all of our energies on Bright Wall/Dark Room magazine, which, in the past year, has taken off in all kinds of new and interesting directions, and started opening up a lot of doors for us. Beginning with our August issue, we’ll be moving to 29th Street Publishing (home to Harper’s, Poetry, n+1, The Weekly Rumpus, The Awl: Weekend Companion, Maura, Scratch, and a whole lot more). They’ve slightly modified the magazine app (though not much), and completely revamped the online web-based version of the magazine (which we can’t wait to show you!).

Once that transition happens, we’ll be putting all of our energy entirely into the magazine, and this site—which we’ve built from the ground up and loved so dearly—will no longer be running any full-length essays. The only way to read any BW/DR essays or writing, beginning August 1st, will be to subscribe to the magazine. The magazine will be centralized at this address (http://brightwalldarkroom.com) and the current version of the site, the one you’re reading right now, will revert back to its original tumblr address (http://brightwalldarkroom.tumblr.com). We will continue to post to this tumblr, but those posts will be limited to excerpts from the magazine, as well as other film and television flotsam and jetsam. You know, how the rest of the world uses tumblr. 

Since our brand new issue just came out, we’ll be spending the rest of this week focusing largely on that around here, posting excerpts and artwork from the issue. But after that, we’ll spend the remainder of July posting some of our favorite essays from the past five years of Bright Wall/Dark Room - a fifth year anniversary celebration and a going away party of sorts, all at once.

It’s been a fantastic ride, tumblr, and we sincerely thank each and every one of you who’ve helped us get this far. We hope you’ll choose to join us as we continue building and growing our magazine—for just $2 a month (or $20 per year), you can still receive instant access to everything we do…

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2 days ago
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A Message to Young People from Andrei Tarkovsky (2:22)

"…learn to love solitude…"

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Excerpt from the new issue: Tracy Wan on Boyhood:

"It’s a big element, isn’t it, of our medium?" Linklater asks, in an interview with Sight & Sound. “The manipulation of time, the perception of time, the control of time.” And if cinema is the art of time, he is a master of the art—from his fictional histories emerge a truth beyond the medium, that of experiencing life’s passing itself. If the Before trilogy is a microcosmic representation of his obsession (three days, 18 years apart), we can only look at Boyhood as the Linklater macrocosm: 12 years, in three hours. It is filled with what he does best—documentations of life in suburbia, streams of consciousness, revelations of personal philosophies. Here, what he captures is not the story of a boy growing up, but boyhood as identity: the edification of one small American dream. We learn about Mason as he learns about himself—in time. He, unsurprisingly, is just as obsessed with the concept—we watch Mason pick up photography as a hobby, and then as a major. There is no pretension: his photographs aren’t revelatory, just a product of his attention. And the same can be said for Boyhood. Its smallness is its charm. At ten, Mason asks his Dad: “There’s no such thing as real magic in the world, right?” And then, at nineteen, watching the sun duck behind canyons in the Big Bend, we see that he gets it. The magic is the world. It is here now, and now, and now.”

To read the rest of this essay, download the Bright Wall/Dark Room app to your iPhone or iPad for free, or subscribe online for $2 per month to receive immediate access to the entire issue.

Excerpt from the new issue: Tracy Wan on Boyhood:

"It’s a big element, isn’t it, of our medium?" Linklater asks, in an interview with Sight & Sound. “The manipulation of time, the perception of time, the control of time.” And if cinema is the art of time, he is a master of the art—from his fictional histories emerge a truth beyond the medium, that of experiencing life’s passing itself. If the Before trilogy is a microcosmic representation of his obsession (three days, 18 years apart), we can only look at Boyhood as the Linklater macrocosm: 12 years, in three hours. It is filled with what he does best—documentations of life in suburbia, streams of consciousness, revelations of personal philosophies. 

Here, what he captures is not the story of a boy growing up, but boyhood as identity: the edification of one small American dream. We learn about Mason as he learns about himself—in time. He, unsurprisingly, is just as obsessed with the concept—we watch Mason pick up photography as a hobby, and then as a major. There is no pretension: his photographs aren’t revelatory, just a product of his attention. And the same can be said for Boyhood. Its smallness is its charm. At ten, Mason asks his Dad: “There’s no such thing as real magic in the world, right?” And then, at nineteen, watching the sun duck behind canyons in the Big Bend, we see that he gets it. The magic is the world. It is here now, and now, and now.”

To read the rest of this essay, download the Bright Wall/Dark Room app to your iPhone or iPad for free, or subscribe online for $2 per month to receive immediate access to the entire issue.

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5 days ago
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Excerpt from the new issue: Kelsey Ford on The Last Picture Show (1971):

“This world is black and white and simple. Tumbleweeds languish outside empty gas stations. Trucks rattle down the lonely road. There’s the street with the picture show, the diner, and the pool hall. There’s your car, parked alongside the curb. All empty and open and waiting.
You’re a young woman, or a young man, or a mother remembering what it was like to be young, fickle, and fresh. You want someone to touch you. Anyone to touch you. You want to get out, or you failed to get out, but staying alive in this place requires a fight you don’t always have in you. 
Here, everyone knows everybody else and you wish there was a way to escape that, but there’s not.
You play basketball, feel your girlfriend up in the backseat of the bus, go fishing with Sam the Lion, listen to his stories about youth and love and loss.
It’s Saturday night and the only thing to do is go to the picture show and grope in the back row, but even this has lost its amusement. You want more, but you don’t know what more means. You’ve already seen this picture three times.”

To read the rest of this essay, download the Bright Wall/Dark Room app on your iPhone or iPad for free, or subscribe online for $2 per month to receive immediate access to both the app and web-based versions of the magazine.

Excerpt from the new issue: Kelsey Ford on The Last Picture Show (1971):

This world is black and white and simple. Tumbleweeds languish outside empty gas stations. Trucks rattle down the lonely road. There’s the street with the picture show, the diner, and the pool hall. There’s your car, parked alongside the curb. All empty and open and waiting.

You’re a young woman, or a young man, or a mother remembering what it was like to be young, fickle, and fresh. You want someone to touch you. Anyone to touch you. You want to get out, or you failed to get out, but staying alive in this place requires a fight you don’t always have in you. 

Here, everyone knows everybody else and you wish there was a way to escape that, but there’s not.

You play basketball, feel your girlfriend up in the backseat of the bus, go fishing with Sam the Lion, listen to his stories about youth and love and loss.

It’s Saturday night and the only thing to do is go to the picture show and grope in the back row, but even this has lost its amusement. You want more, but you don’t know what more means. You’ve already seen this picture three times.”


To read the rest of this essay, download the 
Bright Wall/Dark Room app on your iPhone or iPad for free, or subscribe online for $2 per month to receive immediate access to
both the app and web-based versions of the magazine.

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Movies, if they’re very good, aren’t a conversation; they’re an exaltation, a shuddering of one’s being, something deeply personal yet awesomely vast. That’s what criticism exists to capture. And it’s exactly what’s hard to talk about, what’s embarrassingly rhapsodic, what runs the risk of seeming odd, pretentious, or gaseous at a time of exacting intellectual discourse. »Richard Brody
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6 days ago
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Excerpt from the new issue: Matt Brennan on Far from Heaven:

"By the time the film arrives at its ambivalent conclusion, the light cast on lives lived openly is sobering. Frank inhabits a small apartment with his lover, but finds himself estranged from his past; Cathy balances the checkbook and attends to her schedule’s quotidian details, but catches herself in tears unexpectedly; Raymond and his daughter search for a fresh start in Baltimore. Yet there is something faintly expectant in the end of secrecy, too. The silent goodbye that Raymond and Cathy exchange may be the nearest the film comes to its own definition of divinity—pared down, basic, deeply felt just the same—and as she drives away from the train station the camera pans up to a spray of white spring blossoms, signaling a second chance. 
In some sense, Far From Heaven is less a story about living in the suburbs than a story about how we leave them. It is, finally, a tale of abandonment, exile, departure from the norm. Watching the film again, I see that its sympathetic magic stirred something beneath the surface of things, but my escape from that place was a decision all my own.”

(artwork by Brianna Ashby)


To read the rest of this essay, download the Bright Wall/Dark Room app on your iPhone or iPad for free, or subscribe online for $2 per month to receive immediate access to both the app and web-based versions of the magazine.

Excerpt from the new issue: Matt Brennan on Far from Heaven:

"By the time the film arrives at its ambivalent conclusion, the light cast on lives lived openly is sobering. Frank inhabits a small apartment with his lover, but finds himself estranged from his past; Cathy balances the checkbook and attends to her schedule’s quotidian details, but catches herself in tears unexpectedly; Raymond and his daughter search for a fresh start in Baltimore. Yet there is something faintly expectant in the end of secrecy, too. The silent goodbye that Raymond and Cathy exchange may be the nearest the film comes to its own definition of divinity—pared down, basic, deeply felt just the same—and as she drives away from the train station the camera pans up to a spray of white spring blossoms, signaling a second chance. 

In some sense, Far From Heaven is less a story about living in the suburbs than a story about how we leave them. It is, finally, a tale of abandonment, exile, departure from the norm. Watching the film again, I see that its sympathetic magic stirred something beneath the surface of things, but my escape from that place was a decision all my own.”

(artwork by Brianna Ashby)

To read the rest of this essay, download the Bright Wall/Dark Room app on your iPhone or iPad for free, or subscribe online for $2 per month to receive immediate access to both the app and web-based versions of the magazine.

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1 week ago
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pulpfictions:

“Perfect nonsense goes on in the world. Sometimes there is no plausibility at all.”
—Nikolai Gogol, The Nose

pulpfictions:

“Perfect nonsense goes on in the world. Sometimes there is no plausibility at all.”

—Nikolai Gogol, The Nose

Cite Arrow via pulpfictions
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