Wednesday Night Links

I’m anticipating that I will soon be dropping into a writing- and grading-induced hibernation, so blogging will likely be sporadic for the next month or so.  But here are a few links I’ve been planning to mention:

  • TechPres has an interesting discussion of plans to use Twitter as a way of monitoring and reporting voting day problems.  This sounds to me like a really productive use of Twitter, one that plays to its strengths as a form, which works best as a means of disseminating real-time information to a potentially wide audience (or, at the very least, the right audience).  It helps that you can post to Twitter using your text message service. Not much to add here, but I think Nancy Scola and Allison Fine have a great overview of how Twitter can be used to make sure that our election is run fairly and smoothly.
  • Agnes points to a Wall Street Journal article on the digital distribution of films. Specifically the article focuses on alternative venues such as Hulu and SnagFilms where indie filmmakers are releasing their movies due to the intense competition over a small number of theatrical screens, a theme I spend quite a bit of time addressing in my book.
  • PBS’s P.O.V. blog has an interview with filmmaker Joanna Rudnick, who made In the Family, a compelling exploration of the emotional conflicts many women face regarding the decision of whether or not to test for a gene that indicates a strong likelihood of eventually developing breast cancer or ovarian cancer.  I’m still hoping to write a longer review because the film meant quite a bit to me, especially given that my mother is a breast cancer survivor.  One of Rudnick’s greatest strengths as a documentarian was her ability to empathize with her subjects as they faced the difficult decision about whether or not to take the test in the first place.  And then, once many of the women test positive for the genetic mutation that predisposes them to develop breast or ovarian cancer, they face an even more difficult question of getting a mastectomy.  For now, I’ll just say that Rudnick’s film is a perfect illustration of why we need a vibrant public broadcasting system and that the film should be required viewing for anyone concerned specifically about women’s health issues.
  • Karina Longworth also has a compelling blog essay on the potential of online film distribution, focusing specifically on the case of  Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg’s documentary of Naomi Wolf’s The End of America, which is currently available for free on SnagFilms.  I haven’t had a chance to watch the film yet, but I’m intrigued by her claim that “the first film I’ve seen that seems to have internalized the structure of the traffic-baiting blog post.”  I remember reading Wolf’s book on an airplane some time ago, so hopefully I’ll be able to weigh in on Sundberg and Stern’s adaptation.


  1. Simon Kilmurry Said,

    October 27, 2008 @ 11:44 am

    Hi Chuck – thanks for the great mention of “In the Family”. That film and a few others – “Critical Condition”, “Election Day”, “Campaign” – are all available in streaming video on the P.O.V. site through election day.

    All the best,

  2. Chuck Said,

    October 28, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

    Thanks for the tip, Simon.

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