Friday High Five: Sonya Harnett on film, reviews in the internet age and the DSM

We bring you some of our favourite finds from around the internet this week.

Why Steven Soderbergh quit making movies

Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Magic Mike, the Oceans Eleven series) has recently announced that this year’s Side Effects will be his last film; he blamed his decision on the way directors are too-frequently sidelined by studio executives who know money better than they know movies. ‘I think that the audience for the kinds of movies I grew up liking has migrated to television,’ reported the Guardian.

Last weekend, Soderbergh gave the keynote address at the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival - and delivered a rare (and scathing) behind-the-scenes insight into the state of the movie business, right now. You can read it online or watch it below.

State of Cinema: Steven Soderbergh

Relevant reviews in the internet age

On The Millions, Michael Bourne argues that the traditional ‘play-by-play’ book review is now defunct. ‘In an age of instant information … anyone writing about books is … entering an ongoing conversation.’ He argues that these days, we can quickly and easily find out what a book is about - and what people thought of it - by accessing Amazon or Goodreads. What professional reviewers can offer is not opinion, but a deeper kind of sense-making, replacing traditional reviews with a kind of ‘ mini-essay using the book under review as the focal point of a larger, more interesting story’.

Sonya Hartnett’s Of a Boy now a film

Sonya Hartnett’s haunting, much-loved (and very Australian) 2002 novel has been made into a film, The Weight of Elephants - written and directed by New Zealand filmmaker Daniel Joseph Borgman. The setting is transported to New Zealand, too; the film is billed as ‘inspired by’ Hartnett’s novel.

the weight of elephants international trailer 1280x534

Six novelists talk to Andrew O'Hagan about influence

Influence is a strange thing. For some writers, it’s a dirty word - something to avoid at all costs. Others wear it proudly, like a badge. Andrew O'Hagan recently spoke to six different novelists about their influences in mediums other than the page. There’s Kazuo Ishiguro on film, John Lanchester on video games, Colm Toibin on opera, and more.

Kazuo Ishiguro: Influenced by film.

Kazuo Ishiguro: Influenced by film.

The DSM and the creation of disease

There’s a growing unease in modern society with the line between disease and difference. In the New Yorker, Gary Greene, the author of a new book on the creation of the DSM, traces the historical roots of how we define disease - and how we gave doctors the power to decide. ‘The line between sickness and health, mental and otherwise, is not biological but social and economic,’ he writes.

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