Archive

Paul Grimstad

10 April 2014

In 1981, promotional ads for something called “Music Television” started hitting in the US with the tagline: “You’ll never look at music the same way again.” Around the same time appeared a pilot video for something called Perfect Lives: A Television Opera by American composer Robert Ashley. Ashley was light-years from the video hit parade of MTV, but he too wanted to make music television. More…

22 May 2010

Look up Greil Marcus’s chapter on Moby-Dick in Harvard’s New Literary History of America, and you’ll find a TV Guide description of John Huston’s 1956 film version: “A mad captain enlists others in his quest to kill a white whale.” It’s Melville’s epic reduced to a sentence of plot summary, which is funny, maybe. But then Marcus glosses the sentence, “Isn’t that America, the thing itself, right there?” and it starts to get confusing. More…