Monday, March 10, 2014

Trying to Tell the Truth

Moving from the Lumiere Brothers, through Nanook, War of the Worlds, Cinema Verite, personal documentary, and NPR in the 1980s, Transom instructor Scott Carrier traces the ever-changing medium of documentary. Complete with lots of clips and some fascinating perspective on how we tell the truth (while still telling a story), check out his Brief history of documentary forms.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Strange Fruit

On August 7, 1930, two African-American teenagers, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, were lynched by a violent mob in Marion, Indiana. Moved by the infamous photograph taken that night, Abel Meeropol, a Jewish high school teacher in New York City, wrote a protest song entitled, "Strange Fruit." The song soon became a signature of a young jazz singer named Billie Holiday, the unforgettable finale of her live performances, inspiring generations to believe in the power of music and the dignity of the human spirit.
This is the story of an American masterpiece, the song TIME Magazine in 1999 called "the song of the century." But even more, this is a Good Friday story, an Easter Sunday story, a deeply human story of tragedy, defiance, genius, and grace.

Strange Fruit from SALT Project on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Writer's Retreat on a Train, anyone?

Amtrack is now taking applications for writers-in residence on their trains. You can use your train seat as your writing studio and take a trip across the country. Details at This is so tempting, so, as the article puts it, romantic (even if the reality is a lot of sitting in a cramped space.) But hey, you can always look out the window. Why Every Writer in the U.S. Is Now Asking Amtrak for a Free Ride