The Church Of Scientology Allegedly Sent Threatening Letters To Distributors And Festivals


“Every step of the way, every distributor, every festival has received multiple threatening letters from the Church of Scientology. Some have come very close to buckling.”

Why Summer Isn’t For Reading

Book and Stones

It’s for re-reading instead: “I pull this or that beat-up, food-spattered volume off a shelf, whimsically hopeful that this time around it will be a different story: Anna Karenina will skip the train tracks and Sydney Carton will avoid the guillotine. Nothing has changed. But of course everything has changed.”

Maybe It’s A Good Thing That Amy Winehouse’s Label Destroyed Her Demos After Her Death


“It’s understandable why Joseph might have called the destruction of the demos the moral choice. Posthumous releases are a thorny subject in the music business. They can be seen as one final, exploitative attempt to wean money from an artist no longer around to cash the check — the musical equivalent of a creepy Tupac hologram. And also, they can be terrible, so rough around the edges that they can serve to undo a legacy.”

Thanks To A Gang Rape Scene, This Opera Broadcast Has A Different Age Rating

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“Director of Opera Kasper Holten defended the controversial scene saying it ‘puts the spotlight on the brutal reality of women being abused during war time, and sexual violence being a tragic fact of war.'”

Thank You, Robots, For Preserving Print Newspapers


“In the dark void of the National Newspaper Building, the robots are afoot. Towering 20 metres high and stretching far into the distance is an imposing expanse of racks, heaving with trays bearing volume upon volume of newspapers, laid flat and strapped between metal sheets. Suddenly, an enormous autonomous crane zooms forwards, stops abruptly and, with a hydraulic gasp, shoots out an arm. Lifting a large metal tray off the scaffold, it deposits it on a conveyor belt and races into the dark.”

How One ’90s Movie Remains (Sadly) Unique In U.S. Media


“Nair’s insistence on casting Indian actors in lead roles was a deal-breaker for many Hollywood studios. Only when rising star Denzel Washington was cast in the role of Demetrius did the film get studio backing in the U.S.”

Hollywood Gets Calls To Action For The Apparently Endangered American Movie Star


“The invasion of British and Irish leading men in Hollywood has now gone beyond a joke for many in the American entertainment industry. First noticed some time in 2011, the trend was initially dismissed as a novelty: an interesting phase that would pass, rather than as a threat. But this summer actors and directors are calling for action to mobilise American drama teachers and schools to counter it.”

What’s Going To Happen To Canadian Books?


“In reality, writers find that a belief in an author, as opposed to a particular book – an author as a long-term investment – tends to exist less and less. There is little loyalty. I know a half-dozen respected Canadian authors who have been breezily dumped in recent years by major publishers because their sales were just too low.”

Maybe We Love British TV So Much Because American Literature Is Too Dark For TV

american lit

The executive producer of Masterpiece: “This is a huge generalization, but [American novels] have tended not to have all the elements that make it good for television, whether it’s too interior or there’s not enough action.”

Making Music Out Of Seizures And Smog

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“If you had programming skills, you could re-associate number 60 with any sound – real or imagined – from the plink of a woodblock to the bleep of a computer. In the most basic sense, this is what Chafe does. With a free, open-source, downloadable program for music called ChucK, he transforms eye-glazing data: clarinets to represent carbon dioxide levels, for instance, overlaid with GDP data rendered in violins.”

As ‘Maria’ Retires From Sesame Street, A Look At How She Changed TV – And The U.S.


“Manzano’s gift to us, the power of her presence, lies in the fullness of Maria’s humanity. While still being proudly brown and representing Nuyorican excellence in all its glory, Maria never became a caricature, never boxed herself into the facile images of Latinos that American television sometimes still offers up. She slipped easily in and out of Spanish and English, celebrated her culture lovingly, became a feminist, worked as a repair woman, got married and had a baby, and, perhaps most importantly, aged – all before our eyes.”

Since We’re Talking Civil War, Where *Are* All Of The Monuments?

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“The animated map shows how Union and Confederate markers accumulated over time and where. It also allows you to compare and contrast the language with which the two sections valorized their respective causes. As time progresses, monuments dot the map, accelerating at certain historical moments.”

If You Think Most Theatre Is Overrated, Perhaps You’re … Right


“The truth is that with any art form you have to wade through a lot of less good stuff to find the gems, and there is a purpose in the less good stuff because that’s how artists, novelists, film-makers and theatre-makers learn. And for the reader or the audience there is a real pleasure in going on a journey with an author or a theatre-maker and seeing them develop over a period of time. If everything was astonishing it would be very dull.”

Maybe London, And Its Architecture, And Its Character, Aren’t Actually In Trouble?


“I am not a Londonphobe. I don’t hate the city. I am not planning to leave. I do not oppose all building – I don’t think we are building enough, or in the best ways.”

Apple Music Is Actually A Return To Radio, Right?


Apple Music, or at least part of it, is “a simple but radical disruption of the individualized listening experience we’ve become accustomed to online. It’s in essence the opposite of what Apple Music’s predecessor, the iTunes Store, did more than a decade ago.”

London’s Antiquities Buyers Are Making ISIS A Cash-Rich Terror Group


“Buyers are not getting the message that the purchase of such antiquities is enabling war and terror in the Middle East. ‘These are blood antiquities,’ says Altaweel, adding that attempts to make the cultural-heritage case for more action to stop trade in looted goods have not yielded results. ‘What might work more is to say that this is funding death.'”

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain Wins Its Battle With A German ‘Copycat’


“The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB) – the longest-running group of its kind – took action against The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (TUKUO), which played its first gig just four years ago, complaining it was a ‘copycat’ group and could lead to fans booking for the wrong event.”

The Brother-Sister Dancing Duo Starring On Broadway This Year


City Ballet dancers Megan Fairchild – who’s starring in On the Town – and Robbie Fairchild – nominated for a Tony for An American in Paris – are used to dancing together, but now they’re on Broadway, they have to FaceTime to see each other. Megan: “This is connecting us and bringing us closer in a different way. When we go back to the ballet, we’ll have this experience that we can only talk about with each other.”

What In The Heck Happened To The Suddenly Closed Gene Autry Museum?


“The museum, which opened in 1991 under the same roof as the town’s post office, contained movie posters, record albums, storybook covers, coloring books, tin lunchboxes, cereal boxes and other memorabilia and trinkets featuring images of the late actor and recording artist.” But is any of that left? Not even the director is talking.

Is AirBnB A Threat To Urban Artist Spaces?


“The end result of an AirBnB’d neighborhood is not a profitable artist collective. Rather, it’s an international bedroom community of “post-tourist” upwardly mobile workers, an intermittently empty complex of condos for creatives who can parachute in, patronize local cafes, and then escape as quickly as they arrived.”

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Five Things Classical Musicians Need To Do To Survive


“People can always tell when they are being patronised, and the only way classical music will manage to survive is to reach wider audiences by believing in what it has to offer, and not by trying to change what it is.”

China’s Great Wall Endangered


“Citing a recent report from the Great Wall of China Society, the newspaper claims that more than 30% of the original structure has disappeared. Approximately 74.1% is poorly preserved, and only 8.2% is in good condition. While concerns about the wall’s condition have deepened in recent years, the study appears to be the first to actually quantify the problem.”

Why Do We Use Four-Letter Words?


“The use of offensive, obscene or taboo language is a linguistic feature in most human cultures, from the English “f**k off” to the French merde (sh**), and from the Indian sala (brother-in-law) to the Arabic yil’an abu ommak (curse your grandfather). While people tend to think of the “four-letter words” as modern phenomena, the reality is that the earliest recorded uses of these words date from 1,000 years ago (“f**k” is one of the most recent, from 1503).”

What Is Lincoln Center’s Place In The Arts World?


“If a new generation of middle-class Americans chooses to move back into the inner cities, large-scale performing-arts centers might start to make fiscal and artistic sense. But even if that should happen, Lincoln Center will never again be culturally influential in the way that it was in the ’70s and ’80s.”

Flip: Turns Out Casting A Strong Female Movie Lead Is Good For Box Office

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“New mid-year figures suggest that not only do movies with women in lead roles sell well, but there might even be a link between female leads and overall attendance boosts.”

Measuring Hispanic Audience Clout In America


“The Hispanic market has grown from $1 trillion in buying power in 2010 to $1.5 trillion this year, according to Nielsen data. And Nielsen and Google surveys find members of that audience to be among both the heaviest viewers of TV and the earliest and most active users of new media technology.”

BBC Slashes 1000 Jobs As Britons Migrate Away From TV To The Internet

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“Some Britons have discarded their televisions — the main source of home viewing for half a century — in favour of tablets which many younger people use to watch programmes over a wireless Internet connection. The BBC’s Head of News, James Harding, last month predicted that by 2025, most people in the United Kingdom would probably get their television programmes over the Internet.”

Are Too Many Movies Being Made?


“Let’s talk about this supposed crisis of overchoice in the film business. In the past couple of years, there have been a lot more movies released. Depending on where you live, there may be twice as many movies being released in theatres each week as there were in 2000.”