The Man Who Created Bugs Bunny

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“Charles M. Jones (1912-2002) was, in fact, easily one of the greatest comedy directors in the history of motion pictures, indisputably on a par with Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, Mel Brooks or Woody Allen.”

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Queen Elizabeth Appoints First Woman Master Of The Queen’s Music (It Only Took 388 Years)

Judith Weir

Judith Weir says there is still a sneaking suspicion that the world of classical music is carved up by a few big institutions and a handful of powerful cultural leaders. That really is an establishment; but Weir does not need the role of the master for access to classical music’s top table. The opportunity of the role, she says, “is to avoid all that – and go and meet the other people”.

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Why Crowdfunding Doesn’t Necessarily Create A Successful Movie

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“If everyone who wants to see your movie is part of the pool of people who gave you money online and you were able to raise $1 million or $2 million, that’s a fantastic story. But if those are the only people who are interested in your movie, that’s a big disaster.”

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Netflix Profits Double

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“The company said revenue from its streaming content service rose nearly 50% to $1.2bn, compared to $837m a year earlier. Netflix said it added 1.69 million users during the period from March to June. The streaming video firm now has 50 million users in over 40 countries.”

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The Way TV Is Currently Programmed Is Anachronistic (It Soon Won’t Be)

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“The current way TV is packaged, divided into hours and half-hours and series (or as we now call them “seasons”), is a product of the linear channel age. Online delivery opens the way for exploring new forms of TV.”

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Whatever Happened To The Idea That The Internet Would Unleash Creativity?

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“Free culture, like cheap food, incurs hidden costs.” Instead of serving as the great equalizer, the web has created an abhorrent cultural feudalism. The creative masses connect, create and labor, while Google, Facebook and Amazon collect the cash.

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Happiness is… (How Can We Be It If We Can’t Define It?)

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“What is unhappiness? Your intuition might be that it is simply the opposite of happiness, just as darkness is the absence of light. That is not correct. Happiness and unhappiness are certainly related, but they are not actually opposites. Images of the brain show that parts of the left cerebral cortex are more active than the right when we are experiencing happiness, while the right side becomes more active when we are unhappy.”

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Why Do Writers Have To Sound So Constipated When They Read Their Poetry?

Gregory Orr

“Poet Voice,” is the pejorative, informal name given to this soft, airy reading style that many poets use for reasons that are unclear to me. The voice flattens the musicality and tonal drama inherent within the language of the poem, and it also sounds overly stuffy and learned. In this way, Poet Voice does a disservice to the poem, the poet and poetry. It must be stopped.”

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The Decline Of Harper Lee

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Boris Kachka offers a notably sympathetic account of how the 88-year-old author of To Kill a Mockingbird, so feisty – and so beloved by her friends and neighbors – for so many years, came to her enfeebled, embattled, litigious current state.

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Novelist Thomas Berger, 89

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“The reclusive and bitingly satirical novelist … explored the myths of the American West in Little Big Man and the mores of 20th-century middle-class society in a shelf of other well-received books.”

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The Surprisingly Savvy Weird Al Internet Machine

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“So as we try to make sense of Mandatory Fun, Al’s fourteenth studio album – and as we round into the fourth decade of his career – it’s becoming clear that his old-school/new-school media business playbook is a little genius. In many corners of the English-language Internet, this week has been Al-saturated, his new music videos and songs unavoidable. How does he do it? Where will it lead? And will this be his media strategy forever?”

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The Way Kids, Um, Talk Is, You Know, Like, Actually Conscientious

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“Often enough, something we propose as a serious idea turns out to be more or less a joke. It’s much rarer that something proposed as a joke – or, at least, proposed as a semi-serious conceit, offered in the spirit of what’s often called, grimly, ‘tongue in cheek’ – turns out to be, or to have the germ of, a serious idea.” But Adam Gopnik has one.

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New $30,000 Choreography Competition In Australia Has Its First Winner

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“Melbourne-based artist Atlanta Eke has taken out the inaugural Keir Choreographic award , the first major national prize of its kind in Australia.” (includes video of all four finalists)

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BBC Cut Spending On Talent By £6 Million

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“The BBC spent £6 million less on talent in 2013/14, the Corporation’s latest annual report claims, with a £194 million bill for its star presenters and performers representing a 15% fall in wages over the past five years.”

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Choreographing For A “Cathedral Of Trees”

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The provincial English town of Milton Keynes is known for a long stand of arching trees planted to roughly match the footprint of Norwich Cathedral. Choreographer Rosemary Lee writes about creating Under the Vaulted Sky, a site-specific dance for the spot. (includes video)

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How Classical And Jazz Are Getting Screwed By Streaming

U.S. musician David Byrne attends a conference with public before screening his movie "True Stories" at the Estoril Film Festival

“Between low royalties, opaque payout rates, declining record sales and suspicion that the major labels have cut deals with the streamers that leave musicians out of the equation, anger from the music business’s artier edges is slow[ly] growing. … The shift to digital is also helping to isolate these already marginalized genres: It has a decisive effect on what listeners can find, and on whether or not an artist can earn a living from his work.”

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David Zinman Says His Farewell To Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra

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“The American conductor David Zinman is a small man, physically – conductors often seem to be – but with a giant profile in the Swiss city of Zurich. People recognize him on the sidewalk. Waiters hover. Strangers wave.”

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Save The Corcoran Group Granted Standing To Oppose Merger In Court

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“Judge Robert Okun ruled that nine members of the advocacy group Save the Corcoran must be admitted as intervening parties in a proceeding launched by the Corcoran last month to revise its 1869 charter” to allow a merger with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University.

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When Brigham Young Got A Mormon Alphabet

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“In 1853, after [George D.] Watt taught shorthand to Brigham Young, the Mormon leader commissioned the British clerk to create a 38-character ‘Deseret alphabet.’ The phonetic alphabet was meant to simplify the spelling of English words. Watt said … ‘An alphabet should contain just as many letters as there are simple-pure atoms of sound.’”

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Top Opera Director Says Sydney Opera House’s Problems Are “Extreme”

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David McVicar, in town to rehearse a new staging of Don Giovanni: “I think they thought about the outside before they thought about the inside. The problems of the Joan Sutherland [Opera Theatre] are extreme. It’s a very quirky space, it is inadequate for opera, it just simply is.”

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Inside America’s Biggest Employer Of Musicians

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“The military is one of the largest employers of musicians in the Washington area; indeed, the Army’s Web site claims that the institution is “the oldest and largest employer of musicians in the world.” The combined budget for the nation’s military bands was projected, in 2013, at $388 million (before sequester-related cutbacks).”

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How The Moon Became A Real Place

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“In popular imagination, the moon vivid, expansive, and fantastic. There was talk of winged creatures, moon elephants, scalding heat, and deep oceans. Newspapers were filled with stories—fictional, scientific, and artistic. In 1902, The San Francisco Call had an actual man act out the various faces of the man in the moon.”

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When Crime Writers Mix Historical Fact With Their Fertile Imaginations

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“If a child of mine had just been murdered I would find it hateful if somebody saw that as a means of making money.”

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The Man Who Turned Paper Dolls Into An Art Form For Adults Dies At 85

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“Meticulously drawn and colored, and annotated with historical information, Mr. Tierney’s paper-doll books are not just for children — and some are not for children at all. His aim, he often said, was to contribute to the visual literature of costume history.”

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So Why Was Julie Crosby Unceremoniously Dumped From the Women’s Project Theatre?

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“The way it was handled has created a situation we fear is damaging to the Women’s Project’s reputation, especially as it typifies the very thing we are committed to fighting — the lack of acknowledgment of the contribution of women to the American theater”

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That Time The Pet Shop Boys Wrote An Opera About Alan Turing For The BBC Proms

Photograph by John Wright

“The fact that a public work like this [is] going ahead in the very centre of one of our most famous concert series, on the BBC … there’s a sense of making up and making good, of expunging a lot of what was so bad about the old world.”

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True Open-Air Theatre Has Been Rare In Britain – But Now, Bring On The Picnics During ‘Timon Of Athens’

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“‘It’s a different experience, that appeals to people who are not necessary theatergoers,’ said Mr Jackson. ‘We see people just sit and relax into the atmosphere, and feel more included in the whole experience.’”

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When The White People In MFA Workshops Seriously Do Not Get It

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“A similar but different criticism occurs when a writer is told that her portrayal of minority characters isn’t different enough. A woman in my program has been told that her stories need to be more ethnic, that readers should be able to smell the food.”

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How Theatre Is Finally Making A Borderless Future

Luis Alfaro: Playwright of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Photo: Jenny Graham.

“This conference was what many of us in el movimiento have been waiting for: that moment when the next generation of amazing young artists, scholars, producers, and administrators are not only ready to step it up, but have also been trained through mentorship programs, internships, and good old theater jobs.”

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