How China Is Increasingly Chaning The Kinds Of Movies That Are Made

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“At their current rate – anywhere between 10 and 13 new cinemas a day – China will have 60,000 screens in 10 to 15 years. The centre of gravity is shifting so rapidly to China and Asia – not just the market but also the money and capital for American movies – that their opinions are going to matter much more. Ultimately, China is going to be not just the biggest market but also the arbiter of what can get made and will get made.”

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Ex Oregon Ballet Theatre Director Christopher Stowell Hooks Up With San Francisco Ballet

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“As assistant to Tomasson, to whom he will report directly, Stowell will have his fingers in just about every aspect of the company pie on both the artistic and administrative (read financial) sides.”

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On The Sad Sad Mess That The Metropolitan Opera Has Gotten Itself In To

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“Of course the lockout will be toxic, as we learned from the Minnesota Orchestra and from the last Met lockout, in 1980. Subscribers flee, musicians flee, and the art suffers too. Whatever happens, a lockout will mean bitterness between the workers and Gelb. It will mean a division among the subscribers and donors, and worse, it will mean that other institutions may follow the Met’s hardline example. In other words, something rotten will spread beyond Denmark.”

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Gee – We REALLY Don’t Like To Be Alone With Our Own Thoughts

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“In 11 experiments involving more than 700 people, the majority of participants reported that they found it unpleasant to be alone in a room with their thoughts for just 6 to 15 minutes. Moreover, in one experiment, 64 percent of men and 15 percent of women began self-administering electric shocks when left alone to think.”

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130,000 Fans Flock To Comic Con. But Their Value To Marketers?

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It’s a “persistent problem of those who would sell products to the 130,000 or so fans who gather here annually to celebrate movies, television, video games and, of course, comics: These costumed folk have far more enthusiasm than buying power.”

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Just What Do Poet Laureates Do? And Why Do States Have Them?

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For the broader world of people who read poetry — and many who don’t — the brouhaha was a chance to ask a more basic question: Just who are America’s state poets laureate, and what do they do anyway?

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Television Station Challenges Ban On Airing Ads On Public TV

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The government’s argument is that selling ad spots would change the nature of public TV. An executive from another public TV station, WGBH-TV in Boston, testified that were they allowed to start selling ad time like commercial stations do, funding from federal and state government sources, as well as foundations and not profits, would be “jeopardized.”

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Are Major Recording Companies About To Sell Out Their Artists?

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“Sony, Universal and Warner — the “big three” record labels, which control 89% of global music sales — are nearing a deal with SoundCloud, the popular Berlin-based music site that since 2007 has allowed its 250 million monthly users to upload and stream music. The deal would grant SoundCloud licenses to play big three-copyrighted music (and “avoid legal trouble”) in exchange for a 3-5% stake for each company in SoundCloud’s estimated $500-600 million net worth (plus a chunk of future revenues). That’s $15-30 million per record label to not sue SoundCloud. The kicker? The musicians might not see a dime of it.”

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What’s The Best Theatre Town In America Outside New York And Chicago? (And How Would You Measure?)

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“The states with the highest per capita concentration of theaters,” concludes the NEA, “now include: Vermont, Alaska, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, Oregon, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Minnesota.”

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Why Is Hollywood’s Stereotype Of Kick-Ass A Blond White Woman?

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“How is it that in a film whose premise rests on the idea of reimagining the past, present and future, we still end up with a blonde white woman with flashing blue eyes as the stand-in for what personifies evolution and supremely fulfilled human potential?”

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Nicholas Hytner’s National Theatre: Be Proactive, Think Big

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“Hytner’s National has been characterised by several things: cheap tickets, NT Live, hospitality to experiment and, above all, a readiness to embrace the big issues of the moment.”

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Theatre That Smells (And The Designers Who Make It So)

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“It always locks in with the design. If you’re doing an ambient scent, really what you’re making is a part of the set that’s invisible. For that, you really want to work with the set and lighting designer to talk about what is the space — what kind of place do we want to evoke? As a scent designer I am supporting them in that — adding an extra dimension to what they’re trying to do.”

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How Do You Build A New Professional Theatre In Madison?

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“What could set Cap City apart in Madison is something most audiences never consider, but which means a great deal to artists trying to make a living in the business: a Small Professional Theatre Contract through Actors’ Equity, the theater union.”

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How Are Europe’s Great Museums Supposed To Handle All Those People?

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“Seeing masterpieces may be a soul-nourishing cultural rite of passage, but soaring attendance has turned many museums into crowded, sauna-like spaces, forcing institutions to debate how to balance accessibility with art preservation.”

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Is The Bolshoi Ballet A Soviet Throwback?

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Alastair Macaulay: “It was hard not to think of politics when watching the Bolshoi’s repertory – which was entirely pre-glasnost. Seeing the tedious mix of Swan Lake (in Yuri Grigorovich’s dismal production), Don Quixote (in Alexei Fadeyechev’s version) and Spartacus (all Grigorovich and all hokum) was to feel the clock turned back 40 years.”

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Choreographing A Dance Piece For The Façade Of A Building (And Not A Flat Façade, Either)

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For Cincinnati’s Lumenocity celebration, a choreographer and two dancers from Cincinnati Ballet create a work to be digitized and projected onto the (enormous and ornate) face of the city’s Music Hall.

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College Radio Fans Fight To Keep Their Stations For Students (And Their Quirky Programs)

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“Cash-strapped universities are discovering that their student stations are lucrative assets. They are finding eager partners in public-radio stations and religious broadcasters. The public and religious radio channels are looking to own the equivalent of beach-front property on the FM dial,.”

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One Big Problem With Met Opera Contract Talks: All The Different Unions

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Management is negotiating with 15 unions, “representing the orchestra, chorus, stage crews, hair and makeup stylists, costumers, scenic artists, cleaners, ticket takers, ushers, security guards and others. Some unions are beginning to eye one another warily, because any agreement made with one of the bigger groups is likely to set a pattern for the others.”

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Ira Glass Explains How He Works

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Q: “What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?” A: “I’ve got nothing. Reading other people’s answers to this question on your website today made me realize I live my life like an ape.” However, Ira does offer (after the product plugs this site seems to require) an excellent description of how he organizes a bunch of interview material into a structure.

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It’s The Year Of The Posthumous Performance – Is That Good For The Artists Or The Art?

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Michael Jackson performed at this year’s Billboard Music Awards. Rick James has a new memoir. Tupac Shakur had a Broadway musical. James Gandolfini, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and River Phoenix (!) are in new movies. “It’s not weird that we miss those artists who’ve died. But it is weird that, increasingly, we expect them to keep producing art. The afterlife has become just another career stage – one that’s as lucrative and, in some cases, as productive as the pre-death career ever was.”

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Was The Tupac Shakur Musical A Flop? Or Just Ahead Of Its Time?

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“Saul Williams, the poet and performer who played the lead role in Holler If Ya Hear Me, tells Kurt Andersen it’s inevitable that hip-hop will carve out a place for itself on Broadway. What killed Holler, Williams says, were people who wrote it off before they saw it.” (audio)

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In Defense Of The Remaking Of Mecca

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“At night, all lit up and crowded with apartments and hotels, Mecca now looks like a Saudi interpretation of Gotham or even Las Vegas … and shopping malls and high-rise blocks are being built in a circle around the pilgrimage zone.” The Saudis are catching a lot of flak for these changes, but Nesrine Malik argues that they are both necessary and (certain excesses notwithstanding) well-considered.

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Making Genuinely Anti-War Art Is Surprisingly Hard

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“Art makes its subject interesting and arresting and meaningful. To make art about war, even anti-war art about war, is to risk rendering war interesting and arresting and meaningful.”

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Quentin Tarantino Is Filming “The Hateful Eight” After All

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The director – who called the project off in a fit of anger after the script was leaked – confirmed the news at, of all places, San Diego Comic-Con.

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Yet Another Appraisal Of Detroit Institute Of Arts’ Collection (And It’s Big)

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“The new appraisal, conducted by Victor Wiener Associates, a New York firm, was commissioned by the Financial Guaranty Insurance Company, a bond insurer that stands to lose hundred of millions of dollars in the bankruptcy. The insurer has called for the masterpieces from the museum to be sold or monetized in some other way, such as being used as collateral for a loan.”

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LA MoCA: What’s Next (Who Knows, And That’s A Problem)

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“According to a museum spokesman, MOCA hopes to make some relevant announcements by the end of summer. But plainly, there’s a problem. The empty exhibition schedule, which is going to be very difficult to fill, threatens to interrupt the museum’s momentum.”

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Enough Is Enough: US Senator Pushes For Law Allowing Musicians To Bring Instruments On Airplanes

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“In a letter sent Friday, the Rhode Island Democrat urged U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to speed implementation of a 2012 law that requires commercial air carriers to allow musical instruments as carry-on items as long as they can be safely stowed in the aircraft cabin. But Reed said the law has not taken effect because the Department of Transportation has yet to adopt the specific rules needed for the provision.”

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Time For A New Leader At The Metropolitan Opera?

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“What’s clear is that something needs to give and, after nearly thirty-five years of labor-management harmony, it’s apparent that the Met’s problems start at the top. The cleanest solution would be to appoint a new GM, preferably someone, unlike Gelb, with an actual background in opera, who unequivocally believes in the vibrant future of the art form, and who can work creatively within a budget.”

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PayPal Forces Buyer To Destroy Violin

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“Rather than have the violin returned to me, PayPal made the buyer DESTROY the violin in order to get his money back. They somehow deemed the violin as “counterfeit” even though there is no such thing in the violin world.”

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