WHAT. JUST. HAPPENED. (What just happened was that La La Land was announced as Best Picture, but … that was fake news, an envelope mix-up. The real Best Picture winner: Moonlight. See the video of it all here.)
FilmNation is behind “Arrival” and a Judd Apatow movie that sold for $12 million at Sundance. “The two movies thrust FilmNation into the limelight and pose a tantalizing question: can a company unaffiliated with any conglomerate become a powerhouse in the challenging climate of the 21st-century entertainment industry?”
The New York Philharmonic faces off against the Vienna Phil, both turning 175 years old this spring, in a joint exhibition of their archives in Manhattan. Can the NY institution measure up to this? “‘Damn and blast it! Confound it! Wake up!’ the conductor and composer Otto Nicolai wrote in his impassioned draft of the Vienna Philharmonic’s foundation charter.”
WHAT’S GOING ON IN OPERA?
The news that Darren Keith Woods was summarily fired after a sixteen-year extraordinarily successful career as General Director of Fort Worth Opera added to some odd news from Vienna a short time ago seems inexplicable. … read more
AJBlog: OperaSleuthPublished 2017-02-23
The stories we weave are incomplete…
It’s Black History Month again, and though I haven’t blogged about it, it’s been on my mind. I’ve thought of it when I’ve gone to the Kennedy Center, and seen that their most visible gift … read more
AJBlog: SandowPublished 2017-02-23
Music and Design
WHY do we talk about “seeing” bands or orchestral groups? How did album jackets and photography of musicians — whether Francis Wolff’s shadowy shots of jazz musicians smoking in the shadows or Astrid Kirchherr’s … read more
AJBlog: CultureCrashPublished 2017-02-23
Joe Weisberg, writer and showrunner of “The Americans,” now in its fifth season: “How is this all happening again? When we started this show, the Soviet Union was gone. We were not in any kind of serious conflict with Russia. And it seemed like a good time to tell a story about those old bygone days. And how in a few short years Russia has turned into an enemy again makes very little sense.”
According to the choreographer, “They were a funny little complement. Neither is a perfect dancer; they weren’t supposed to be. I liked the way they took on the challenge.”
Aside from outfitting TV – think “The Crown” and “Victoria” – the shop, which has been around since 1840, has worked for 36 movies that have won Oscars for costume design. “If you lined up all of the costumes in Angels’ storage in a row, it would stretch about eight miles.”
Jeanine Tesori, among the most-nominated composers in Tonys history, says music is where science and art meet.
The woman who took over the schools when the founders passed away says that dance isn’t just dance, but a metaphor for life. “I like to instill in the children to work with a certain kind of integrity even if you are uncomfortable.”
The Emmy award-winning actor, co-star of “Apollo 13” and star of “Big Love,” died on Saturday, according to Rolling Stone. Tributes continue to come in from his shocked co-stars and directors.
No, Manchester by the Sea didn’t even come close: “Moonlight won every single award it was nominated for, including Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Picture, and the coveted Robert Altman Award, recognizing greatness by an ensemble in independent film. It might have won even more – Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris are both carrying a lot of buzz in the Oscars‘ supporting performer races – but the Altman Award disqualifies wins for individual performances.”
Not to mention ISIS. But humans – especially writers – have a chance to do something about it: “By imagining, we create the potential for what might be. Religions are composed of stories precisely because of this potency. Stories have the power to liberate us from the tyranny of what was and is. We are all creators of fictions, and we all have a role to play in imagining our way out of the nostalgic traps strewn around us.”
Shocker: What should win Best Score and what is going to win Best Score aren’t remotely the same.
In opposition to the U.S. president’s anticipated revised travel ban and many other things he’s said since he was inaugurated, the six issued a joint statement. “No matter who wins the Oscar, they said, the statuette would be dedicated to activists, journalists, artists and others ‘working to foster unity and understanding, and who uphold freedom of expression and human dignity — values whose protection is now more important than ever.'”
It all started with Chaucer, and it makes sense. Calling a celebrity a star “emphasizes the role of the celebrity as a body both distant and accessible, gleaming and sparkling and yet reassuringly omnipresent. Stars have long suggested a kind of order—and orientation—within chaotic human lives. They have long hinted that there is something bigger, something beyond, something more.
The LitHub crew, perhaps day drinking long before the Oscars: “What would the categories look like if they applied to books and not films? Sure, best picture makes an easy parallel, but what about sound editing? Hairstyling? Cinematography?”
The young cameraman said earlier in the year, “If we win this award, it will show people across Syria that people around the world support them. It will give courage to every volunteer who wakes up every morning to run towards bombs. … If I cannot enter the US, I will not give up: we know that we have many friends in US, that there are people that share our humanitarian values.”
Wait, isn’t this supposed to be a mutually beneficial relationship? Not anymore: “For the first time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is charging a license fee to TV stations and networks that broadcast live shows with interviews of movie stars on the red carpet before Sunday’s 89th Academy Awards telecast.”
He’s supposed to be in it for a week, with just enough room to sit up. “People seem to be very touched. They come and talk into the crack, read poetry to me, or tell me about their nightmares or their dreams,” he said.
As Little Golden Books like The Poky Little Puppy turn 75, it’s clear that they did exactly what their creators intended: “The printers, publishers, writers and artists who brought Golden Books to the market had a lofty goal — they wanted to ‘democratize children’s books,’ making them both affordable and accessible. To that end, they were sold in department stores, train stations, drugstores and supermarkets.”
The problem is that globalization is pulverizing local content. Everything is like Netflix, and “everyone watches the same 50 titles on Netflix. Does anyone seriously believe that the other several hundred titles are truly inferior?”
Wait, what? “We wouldn’t have time to engrave each Oscar on the spot, so we pre-engrave the name of every nominee on to plaques beforehand.”
“Additions including “clicktivism” (a pejorative word for armchair activists on social media), “haterade” (excessive negativity, criticism, or resentment), “otherize” (view or treat – a person or group of people – as intrinsically different from and alien to oneself) and “herd mentality” (the tendency for people’s behaviour or beliefs to conform to those of the group to which they belong) all emerged during the 2016 battle for the White House.”
“Ever since 2015, when the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag called out the industry’s woeful inclusivity, the show has been transformed—possibly against its will—from a sporadically #woke statuette dispensary to something bigger. The entire show is now political: The nominees, the winners, and the things they say (or don’t say) on stage. And at time when everyone’s mad as hell, and deservedly so, this year’s Oscars offer a rare chance for everybody to make a statement—even the viewers playing along at home.”
“The Toronto International Film Festival is reducing the overall number of films it will screen for this year’s edition by 20 per cent and getting rid of two programs.”
“When you speak to successful people in science or tech, they say one of the things that leads to lateral thinking is people doing arts. Not only does it lead to future artists, people in the cultural and creative sectors, but it helps people in different sectors.”
With a nod to Hannah Arendt for her phrase “dark times,” the New York Times online column “The Stone” recaps the columns of 11 contributors who have addressed the issue over the past year.
Arts Council England is “pressing ahead with the system despite serious concerns raised following a pilot project last year to test such a system among 150 NPOs. An independent review of the pilot found that arts organisations wanted a more flexible system that would align with their individual artistic objectives, and ACE’s announcement that the system was going to be rolled out provoked anger and disbelief on social media. Using the system will be mandatory for around 300 of ACE’s largest NPOs, and a further 600 will be encouraged to use it.”
“Setting aside the insurmountable logistical challenges that will face some of the organisations having to conduct the fieldwork for the Quality Metrics scheme, there are two fatal flaws with the research framework that will render the findings meaningless.”
In the States, until recently she’s been familiar mostly to art-cinema fans. But with this year’s Hollywood awards season, her cool, ambiguous, insouciant je-ne-sais-quoi has caught the fancy of the fashion press. Says Simon Doonan, “She has what the French used to call chien.” Ruth La Perla explores the mystique with the actress herself.