How Has “Star Wars” Made $37 Billion??

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“The Star Wars universe now comprises a vast array of products, from movies and TV shows to videogames and toys. But it all started with one movie, Star Wars (later Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope), whose modest $11 million budget was less than the average studio comedy at the time.”

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That Henry Mancini Sound: Here’s Where It Came From

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“From the “Pink Panther” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to “Gunn” and “Charade,” Mancini’s film scores went beyond background music. They expressed a new American modernism that embraced simplicity, sleekness and space. Free of heavy classical motifs found in many earlier film scores, Mancini’s music was streamlined for sensuality, with many of his soundtracks becoming more memorable than the films’ actors and plots.”

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A History Of Highbrow Versus Lowbrow

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“The antagonisms between highbrow and lowbrow aren’t new, and have arguably even diminished somewhat in comparison with the Astor Place riot. Highbrow has long sneered at lowbrow, and lowbrow has long sneered right back. What’s different is not the conflict, but the fact that the antagonism occurs in a landscape where highbrow and lowbrow have split into more clearly defined camps.”

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Bollywood Actresses Are Big Box Office. So Why Aren’t They Getting Paid Like It?

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“Top male stars, such as the three Khans — Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir — and action star Akshay Kumar, earn around 400 million rupees ($6.7 million) per film on average, apart from a share of the profits, according to industry experts. A-list actresses such as Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif get paid a tenth of that per film.”

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Why Are Public Figures Suing Video Game Makers?

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“A number of states have passed specific statutes regulating the right of publicity; others just have common law rights (meaning precedent established by case law); some have both; and a handful have neither.”

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Iconic “Casablanca” Movie Piano Sells For $3.4 Million

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It is one of the most famous pianos in the world, the piano Ingrid Bergman was close to when she delivered one of Hollywood’s unforgettable lines: “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.’ ” It is the short little upright from Rick’s Café Américain in the movie “Casablanca.”

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William H. Scheide, 100, Prolific Philanthropist

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“[He] was 28 when his father died and he inherited the family fortune. Over the next seven decades, he also passed down his passions, but to far more beneficiaries. Before his death on Nov. 14 at 100, Mr. Scheide devoted his life to philanthropic and artistic pursuits striking in their range and depth.”

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Stage Directions: How Much Of Them Should Playwrights Include?

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Ibsen and Shaw included lots of them; Eugene O’Neill wrote so many that they’ve been made into a play by themselves. Sinmon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), on the other hand, says his play couldn’t have become what it is if he had written out how he thought it should look and sound. Lyn Gardner considers the issue.

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San Diego Symphony’s Music Director Announces His Departure

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“Jahja Ling, the conductor responsible for rebuilding and revitalizing one of the region’s keystone cultural institutions, is stepping down.” Said the maestro, “After the 2016-17 season, I look forward to pursuing more international guest conducting, … teaching and continuing my volunteer work in Christian mission.”

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Minnesota Opera CEO Resigns

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“The Minnesota Opera, which has become a national leader in generating new work, appears to be less than stable at the executive level. President and General Director Kevin Ramach resigned this week after about 2½ years in the role. Ramach himself had succeeded Allan Naplan, who quit in 2012 after a year in the job.”

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Aereo Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

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The company that streamed broadcast television over the Web “filed for voluntary bankruptcy on Thursday, a move the company says will allow it to ‘maximize the value of its business and assets’ without being dragged down by ongoing [intellectual property] lawsuits in several states.”

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Venerable Music Publisher Starts Its Own Record Label

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“The music publisher Edition Peters, which can trace its history back to 1800, is launching a new record label called Edition Peters Sounds. The new record label will focus on recordings made by artists represented by Edition Peters’ artist management company, … usually performing works from the extensive Edition Peters publishing catalogue.”

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Why “Serial” Can Feel So Discomfiting (It’s Not White Privilege)

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“It’s not exactly in the racial dynamics, and not only in the way that Koenig tells the story. It has to do instead with the psychological tourism that comes in the aftermath of a crime, the license that everyone (Koenig, her audience, but also the cops and prosecutors and judges and Hae and Adnan’s classmates) feels to gaze into the lives of both victims and the accused and to wonder about the extent of what people are capable.”

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The Nature Of Clickbait Today (And Why We Might As Well Quit Kvetching About It)

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By now, most of us have learned to see through, and make fun of, Upworthy-style headlines. “Thus clickbait – or whatever you want to call it – has now, in the manner of a hemorrhagic fever, evolved. It’s finished with its low-hanging-fruit phase, and has attached itself to a new form of curiosity-gap exploitation, one that’s more insidious, but no less irritating.”

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Top Posts From AJBlogs 11.24.14

The soul of a city
AJBlog: Sandow Published 2014-11-24

Flight From Bentonville, Part II: Chris Crosman, Crystal Bridges’ Founding Curator, on Its Brain Drain
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2014-11-24

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve (Day)?
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2014-11-24

Aimee Mann: Roots of a Songwriter
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2014-11-24

Spotify Lightning: Right Spark, Wrong Rod
AJBlog: blog riley Published 2014-11-24

#PublicArt posting on Facebook in November
AJBlog: Aesthetic Grounds Published 2014-11-24

Facebook Has A Huge Corporate Art Lab

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“As much as PHP code and ‘The Hacker Way,’ art is a fundamental part of the Facebook culture. Art doesn’t just decorate Facebook’s offices, it defines them.”

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Did Paperbacks Help The U.S. Win World War II?

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“The largest of them were only three-quarters of an inch thick—thin enough to fit in the pocket of a soldier’s pants. Soldiers read them on transport ships, in camps and in foxholes. Wounded and waiting for medics, men turned to them on Omaha Beach, propped against the base of the cliffs. Others were buried with a book tucked in a pocket.”

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