People

2014 MacArthur Fellows Include Alison Bechdel, Joshua Oppenheimer, Samuel D. Hunter, Terrance Hayes, And A Poetry Translator(!)

bechdel

Cartoonist/graphic memoirist Bechdel (Fun Home), Oscar-nominated documentarian Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing), playwright Hunter (The Whale), poet Hayes (Lighthead, Arabic poetry translator Khaled Mattawa, jazz saxophonist/composer Steve Coleman, artist/Project Row Houses founder Rick Lowe, nd their fellow “geniuses” win five-year, $625,000 grants.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

“Three Tenors” Impresario Tibor Rudas Dead At 94

tibor rudas

The former opera singer and Holocaust survivor “made a name for himself in the United States by bringing Las Vegas-style brio to performances by highbrow artists. He presented the New York Philharmonic in an Atlantic City casino and produced large outdoor concerts for other classical artists at the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Super Dome and other unconventional venues.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Kevin Kline Has Issues With Authority (And That Includes Maggie Smith)

kevin kline

Just for instance, when he played Hamlet for Liviu Ciulei, he recounts, “The first day’s rehearsal, I picked up a chair and moved it a few feet, and he said, ‘No, no, Hamlet would never do that, he’d never move a chair himself, because he’s a prince.’ I said, ‘I’m the prince, I can do whatever I want.'” The next time he played Hamlet, he directed himself.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Emma Thompson Is Having None Of This 50-Is-The-New-35 Business

Emma Thompson as solicitor Gareth Peirce in 1993's In The Name Of The Father

“Can I just say, very loudly, bollocks. If you look after yourself and you’re healthy, then you’ll have the energy to do things. But not to recognise getting older for what it is? I do think the infantilisation of our generation is one of the huge issues of our time. People wanting to be 35 when they’re 50 makes me think: why? Why don’t you be 50 and be good at that?”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

We Just Can’t Let Go Of Scott And Zelda Fitzgerald

fitzgeralds

Adam Gopnik: “Second acts there may or may not be, but American epilogues go on forever. Scott and Zelda’s friends from the Jazz Age would doubtless have spit up into their morning coffee – or, more likely, into teacups filled with bathtub gin – to find the pair, almost a century after their meeting, not a poignant footnote to an ill-named time but an enduring legend of the West, a subject adaptable for movies and novels and probably paper dolls and ice shows.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Joe Sample, Pianist Of The Jazz Crusaders, Dead At 75

joe sample

“The Jazz Crusaders, who played the muscular, bluesy variation on bebop known as hard bop, had their roots in Houston, where Mr. Sample, the tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder and the drummer Nesbert Hooper (better known by the self-explanatory first name Stix) began performing together as the Swingsters while in high school.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

For A Hard-working Actress, Finally A Chance At The Bronze Ring

14davis1-master675-v2

“Her characters often serve to ‘hold up the wall’ of the narrative, she said, like the empathetic best friend in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ or the kindly stranger in ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.’ Or the kindly mental-institution psychiatrist in ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story,’ the kindly rape-treatment counselor in ‘Trust’ or the kindly medium in ‘Beautiful Creatures.'”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Maya Angelou’s Final Work Will Be A Hip-Hop Album

Maya-Angelou-200x300

“In a new album titled Caged Bird Songs – you can guess which book inspired this – Shawn Rivera and Roccstar will sample Maya Angelou‘s voice. The producers initiated the project before Angelou knew about it, but she agreed to share recordings of her voice and even opened her home to the producers.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Bill Cosby’s Work Is Never Done

cosby

“[He] surely has neither the time nor the need to do anything he doesn’t want to do. What he does want to do, even now [at age 77], is comedy: he performs about a hundred times a year, mainly on weekends, following an itinerary that often leads him into what promoters call tertiary markets, where fans are not just happy to be able to see him in person but surprised, too.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Drinking Tequila With Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard

“I don’t know how to explain it [what he's currently writing]. I really don’t. Hopefully it’s a novel, but I have the hardest time sustaining prose. I feel like I’m a natural-born playwright but the prose thing has always mystified me. How to keep it going? How do people do it, for years and years?”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

What Keeps Al Pacino Running?

al pacino

“I believe I have not reached my stride, which is why I persist. The day I turn to you and say, ‘John, what I just did in this role was a real winner,’ I hope you’ll have the courage and decency to throw a wreath around my head, and then so very quietly and compassionately shoot me.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Soprano Magda Olivero, 104

magda_olivero

“Olivero never had a glitzy recording career, but she did have something her contemporaries didn’t: longevity. She sang in public for more than seven decades.” (includes audio clips)

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Joan Rivers, 81 (Kids, She Was So Much More Than The Fashion Police)

joan rivers diptych 3

You young’uns who only know her for getting facelifts and yanking the chains of celebrities on the red carpet before awards shows: by the time she was your age, she was already a thriving stand-up and one of the best comedy writers in the business – and for a time in the 1970s and ’80s, she was one of the three or four most successful comedians in the entire English-speaking world.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

The Remarkable Failures Of Tennessee Williams

99357-004-4B51CD3C

He died “with the astonishing record of having had his career conclude with 17 poorly received flops in a row. It is far from unusual for a creative artist to lose his way in middle age. But Williams’s disintegration was so spectacular that it is hard not to wonder exactly what went wrong with a writer whose initial success had been no less spectacular.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Lars Von Trier Breaks His Press Silence While Technically Keeping His Vow Not To Talk To The Press

lars von trier

After he got himself banned from Cannes in 2011 for making a thoroughly unfortunate joke, the Danish filmmaker announced that he would “refrain from all public statements and interviews” so as to keep himself out of trouble. But he really wanted to discuss the uncut 5½-hour version of Nymphomaniac with the press at this year’s Venice Film Festival. So they found an ingenious (and entertaining) solution.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter