The Problem With Movie Reviews Today


“If critics want to avoid irrelevance, they might relinquish their duties made redundant by the internet, and focus on reviewing film in terms that draw from their deep knowledge of film as a unique artform. Almost every review—whether in newspapers, magazines or websites—currently follows a similar blueprint: plot synopsis, recap of director’s work, brief appraisal of the acting and/or writing, cursory sentence about the camera work and/or score, and then a long dissection of the narrative and themes.”

Why Do We Find Some Languages More Beautiful Than Others?


Bernd Brunner (aggrieved): “People often describe German, my native language, as hard and aggressive. They relish criticizing its guttural sounds, long compound words, and the sentence structure … According to popular accounts, it was five hundred years ago when the apparently polyglot Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, declared ‘I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse.'”

Mediums and Spiritualists as Theatre Artists

Angela Lansbury as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit in New York in 2009

Using Angela Lansbury’s upcoming West End turn as Madame Arcati as a jumping-off point, Lyn Gardner looks at the theatrical techniques and elements used by the early-20th-century séance conjurers who inspired Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit.

The Vienna Philharmonic’s Difficulty With Change


“Viennese insist that theirs is an open, diverse, and liberal society, but their cultural envoy to the world is a living reliquary of long-ago revolutions. The orchestra lingers on those periods when the city was at the vanguard of musical culture, issuing a constant rat-tat-tat of shocks.”

Italy Says It Will Release Money For Saving Pompeii


Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said he was “unblocking many measures which will get the machine working”. He added the EU could be “sure that Italy is taking care of Pompeii, both in terms of emergency measures and in the long term”.

How “Brand” Impacts The Book Business


“One view in the publishing industry is that bestseller lists are the product of a skill-based meritocracy. But the reality is that the popular perception of a book itself is colored by the strength of the author’s brand. When we view bestseller list, part of what we’re seeing is a brand ranking.”

Soderbergh Mashes Up the Two ‘Psycho’s


“Last week, Steven Soderbergh – retired from filmmaking, but still with many tricks up his sleeve – posted, on his Web site, a feature-length mashup version of Psycho that splices together the Hitchcock classic and Gus Van Sant’s shot-by-shot remake. … At the film’s violent junctures, … Soderbergh overlays the two versions, creating a disorienting blur of Hitchcock’s horror and its latter-day identical twin. (includes video excerpt)

Turning Rodin and Claudel Sculptures Into Dance

Rodin Claudel

Choreographer Peter Quanz: “I decided to make a group of dancers – which I’ve called sculptures, like a Greek chorus that is omnipresent through the ballet. At one point they are mud and they are born out of the mud. … I use those sculptures as a way to articulate my viewpoint on the relationships throughout the ballet.”

Top Posts From AJBlogs 03.04.14

Corcoran Dissolution: Whither the Art-Sale Proceeds?
AJBlog: CultureGrrl | Published 2014-03-04

What would a Minnesotan orchestra look like? A reverie on place
AJBlog: Speaker | Published 2014-03-04

NEA: “Level Funding” for FY 2015
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-03-04

Chamber Music For the People
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-03-04

Diversity? Just do it
AJBlog: Performance Monkey | Published 2014-03-04




Philadelphia Theatre Company Slashes All Its Tickets To $25


Currently, the average ticket price for Wilma Theatre shows is between $31 and $35. “But houses are running at about 70 percent of paid capacity. The thinking is that while the theater will reap a lower per-ticket price, more tickets will be sold. The goal is to fill houses to 90 percent, with total earned ticket income therefore expected to remain at current levels.”

Long Lost Granados Opera Discovered


“In 1938, one of Granados’ sons sold the original opera to a prominent New York musician and publisher for $300 to raise money for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War. Other family members wanted it returned. The question of ownership remained the subject of litigation for decades until 1970 when the opera was reported destroyed in a warehouse fire in New York.”