Bhilar, a strawberry-farming mountain town of some 5,000 people about 150 miles southeast of Mumbai, has a particularly rich collection of rare books in the Marathi language (as well as works in Hindi and English), and the plan of the Maharashtra state government is to promote literary tourism and host book festivals in Bhilar along the lines of those in the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye.
Since HBO’s Game of Thrones started in 2011, Martin has finished only one more book in the series of novels on which the series is based, and the TV scripts have now outrun the storylines Martin himself created. Fans are not happy: “The internet’s favorite joke since around 2012 has been to yell at Martin whenever he’s found to be doing something other than furiously typing. The animating theory of the joke is that it’s his duty – his imperative – to finish the story he began. Guess what? It’s not.”
“We are in the middle of a major transition. One of the great allures of stars, the reason for their success, is their mystery. One person among millions gets to make their dreams come true. You are fascinated by them, yet oddly envious. That is why people throng outside Salman Khan’s house. They want to be him. Or rather, they want the possibility of that dream. They want to win that lottery. But with the advent of social media, winning that lottery has suddenly become so much more accessible! Today, anyone can be a star, truly. You can be an Instagram star, a Twitter star, a Youtube star, a Pinterest star, whatever! Put in enough work, be smart about it, and, in today’s world, you could easily be a star. So why put in so much time and energy into adulating someone else?”
Comparing the London Times‘s outrage-inducing review of Benedict Cumberbatch’s first preview performance as Hamlet with The Telegraph‘s “news reports” on early previews of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Angels in America, Time Out London theatre editor Andrzej Lukowski declares, “If you’re going to be a dick about it, do it in style.”
Frédéric Olivieri had been director of the Milan opera house’s ballet company from 2002 to 2007. His successor, Makhar Vaziev, left in late 2015 to bring order to the wildly-troubled Bolshoi Ballet; his successor, modern-dance choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti, was a poor fit with Italy’s most august classical ballet company and resigned after eight months. So the return of a familiar face with a steady hand was greeted by La Scala’s dancers with applause.
The Obama Presidential Center, which the president unveiled at a talk on Wednesday in Chicago, comprises a campus designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. Based on the preliminary sketches and an architectural model, the vision for the center is modern but unfussy, featuring a vertical lantern-shaped museum and a low-slung library and forum building with landscaped rooftop gardens.
Speer, Jr., has made his name as a proponent of the “intelligent” city—a flexible concept based on socially progressive values—and has become a vocal opponent of “statement” architecture. Although Speer, Jr., has defended his father’s work—he told Süddeutsche Zeitung that Speer, Sr., “was a good architect, much more modern than people think today”—it’s hard not to see his own work as a conscious corrective to the crimes of his father.
The 20-by-35-foot fabric work, titled Woman, was one of four that the National Gallery commissioned for its new extension in 1978. But not everyone loved it (certain critics in particular had harsh words for it), and it was replaced in 2003. But quite a few visitors were very fond of it, and one, a fledgling journalist, tried to find out where the piece went and why. Peggy McGlone writes about what her young colleague found.
“A well-executed game farm photograph can be nearly indistinguishable from a real wildlife photo, one reason critics consider such images problematic. Traditional wildlife photographers can spend days researching conditions of the field environment before heading out to shoot. They may camp out for weeks, or return to the same spot many times over the years looking for the same animal before getting the shot of a lifetime. But game farms allow both pros and hobbyists to produce in a few hours what otherwise takes weeks to achieve in the wild.”
The group’s Facebook page lists as one of its goals “to protect our community and neighbors from the dangers that oil and gas development poses to our health, the quality of our air and water, and our agricultural heritage.” They had already stated their opposition to contributions the BCO received from Extraction Oil & Gas, which describes itself as “a domestic energy company focusing on the exploration and production of oil and gas reserves in the Rocky Mountains.”
When Birmingham Royal Ballet tours David Bintley’s “Cinderella,” for instance, says the company manager, they “transport the set, costume, props and lighting up and down the country, including 1,000 hair pins, 250 hair rollers, 78 wigs, 44 tutus, eight baskets of shoes, two washing machines plus [his] touring office.”
That’s right, with virtual reality, the watcher can move along with the dancers – or just enjoy experiencing more of the dancers’ full dimensionality. Director and choreographer Lily Baldwin: “Virtual reality can puncture what we think is real and return us to our body in a way that flatty cinema can’t.”
This woman was seriously talented – “Ms. Lavi, who spoke several languages, became an actress as a teenager while studying ballet in Sweden. Her first movie was a 1955 Swedish adaptation of August Strindberg’s novel ‘The People of Hemso.'” – so of course she ended up “accepting a new career path as scantily clad femmes fatales in a number of parodies that sprung up after the initial success of the James Bond films.”
So, is Harvey to blame? “For decades, Weinstein bestrode the Oscars like a colossus, pulling off coup after coup (pushing Shakespeare in Love to a best-picture victory over Saving Private Ryan; winning two in a row with The King’s Speech and The Artist). He held sway over a stable of actors: ‘Working for Harvey is like working for the mafia,’ Gwyneth Paltrow once told me, laughing. ‘There are all these favours.’ Pop-culture fare such as Entourage referred to him by first name alone.”
Or at least that’s some of how it used to be. And Bollywood’s PR machinery, as in all of the film industry, worked overtime to support those stars. But things are changing. “Today, we are in the middle of a major transition. One of the great allures of stars, the reason for their success, is their mystery. One person among millions gets to make their dreams come true. … But today, anyone can be a star, truly. You can be an Instagram star, a Twitter star, a Youtube star, a Pinterest star, whatever! Put in enough work, be smart about it, and, in today’s world, you could easily be a star.”
Responses from the company, who were putting on a concert sponsored by Extraction Oil and Gas, were pretty much like “look, taking money from private funders is the only way we get to do music; please deal with it.” The protest group did not blow their whistles during the performance, “but the whistle-blowing prompted a response from University of Colorado police, who stayed through the second movement of [Beethoven’s Ninth] symphony.”
Among the tired tropes of backchannel Hollywood is that diversity doesn’t sell overseas and that women can’t open comedies (or anything, really). And then, of course: “It’s a mystery why Hollywood won’t cater more to baby boomers, especially given the success of the two ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ films, which had seasoned casts and a combined $222 million in sales.”
Not easy. Not easy at all, says the 78-year-old president of documentary films at HBO, a woman who has won 31 Emmys in the process of overseeing more than 1,000 documentaries. And when an interviewer calls Sheila Nevins ‘an original,’ she says, “I think you pay an enormous price for being ‘an original.’ I think I’m empathetic. I catch rising stars. I catch falling stars.”
And it’s all about the money, of course: “The Met’s current ‘suggested’ admissions fee, $25 for adults, generated about $39 million in the fiscal year 2016, or 13 percent of the museum’s overall revenue. A mandatory fee would be likely to generate tens of millions of dollars more a year.”
See, this is why research funding is so important: “Not familiar with YInMn? Don’t worry, it’s pretty new to the color scene. The pigment was discovered by accident in 2009 at Oregon State University in a chemistry lab run by Mas Subramanian, a professor in materials science, and his graduate students. Accident or not, Crayola liked the new hue.”
Songwriting’s Roots in Poetry and Prose GENERALLY, I’m skeptical of the glib and automatic denoting of any intelligent or articulate musician as “a poet.” But the connection between popular song and literature go back, in the Anglo-American tradition, at least … read more
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2017-05-05
Weekend Extra: Billy Hart Seen And Heard At the Portland Jazz Festival earlier this year, photographer Mark Sheldon captured a splendid image of drummer Billy Hart in action. There was no opportunity to use the picture in our Rifftides … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-05-05
Shortening Sondheim In today’s Wall Street Journal I review an off-Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures. Here’s an excerpt. * * * Whenever John Doyle stages a Stephen Sondheim musical, you can always count on being … read more
AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2017-05-05
What’s that strange music you hear? In today’s Wall Street Journal “Sightings” column, I write about a new book on film music. Here’s an excerpt. * * * Because I’m a trained musician, I always notice film music, in much the … read more
AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2017-05-05
“The British Museum has received only a single request to borrow one of the Parthenon Marbles since the sensational loan of a sculpture to [the Hermitage in] Russia in December 2014 … [which] was the first time that any of the Parthenon Marbles had left the British Museum since arriving in London in 1807.”