Chris Townsend: “If we really believe that something is interesting, then surely its interestingness should be self-evident. Must it really be flagged up, in a flagrantly unsophisticated way? I wouldn’t write that I merely liked something, nor that a thing holds intellectual appeal to me, at least not without validating that statement. Yet, ‘interesting’ often sneaks by without making a case for itself. And once you start seeing it in your own work, you notice it everywhere. Interesting, despite its insufficiency as an autonomous unit, has a tenacious hold on writing and on everyday speech.”
“Studios will not be able to point to their international grosses forever, though. The days when only U.S. production companies could mount giant-scale productions with sophisticated special effects are rapidly receding. Major markets like China, Japan, and India have their own thriving film industries churning out big hits, and Hollywood is sorely lacking in younger stars with the kind of generational pull that Cruise or Depp still possess with viewers worldwide.”
“Hedy Weiss has been with the newspaper since 1984 covering theater and dance, reporting on national and international productions outside of Chicago as well. She also contributes theater reviews to PBS’s program WTTW Chicago Tonight. The petition does not call for a ban on Weiss attending performances but rather asks that she is no longer given free press tickets due to accusations that she writes insensitive reviews.”
Their films – they made more than 125 – “were unconnected to nearby Hollywood. Short, experimental, nontheatrical, and nonnarrative, they belong more to an avant-garde or independent tradition – and sometimes a commercial one. Charles said himself, ‘They’re not experimental films, they’re not really films. They’re just attempts to get across an idea.'”
“During the machine’s heyday, the Hupfeld Company developed around 900 different music rolls for it. They sold thousands of the Phonoliszt-Violin, mostly to opulent hotels and restaurants that used them for background entertainment. But by the mid 1920s, the popularity of automatic instruments cratered as phonographs and radios spread throughout the world.”
“The contempt of artists for critics is, of course, understandable. To create an artwork is to give the world a kind of gift, and no one likes having a gift rejected, or even inspected too carefully. … [Yet] once a work of art emerges from its creator’s study or studio, it becomes the possession of anyone who interacts with it, and therefore it is open to judgment: Do I actually derive pleasure and enlightenment from it? … Every reader or viewer or listener asks it, whether they want to or not. A critic is just a reader or viewer or listener who makes the question explicit and tries to answer it publicly, for the benefit of other potential readers or viewers or listeners. In doing so, she operates on the assumption that the audience for a work, the recipient of a gift, is entitled to make a judgment on its worth.”
“Paying for TV content from on-demand digital video services will grow by more than 30% to £1.42bn at the turn of the decade, claims consultancy firm PwC. This rise in popularity will see revenue from video services edge ahead of an estimated £1.41bn from cinemagoers.”
The deep-black-stained pine floors that founder Dominique de Menil specified for the museum she founded three decades ago have worn down (as heavily trafficked pine wood floors will do after three decades). And the refinishing has to be perfect.
Consultant David Reece: “There are two key aspects to repertoire scoring. First, identifying the different components that have an impact on overall appeal. Second, scoring these elements from the perspective of your audience.” And it’s a tool that can be used for programming, marketing, pricing, and budget forecasting.
Following the Second World War, with the relocation of the world’s artistic epicenter from Paris to New York, a different kind of war was waged in the pages of magazines across the country. As part of the larger “culture wars” of the mid-century, art critics began to take on greater influence than they’d ever held before.
From public “type-ins” at bars to street poets selling personalized, typewritten poems on the spot, typewriters have emerged as popular items with aficionados hunting for them in thrift stores, online auction sites and antique shops. Some buy antique Underwoods to add to a growing collection. Others search for a midcentury Royal Quiet De Luxe — like a model author Ernest Hemingway used — to work on that simmering novel.
“The exhibition brings together light installations from every stage of the career of this 74-year-old artist and elder statesman of the Southern California Light and Space movement, from what appears to be a levitating cube (a projection of buttery light in the corner of the gallery) to a series of holographic images that seem to contain three-dimensional wisps of light.”
“On a show like Bachelor in Paradise, the drunken hook-up is the coin of the realm. Even on shows less romantic than the Bachelor franchise, producers plan dalliances in preproduction. … In initial interviews, producers ask cast members whom they’re attracted to, then base their soft-scripted story lines on mutual attractions. Once on set, they gently encourage paired cast members to drop their inhibitions and follow their instincts.”
Frank Oteri thinks so: “I’ll say unequivocally that the 2017 edition of Classical:NEXT (c:N) was the most vital music get-together I’ve participated in in the last 12 months, quite possibly even longer. And, more importantly, I think c:N has the potential to be the most viable international gathering place for open-minded music-focused people, despite its name.”
“What quicker way to make ordinary people into heroes and villains than to turn the weather against them and destroy everything they know?”
Science Speculative fiction novelist Anna North looks at how works of fiction are envisioning the all-too-real possibilities of what could happen to Earth and its people as the stuff humans have been putting into the air keep accumulating.
When Sony Pictures Home Entertainment announced that it would create versions of its films scrubbed of profanity and adult scenes (roughly like airline versions) for home viewers, it took only four hours for the Directors Guild to remind the studio that it needed the director’s permission for each title. (Judd Apatow tweeted a profanity-filled response of his own.) Sony didn’t spend much time arguing back.
Paula Vogel tweeted, “Brantley&Green 2-0. Nottage&Vogel 0-2. Lynn, they help close us down” and gave the two New York Times critics the hashtag #footnotesinhistory. The “Lynn” of the tweet, Lynn Nottage, whose play Sweat is also closing its Broadway run, replied by describing Brantley and Green as “the patriarchy flexing their muscles to prove their power.”
“In his hands, the conventions of the drawing-room comedy became the framework for social analysis. … With its focus on the quirks and barely concealed anxieties of the privileged class, Mr. Gurney’s work was often likened to that of the novelist John Cheever and the playwright Philip Barry. His settings were often the stately homes of the well-to-do. His characters included self-satisfied corporate executives, crusty academics, imperious dowagers and bewildered teenagers on the cusp of adulthood.”
“David Grossman’s ‘ambitious high-wire act of a novel’, A Horse Walks Into a Bar, set around a standup comic’s rambling and confessional routine in an Israeli comedy club, has won the Man Booker International prize for the year’s best fiction in translation.” … Grossman, a bestselling writer of fiction, nonfiction and children’s books who has been translated into 36 languages, will share the £50,000 prize with his English translator, Jessica Cohen.”
Metropolitan Museum as Renegade: Reorganization Defies AAMD’s Professional Standards
The Metropolitan Museum has become a renegade. Its decision to rejigger its organizational chart — elevating the finance-oriented CEO (now President Daniel Weiss) above its (as yet unnamed) new art-centric director — runs contrary to common wisdom about … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-06-14
The More Things Change…(Or Do They?)
The following post appeared on Rifftides eleven years ago this spring. What thoughts does it stimulate in readers now? Have there been significant changes in jazz since 2008? … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-06-14
“Jonathan Martin, 60, a native of Atlanta, is coming from Dallas, where he has served as president and CEO of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2012. He also served for nine years as general manager of the Cleveland Orchestra, including the period when the Ohio orchestra moved back into Severance Hall following a major renovation.”
“A research team led by Girija Kaimal of Drexel University found just a few minutes of doodling or freestyle drawing activates the brain’s reward system, leaving people feeling more creative and confident in their problem-solving abilities.”
Kenan Malik (a non-white writer, if you were wondering): “Appropriation suggests theft, and a process analogous to the seizure of land or artifacts. In the case of culture, however, what is called appropriation is not theft but messy interaction. Writers and artists necessarily engage with the experiences of others. Nobody owns a culture, but everyone inhabits one. … [And] who does the policing?”
A Pulitzer-winning author of poetry and nonfiction who directs the creative writing program at Princeton (and the erstwhile NPR NewsPoet), Smith says, “I think the responsibility really is to just help raise the awareness of poetry and its value in our culture. To me that means talking to people – getting off the usual path of literary festivals and university reading series and talking to people who might not even yet be readers of poetry.”