The island of Amami Oshima is renowned for its unique mud-dyed silk. The BBC documentary series Handmade in Japan follows the island’s artisans through the complex, meticulous steps required to produce the subtly patterned fabric and tailor it into a kimono. (text and video)
It is a well-established, incontestable fact that playwrights may exert veto power over both casting and creative teams, too, for unlike film and TV, playwrights hold all the cards in the theater. I use the word “incontestable” very much on purpose, for the playwright, indeed, has a legal basis for that level of control, even if — as with those now accusing the estate of Edward Albee of being raging racists — we dislike the result. The question is to what degree the “scope” of a dramatic work legally extends beyond the experience and performance of the play.
Siobhan Burke: “‘Greetings, folks,’ the email began, addressing a BCC-ed list of recipients to which I was sure I had been added by mistake. I read it twice, three times, refreshed the page. Because it’s not every day that you hear from Yvonne Rainer – the choreographer, dancer, writer, filmmaker and game-changing force in dance history – with an invitation to dance in her work.”
Just a month after the CEO who led management through last fall’s bitter strike, Amy Adkins, resigned, the orchestra’s board has engaged David Hyslop, whom Michael Granberry describes as “the Mr. Fix-It of troubled arts organizations. He swoops in to clean up the mess and then goes back home to Minnesota.”
“The stolen artwork included masterpieces from minimalist painter Frank Stella and French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, owner William Pordy told police.” (Yes, he kept a Toulouse-Lautrec and a Stella in a garden-variety storage unit.) The thief did leave behind five paintings, evidently on purpose.
“The [¥50 million] Kyoto Prize, given annually since 1985 by the Inamori Foundation, recognizes three winners in a rotating array of subcategories under the headings of Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy.” Taruskin is the first musicologist (as opposed to composer or performer) to win the award.
“So why shouldn’t a small levy – say 3 or 4 per cent to recognize the other uses – help update our support for Canadian culture? Politicians clearly see anything that can be characterized as an Internet tax as the third rail, but public reactions seemed based more on the ideological instinct that the Internet is beyond the reach of regulation than on any full examination of what the benefits might be.”
“The traditional American hobby has – like knitting, baking and other skills – been given a new lease of life by social media, through Reddit discussions, online commerce and the ease of spreading tips and knowledge via digital videos. But in recent weeks, online communities and bloggers have been discussing a series of screenshots which appear to show socially conservative quilters organising campaigns and hurling insults about other enthusiasts who don’t share their political beliefs.”
Well, some of it, at least. Some may also have been used to finance – this is real, people – The Wolf of Wall Street. “Now, the US government is looking to claw some of that money back—and, in a bizarre turn of events—wants Hollywood to fork over millions in assets the DOJ says were purchased with dirty money.”
The theory runs: “The Cars-verse includes a World War II–era Jeep named Sarge, who explicitly references events like the Battle of the Bulge. In the direct-to-DVD film Planes (made by Disney but not Pixar), there is an actual WWII flashback in which the plane Skipper recalls losing his entire squadron in the Pacific Theater. Assuming that Car WWII occurred, and that it contains the same contours as the actual WWII, we can assume that there were Car Axis powers, and thus a Car Hitler.”
Soprano Kristine Opolais, who was supposed to play the title role, has now withdrawn, a few months after star tenor Jonas Kaufmann withdrew. The show “is being closely watched in the opera world. Early in his tenure Mr. Gelb replaced an opulent, beloved old production by Franco Zeffirelli with a starker, more sexually charged one by Luc Bondy, alienating large swaths of the audience. So there is a lot riding on the new staging.”
Translator Jessica Cohen, who along with author David Grossman just won the Man Booker International Prize for A Horse Walks Into a Bar: “Obviously if you have to explain something, it’s not funny. There were some cases like that where I managed to come up with a kind of equivalent. Some things we just had to drop.”
Well, people are still mad they didn’t get to play Mercutio in their high school production of Romeo and Juliet … but seriously, what? “For the summer festivals — often leafy affairs for families, picnics, and a bit of Shakespeare under the stars — the venting has been a jarring reminder of the country’s political divisions. And while company directors say that Shakespeare, whose works are wildly adaptable to a variety of social contexts, is no stranger to controversy, the current maelstrom has taken their breath away.”
Hire women playwrights. “In the ‘I Love Dick’ writers’ room, staffed exclusively with women and those who don’t identify as male or female, writers were asked to share their own sexual experiences. After a week binge-watching films by artists such as Hito Steyerl, Agnès Varda and Chantal Akerman, [playwright Annie] Baker and [playwright Heidi] Schreck assembled those stories into the four monologues.”