The Colorization Wars Are Back, Now Over Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska”

nebraska color

Payne and his colleagues did create a color version of the famously black-and-white 2013 release – but only because his contract with the studio required one, mainly for overseas television; Payne publicly said he hoped no one would ever see it. Now a premium cable/satellite service is presenting it – as a “world premiere”, no less – in the U.S.

The Japanese Literature Trend That’s Half Cupcake, Half Decapitation

death to kawaii

“A load of laundry, a batch of cupcakes – followed by a child murder, a matricide, and an attempted school bombing, all with a cherry on top. … Why has this particular brand of violence, half cupcake and half decapitation, so thoroughly captured the Japanese imagination? In part it is because there are so many delectable Japanese cupcakes to corrupt.”

Ballet San Antonio’s Founder Starts City’s Second Professional Company

san antonio latino ballet

“With performances during its inaugural season under its belt, organizers of … Ballet Latino de San Antonio, are working on the fall 2014 schedule as well as plans for performing abroad next year.” The company was established by the city’s ballet madrina, Mayra Worthen, who stepped down as Ballet San Antonio’s artistic director in 2011.

UK Jewish Film Festival In Fight With Host Venue

uk jewish film fest

“A north London theatre has refused to host the UK Jewish Film Festival while it is sponsored by the Israeli Embassy amid the ongoing crisis in Gaza. The Tricycle Theatre … said it would not accept any funding from ‘any party to the current conflict’. It has offered to use its own resources instead.” Festival management calls the condition “unacceptable” and says it will move.

Could A Three-Day Work Week Really Work?

work week

Maria Konnikova: “When we own more of our time, we feel like we’re in charge of our lives and our schedules, which makes us happier and, ultimately, better at what we do. Our health and happiness also increases in the course of our lifetimes and, with it, our value to the workplace and to society as a whole. Additionally, we may finally recover from chronic sleep deprivation.”

The Problem With Ivy League Colleges Isn’t A College Problem At All

ivy league

Joshua Rothman, responding to William Deresiewicz’s broadside against the Ivy League and its students: “I tend to draw the opposite conclusion from Deresiewicz’s data: the fact that you can feel soulless in such an intellectual paradise suggests that the problem is bigger than college. … Deresiewicz makes a mistake in ascribing to his students, as personal failings, the problems of the age in which they live.”

Classical Music’s Past Is In As Much Danger As Its Future

classical past

Tim Smith: “Today, you tend to hear more talk about what orchestras are playing, not how; more about what operas are being staged, not how they are being sung. I don’t think there’s nearly enough attention paid by current musicians and audiences to the many ways that music used to be played and felt, how differently it communicated – and how much more grippingly it could be performed today.”

Misty Copeland Has The “Wrong” Body For Ballet? Then We Need More “Wrong”


George Balanchine “had a very particular aesthetic. … As a result, great ballerinas in the American tradition (just like their Russian counterparts) are slender and taut. They have small heads, long limbs, and downward-sloping shoulders. They have tiny waists, narrow hips, and often a visible sternum. They are porcelain white. Then there’s Misty Copeland.”

Abu Dhabi’s Glorious Culture District – A Louvre And Guggenheim! (But Behind The Facade, Dark Problems)


“The most simplistic accusation against Abu Dhabi is that by building branches of the Louvre or Guggenheim, the city is buying culture. This logic pretends that Cleopatra’s Needle ended up in Paris through the goodness of Egyptian hearts, or that Lord Elgin didn’t just pillage the marbles that bear his name. Those accusations also perpetuate another myth: The UAE has no culture of its own.”

Neuroscientists Find Differences In Brains Of Heroes


“There were 16 heroes, including 11 women, who rescued the trapped man. Nineteen others, including 12 women, passed by without helping. The remaining 8 tried to help but gave up – they were omitted from the subsequent brain analysis because they were so few in number.”

How Our Kids’ Brains Are Being Rewired By Technology


“Almost from day one, the allotment of neurons in those brains (and therefore the way they function) is different today from the way it was even one generation ago. Every second of your lived experience represents new connections among the roughly 86 billion neurons packed inside your brain. Children, then, can become literally incapable of thinking and feeling the way their grandparents did. A slower, less harried way of thinking may be on the verge of extinction.”

Study: Minority Roles In Hollywood Are Scarce


“On Tuesday, USC’s Annenberg school released a study that found just 26% of speaking roles in film went to minorities last year. The study, which analyzed 3,932 characters, revealed that Latinos had only 4.9% of those parts, even though they represent 16.3% of the population.”

Soprano Dislocates Knee Onstage, Finishes Opera Anyway (With No Painkillers!)


“Opera singer Christiane Karg soldiered on until the end of a performance at Glyndebourne despite dislocating her knee during the show. The German star fell on stage during the first act and received swift medical treatment. But she declined painkillers and performed the rest of her role in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera seated.”

Broadway Will See Its First Black Cinderella

black cinderella

“Apparently, being the youngest person in television history to host her own talk show wasn’t enough. Actress Keke Palmer will be making history yet again when she takes the Broadway stage in the title role of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” beginning Sept. 9.

Critic Launches Foundation To Support And Commission American Music

american music project

“Lawrence A. Johnson, a Chicago music critic, got tired of complaining that musical organizations were not performing enough American music and decided to do something about it. Mr. Johnson, the founder of The Classical Review, a group of websites with Chicago, Boston, New York and Florida editions, … [has founded] the American Music Project, a nonprofit foundation that hopes to put a brighter spotlight on the American repertory, old and new, and to commission new works.”

Top Posts From AJBlogs 08.05.14

“No Time To Think” — Are Museums Part of the Problem Or Antidotes?
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-08-06

Artisan: Anyone For Fake Wood?
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-08-06

Dvorak’s America
AJBlog: Unanswered Question | Published 2014-08-06

My Twitter/Storify Debate with Kriston Capps on the Corcoran (plus Univ. of MD’s spurned proposal)
AJBlog: CultureGrrl | Published 2014-08-05

Scofield’s Über Jam
AJBlog: RiffTides | Published 2014-08-05


Is There A Way To Save The Corcoran Gallery As Is?

corcoran rosenbaum

“Suggesting that the Corcoran should now entertain the same suitors it previously had reason to reject is probably a nonstarter. Instead of negotiating from weakness, the Corcoran should first focus on how to build on its strengths. Bolstering the board with munificent members is crucial. Notwithstanding his power play, [Wayne] Reynolds is to be thanked for identifying hot prospects.”