“In what began as a one-year experiment last summer, the New York pubcaster [WNET] carved out regular time slots for fundraising programs on its flagship channel, ending the campaign-style drives that go on for weeks. With pledge confined to a limited number of slots – including Thursday primetime and weekends – the station also changed how it communicated with viewers and members about fundraising.”
“While Solzhenitsyn came up with the idea of The Red Wheel in the 1930s, he did not begin the first part, August 1914, until 1969. While the first and second – November 1916 – have previously been translated into English, the following six volumes have never been released in English before.”
“We asked 253 film critics – 118 women and 135 men – from 52 countries and six continents a simple: ‘What do you think are the 10 best comedies of all time?’ Films from any country made since cinema was invented were eligible, and BBC Culture did nothing to define in advance what a comedy is; we left that to each of the critics to decide.” (And by the way, Airplane! wuz robbed.)
Not really, indicates an analysis of the votes in the BBC’s critics’ poll of the 100 greatest movie comedies: while ranking may have differed a bit, the titles were largely similar (with a few unsurprising exceptions, such as Clueless versus Animal House).
In the BBC’s list of the 100 greatest movie comedies, the French would not go for Woody Allen, the Americas pulled for Airplane!, Eastern Europe liked Dr. Strangelove as much as the U.S. did, East Asia preferred silent movies, and Bollywood comedy didn’t translate beyond the Subcontinent.
“For a certain breed of personal essayist at work today, there exists a necessary and desirable trade-off between aesthetic clarity and moral complexity; a bargain premised on the depressing notion that words are always insufficient to the task at hand and so we may as well stop trying to choose the clearest or most precise ones. The adjective that best captures the conditions of this bargain is messy.”
“Across various combinations of average rating and number of reviews, participants routinely chose the option with more reviews. This bias was so strong that they often favored the more-reviewed phone case even when both of the options had low ratings, effectively choosing the product that was, in statistical terms, more likely to be low quality.”
“In a groundbreaking project led by Plymouth University and the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in London, her brain was linked to a computer using Brain Computer Music Interfacing software, allowing her to compose and play music again. This month, for the first time she was able to perform with her best friend Alison Balfour, with whom she last played when they were both violinists in the Welsh National Opera Orchestra in the 1980s.”
“Richard Pearson, 56, from Sunderland, was jailed in January for selling 14 faked drawings and pictures to a gallery in Northumberland. He admitted fraud and forgery charges and was sentenced to three years and seven months. Suspicions were aroused when a restorer noticed that one of the canvases Pearson used was too new. A price on a receipt he claimed was from the 1960s was also spotted to be in decimal pounds and pence, rather than pounds and shillings, and a telephone number he used was too long.”
One way is “all rhyme and no reason,” mannered and polished, filled with self-revelation; the other is “so circumspect in … claims to self-knowledge that a reader grown used to the personal essay’s relentless flash of exposure might wonder what kind of shy, self-effacing creature produced [it].”
Amelia Parenteau: “Of the seven contemporary theatremakers I spoke to for this piece, not one was happy with the term ‘documentary theatre’ to describe their work. … And yet each of these artists is undeniably engaged in creating some kind of documentary theatre, meaning that they draw from factual source material to craft their work and tell engaging stories in direct conversation with our present reality. Above and beyond holding a mirror up to society, as all art is charged to do, these theatremakers are finding ties to specific communities and stories, proving the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction.”
In this speech, delivered at last year’s Theatre Communications Groups national conference, the pioneer of verbatim theatre recounts the time she moderated an onstage debate between August Wilson and Robert Brustein (which organizers had wanted to turn into a verbal boxing match), performs excerpts from her Notes From the Field: Doing Time in Education (about the “school-to-prison pipeline”), and channels Margaret Mead and James Baldwin.
“‘Edge of Glory’ is gay music? But plenty of straight people love that song.’ When a bewildered straight friend said that to musicologist Chris White about the Lady Gaga hit, he was struck. “The musical gayness that is so obvious to me is invisible to him. I wonder whether there are reliable characteristics of music that can make a song obviously appeal to my particular sexual expression, while still ‘passing’ for mainstream music. What makes music sound gay to me? So, I took an audio recorder to Provincetown to record how places would signal this particular kind of gayness through particular kinds of music.”
“At their core, these Twitter-generated film concepts evince a desire for representation beyond Hollywood’s limited, predominantly white imagination. But while Black Twitter continues to be an unprecedented vehicle for creativity—and, increasingly, a reliable form of audience focus-testing for Hollywood—can a viral fancasting phenomenon like this realistically change the industry’s status quo?”
In the wake of the fame (or notoriety) of those two founding works of the genre now called “CNN opera,” composer John Adams and director Peter Sellars went on to the heights of the opera world. Yet librettist Alice Goodman didn’t rise along with them; instead, she moved to Britain and became an Anglican priest. Thomas May catches up with her. (Notably, both Adams and Sellars, whose collaboration with Goodman ended in long-lasting acrimony, have very warm words for her here.)
“As bad as things are right now in Venezuela, a failed coup before the presidential election next year might lead to martial law. Maduro takes care of the police and army, so despite a few defections, they continue to support him for their own well-being. Against this background, Dudamel may deserve more credit for not speaking out.”
The Boston native recorded his highest-ever payday thanks to soaring fees for movies such as Transformers: The Last Knight and the forthcoming Daddy’s Home 2. The former may have scored a miserable 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the lowest gross of the franchise to date, but Wahlberg need not worry–fixed compensation means he benefits even when movies don’t do well.
“Like their adult learner counterparts, Gen Z students attend college in order to get jobs and advance their careers. A 2015 study by Barnes & Noble College showed that the number one factor in choosing a college is career preparation. They lean toward practical degrees that lead to financial stability—even if that means leaving behind a more attractive but less career-oriented degree.”
“Science does show that some brain training programs do work. So which ones? As the Australian study showed, Mahncke’s BrainHQ and competitor Cognifit actually do have a real benefit. Because both are based on brain training that is focused on improving processing speed–the speed and accuracy with which the brain processes information.”
“To put it simply: Much of digital technology seems to be, in the words of our YouTube debunker, not in sync. It doesn’t quite track. Twitter emotion doesn’t rise and fall the way human emotions do. Similarly, death, final by definition, is not final in Super Mario 0dyssey. GPS tech is not true to the temperature and texture of physical landscapes. Alexa of Amazon’s Echo sometimes seems bright, sometimes moronic, but of course she’s neither; she’s not even a she, and it’s a constant category error to consider her one. Living in the flicker of that error—interacting with a bot as if its sentiments were sentiments—is to take up residence in the so-called uncanny valley, home to that repulsion we feel from robots that look a lot, but not exactly, like us.”
The Defenders provides Netflix with a unique case study. Instead of merely allowing it to find out if someone who likes, say, House of Cards also will like Daredevil (yes, BTW), it tells them which of the people who landed on Daredevilbecause of House of Cards will make the jump to The Defenders.
Apple could also eventually join Netflix and Amazon as a threat, but for now, the studios have cast the Cupertino colossus as a PVOD savior. Accelerating the window on movie transactions doesn’t have the importance of, say, iPhone 8, for Apple, but it’s not a trivial matter, either. Coming days after the company made clear its intent to spend $1 billion on original programming, premium VOD would provide just the kind of boost Apple needs to follow through on CEO Tim Cook’s pledge to double the size of the services business in which its content-related efforts are house by 2020.
He is the only creative to have written the books for three shows that ran more than 2,000 performances on Broadway: the aforementioned Annie (2,377 performances), The Producers in 2001 alongside Mel Brooks (2,502 performances), and Hairspray in 2002, which he wrote with the late Mark O’Donnell (2,642 performances). He earned Tonys for all three shows.