In Germany, Dubbing Movies Is (Like Humor) A Very Serious Matter


“Over the last few decades, especially in Western Europe, dubbing has emerged as something close to an art form, with actors making a living speaking for cherished global movie stars. In Germany, dubbing, or synchronization, as it is known, has also become a big business.” Dietmar Wunder, who voices the likes of Daniel Craig, Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler, is one of the field’s stars. (includes video)

This Piece Is Written To Be Played By A Forest

living symphony

In the outdoor sound installation Living Symphonies, detailed data mapping of a patch of woodland meets instrumental motifs composed for each of that patch’s inhabitants, animal and vegetable. “Only the fragments that reflect the forest’s activity – be it the snare-drum rattle of the squirrel running up a tree, the soprano sax and clarinet piece of the goldcrest flying overhead, or the creaking melody of the tam-tam drums and body of a double bass of the giant sequoia tree – are played through the speakers in real-time, the piece continually developing … ‘solely at the whims of the forest’.”

The Artist Who Reinvented Blue

yves klein blue

Maybe Yves Klein was an attention whore. (There was that time he took an empty gallery and called it an exhibition, and the time he had naked models covered in paint roll around on canvas.) But he created (and patented) an ultramarine pigment that countless artists before him had tried without success to stabilize.

A Book Reviewer’s Lament


“I really resent being told by swathes and swathes of people – and not just people, but people who ostensibly like books and read them – that a book is good, only to obtain it and find myself confronted with free-market capitalism funneled into something completely unremarkable, and I also really resent the alienation that goes along with that.”

Literary Culture Needs A Poptimism Revolution


“Lots of people who are professionally writing about books are also snobs, and snobs to the point that they won’t even consider what the specific alchemy and magic is that makes something like 50 Shades of Grey save the book industry for a year.”

Stolen Matisse Returned To Venezuelan Museum


“The Venezuelan museum, which had bought the Henri Matisse painting for about $500,000 from a New York gallery in 1981, reported that it had been stolen in December 2002 — apparently swapped for a forgery after it was lent to an exhibit in Spain. But a Miami FBI agent who has led the investigation to recover the work confirmed Wednesday that it was actually stolen sometime before September 2000, and spotted in Paris a year later.”

Did Someone Just Try To Start A Classical Music Critics’ War In Dallas?

dallas critics

In a 1,274-word online column titled “Classical Music Criticism in Dallas: It’s Time for a Makeover”, D Magazine’s Catherine Womack goes after The Dallas Morning News‘s Scott Cantrell for a 55-word blog post – a quick little kvetch about the word maestro – that Womack calls “insulting and condescending towards both enthusiastic audience members and The Dallas Opera’s newly appointed principal guest conductor, Nicole Paiement, who happens to be a woman.”

What People Cured Of Blindness See


A 17th-century thought experiment asks “about a person, blind from birth, who could tell apart a cube and a sphere by touch: If his vision were restored and he was presented with the same cube and sphere, would he be able to tell which was which by sight alone?” Dr. Pawan Sinha, who has organized sight-restoring surgery for hundreds of blind children in India, has an answer.

Syrian Refugee Take On “The Trojan Women” Scuttled As U.S. Denies Performers Visas

SyriaTrojan a

“It had the potential to be one of the most galvanizing cultural events of the season: a dozen Syrian women, refugees from that besieged country, performing in Washington a version of a 2,500-year-old Greek tragedy revised to include their own harrowing stories. But now the … State Department rejected the women’s applications for entertainers’ visas for the performances … because it is not convinced that the women would leave.”

What We Really Get From Learning History


Adam Gopnik: “The best argument for reading history is not that it will show us the right thing to do in one case or the other, but rather that it will show us why even doing the right thing rarely works out. … What history generally ‘teaches’ is how hard it is for anyone to control it, including the people who think they’re making it.”

The Man Who Made Off With John Updike’s Trash

updike trash

“[Paul] Moran has kept thousands of pieces of Updike’s garbage – a trove that he says includes photographs, discarded drafts of stories, canceled checks, White House invitations, Christmas cards, love letters, floppy disks, a Mickey Mouse flip book, and a pair of brown tasseled loafers. It is a collection he calls ‘the other John Updike archive,’ … and it raises fundamental questions about celebrity, privacy, and who ultimately determines the value and scope of an artist’s legacy.”

California To Raise Film And TV Production Tax Credits To $330 Million

california tax credits

“In a last-minute compromise reached Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown said he would approve legislation that would more than triple the annual tax credits available for movies and TV shows produced in California. The bill is aimed at reversing the loss of location shoots to other states that offer rich incentives to studios and producers.”

Joffrey Ballet Creates Employee Training Videos For Marriott Hotels


“Starting Saturday, employees throughout the luxury hotel chain’s properties will get tips from Joffrey dancers as well as its artistic director on the importance of warming up, proper breathing, flow of movement and connecting with the audience, delivered through a series of four short videos. The aim is to improve guests’ experience.”

Sandy Wilson, Composer Of “The Boy Friend”, Dead At 90

sandy wilson a

The “winsome, nostalgic and tuneful” 1953 musical, which made stars of Julie Andrews (on stage) and Twiggy (on screen), subsequently became a perennial favorite of school and comunity theaters all over the English-speaking world. “He would say that The Boy Friend always held a place in his heart because it gave him the economic means never to work again.”

Statistician Creates Algorithm That Predicts Broadway Hits


Suspecting there’s a golden ratio that might help explain “The Phantom of the Opera,” “The Lion King” or “Wicked,” mathematician Marc Hershberg gave it a go, crunching the numbers as part of his graduate studies in the Department of Organizational Behavior at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

How Art Could Revitalize Outdoor Advertising?


“Besides prompting a conversation about the role of art in our daily lives and promoting the names of the five participating institutions—the Dallas Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York—the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, a trade group for out-of-home advertisers and an Art Everywhere U.S. collaborator, is hoping the project will get more people looking up and around again instead of down at their digital devices.”

Is Graffitti Dying Out As Public Takes To Twitter?


“Sir Stephen House, the Chief Constable of Police Scotland, suggested that disaffected members of the public are increasingly using services such as Twitter and Facebook to make angry or abusive comments instead of spray-painting buildings, leading to a decline in recorded vandalism.”

You Dare To Arrive Late? We’re Dancing Here!


“The curtain rose five minutes ago, the corps de ballet is building the atmosphere, the ballerina is about to enter, the audience is collecting itself in mounting excitement when — — “Excuse me, I’m so sorry.” Upheaval follows. Sometimes eight people have to rise or adjust themselves as the patrons claiming the ninth and 10th seats make their way past.”

Big Mayan Cities Discovered In Mexico


“Last week, the research center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts announced that an archaeological expedition led by Ivan Sprajc has uncovered the remains of two Maya cities, Lagunita and Tamchen. Slowly, the blueprint of a vast civilization is materializing. In 2013, Sprajc’s team found the only other city, Chactún, in the nearly 1,900-square-mile area.”

Report: UK Theatre Audiences Believe Ticket Prices Are Reasonable


The report authors said that while audiences were price sensitive, they were more concerned about value rather than price: “Audiences are willing to pay more for particularly excellent work, but are frustrated by unexplained extra fees or when they pay more for substandard work. They also appreciate the excellent value of the lower prices of amateur productions.”