A movie with this type of drawing power couldn’t come at a better time for movie theater investors. Changing consumer demand has pummeled theater investments in recent times. While the S&P 500 gained 29% over the past three years, stocks for the largest film exhibitors have taken it on the chin.
Archives for February 2018
“I think they were really committed to being as accurate as possible, so they wanted a principal dancer, a real ballerina,” Boylston says. “Justin Peck, the choreographer, is a good friend of mine — we had worked together before on our own film that premiered at Tribeca Film Festival a couple of years ago. He called me and was like, ‘I think you’d be a great fit for this project.’ And I was like, Francis Lawrence? Jen Lawrence? Sign me up.”
At the start of his series, Clark asked: “What is civilisation? I don’t know. I can’t define it in abstract terms, yet. But I think I can recognise it when I see it.” Turning to Notre Dame, he added: “And I’m looking at it now.” Schama, shaken by Isis brutality, is certain: “We can spend a lot of time debating what civilisation is or isn’t,” he says, “but when its opposite shows up, in all its brutality and cruelty and intolerance and lust for destruction, we know what civilisation is, we know it from the shock of its imminent loss, as a mutilation on the body of humanity.”
The wide range of approaches to creativity—from psychoanalytic, to psychological, to neurobiological—generally reveals the diversity of the field, but has led some to describe it as “a degenerating research program,” as Mark Batey, a senior lecturer in organizational psychology at the University of Manchester, wrote in a 2012 article on measuring creativity.
Eliza Vincz, a historian specializing in 18th-century fashion and politics, had arrived at the museum to participate in a “Fashion and Beauty Tour” led by Shady Ladies Tours founder Andrew Lear, an art historian and scholar. She was wearing a gown of blue silk taffeta and silk organza in the style of dresses worn around 1765–1775, as found in portraits from that era (and somewhat similar to a dress from that period in the Met’s permanent collection). But as the group entered the museum, a security guard took exception to Vincz’s conspicuous couture.
“I have to say [Pyongyang] is honestly one of the most colorful cities I’ve ever been to. You expect a gray, crumbling, 1950s dystopia of decaying concrete, but they’ve made a real conscious effort to try and cheer the place up.” The spit shine is part of North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un’s campaign to make his country the next big tourist destination. The Eternal Chairman hopes to draw 2 million tourists annually by 2020.
“Some seven years ago, it was the then Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts who was able to bring us together as foundation leaders because his agency had a strong history of investing in each of our communities. He was also able to bring together senior officials from agencies like the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency because he was their peer in federal government. Together, we have worked more effectively than we could have done alone exactly because the public sector and philanthropy are not meant to do the same thing.”
“If the bank has its way—and who’s to stop it?—workers will soon take acetylene torches to the 700-foot, 57-year-old building at 270 Park Avenue, razing and then replacing it with a 1,200-foot-high hyper-headquarters ample enough for 15,000 people. Union Carbide will become the tallest structure ever demolished by peaceful means, grabbing that mournful title from the 1908 Singer Building, which came down in 1968.”
“The model organisms used for [a new] study were colonies of flavobacterium, a rod-shaped bacteria found in soil and freshwater; the colonies were naturally a rich, metallic green hue. By altering the genetic makeup of the flavobacterium, the scientists found they could also change the color of the bacteria. Not only could they produce any color of the rainbow, they could control the intensity of each shade” – and the resulting pigments are brilliant and iridescent, like peacock feathers.
Earlier in February, at least five anonymous commenters alleged sexual misconduct against Alexie in the comments of a School Library Journal articleabout sexual harassment in children’s publishing. While the article didn’t name Alexie, in the Pacific Standard, writer David Perry linked to the article and wrote that Alexie “has been accused of sexual abuse by at least five women.”
“Juan Rulfo (1917–1986), rightly revered in Mexico and outside, is regarded as one of the most influential Latin American writers of all time. … One reason for the surprising neglect of Rulfo today may be that his reputation rested on a slender harvest of work, essentially on two books that appeared in the 1950s.” Ariel Dorfman pays tribute to Rulfo – and explains why his work hasn’t fared as well in the English-speaking world as it might have.
“Few visual moments are as strange as the scene at the beginning of act two, in which Macbeth sees a dagger floating in the air, apparently leading him to Duncan’s bedchamber. This hallucination provokes one of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches: ‘Is this a dagger which I see before me?’ … For this strangest of plays, the paradox is fitting: its best-known prop is almost certainly invisible.” Andrew Dickson looks at the ways some of the great actors and directors have handled the scene.
Can Rotten Tomatoes really make or break a movie? It definitely has an impact, says Ethan Titelman, a senior vice-president at the Hollywood market research firm National Research Group (NRG). According to NRG’s annual survey, 50% of regular moviegoers frequently check the site, often immediately before buying their cinema tickets. And 82% are “more interested” in seeing a movie if it has a high Tomatometer score, while two-thirds are deterred by a low score.
Sure, most of us who know about the painting know why it’s revolutionary: it’s arguably the birth of Cubism. On the other hand, says Picasso scholar Miles J. Unger, “You can’t look at Les Demoiselles d’Avignon without suspecting that this is a man who had some issues with women.”
“Long before the rise of ‘autofiction’, … many writers in the first half of the 20th century were experimenting with the limits of autobiography. Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, Henry James, Wyndham Lewis, Gertrude Stein, HG Wells, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf: all wrote memoirs as inventive, in different ways, as their novels (which were often themselves very autobiographical). And that list is only the tip of the iceberg.”
“What kind of effect are these new voters having on the films and artists that are ultimately chosen to contend for an Oscar? … Of the 14 new members we talked to, who span several of the Academy’s branches, more than half were women, and more than a third were people of color. All of them spoke anonymously and with great candor.”
Less than two years after revelations of abuse led to the closing of Profiles Theater Co. and the creation of the advocacy group Not in Our House, “six Chicago-based actresses report an extensive pattern of verbal and physical abuse by Jeremy Menekseoglu, artistic director of the Dream Theatre Company (DTC), a small non-Equity company which recently relocated to the Atlanta area from Chicago.”
“The will, signed on February 11, 2016, eight days before her death, directed that the bulk of her assets, including her literary properties, be transferred into a trust she formed in 2011. Trust documents are private.” (Indeed, the Times had to sue just to get the will unsealed.) The executor of the will is also the head of the trust and the late author’s final attorney: the controversial, mysterious, secretive Tonja P. Carter.
Experimental dancemakers “often imply that the process, not the product, is the most valuable part of their work – at least to them. Performances, by these lights, are more like peepholes. Is there a way to widen the aperture? This appears to be the goal of the ‘The Making Room,’ a project led by the veteran choreographer Bebe Miller.”
“The contravening consonant was perhaps the most unusual victim of a crackdown targeting words, phrases and even solitary letters censors feared might be used to attack Beijing’s controversial decision to abolish constitutional term limits for China’s president. … Experts say [the move] paves the way for Xi [Jinping] to become a dictator for life.”
Now that the permafrost in arctic and subarctic Russia has started to thaw, huge numbers of tusks from the ancient animals are turning up in the region of Yakutia. “100 tonnes is procured annually, about one-third of it illegally, and 90% of the haul is exported to China” for the ivory-carving industry.
Both Keira Drank and her publisher thought that her novel The Continent would be well-received, and, at first, it was. Then came the tweetstorms accusing Drake of writing a white-savior story and stereotyping. She took the criticisms to heart and reworked her text. Lila Shapiro reports on what happened next.
One Wo/Man Band
I am frequently asked whether an arts organization can successfully engage communities with just one person assigned the responsibility for “engaging.” One answer, given with considerable trepidation is, “It depends.” … read more
AJBlog: Engaging Matters Published 2018-02-27
The Adjacent Possible
So much of leadership, management, and change narrative is about “gap analysis.” The thinking goes that we achieve a desired future by describing a bold vision, defining our current location, mapping the gap between here and there, … read more
AJBlog: The Artful Manager Published 2018-02-27
Far Out! Psychedelia at Metropolitan Museum’s “Golden Kingdoms” (with video)
In a tweet today, Joanne Pillsbury, the Metropolitan Museum’s curator of the Arts of the Ancient Americas, called attention to one of two miniature objects that caught my eye (perhaps for the wrong reasons) at … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2018-02-27
“I wanted her to understand what muscle groups were involved, and how most people walking on the street are internally rotated with their shoulders — their palms are facing back. With ballet dancers, you have to spin that back so it looks more like their arms are an extension of their back, and that whole alignment lengthens your neck. It widens your shoulder line.”