Paul Taylor and Helen Frankenthaler open tonight in Manhattan (not together, alas). Go here to read last week’s posting with details and links.
Archives for March 2, 2004
My editor at Harcourt sent me an e-mail this morning asking (v. politely) when the hell the Balanchine book would be finished. “Soon,” I said.
As I continue to work on making that promise come true, amuse yourself here:
– Sarah‘s back from vacation.
– So far, Jennifer has mentioned one (1) blogger by First Name Only. I think she’s getting the hang of this….
– Return of the Reluctant is boycotting M&Ms. I don’t think I can go there–a life without M&Ms is unimaginable–but I approve.
– Finally, those of you who read artsjournal.com every morning already know about this:
ArtsJournal Live and In Person: Wonder what those ArtsJournal bloggers look like on the other side of that computer screen? Well, we wonder what you look like too. So Wednesday, March 3 at 6:30 pm, AJ editor Doug McLennan and seven of our AJ bloggers are getting together in New York City at the Landmark Tavern (11th and 46th), and you’re invited. Greg Sandow, Terry Teachout, Jan Herman, Kyle Gann, Tobi Tobias, James Russell and John Perreault will all be there from about 6:30 on into the evening. Very informal – come talk ideas, arts and culture with us.
And for those of you who don’t read artsjournal.com every day:
(1) Why not?
(2) Go here and do so.
The Brazilian-American jazz singer Luciana Souza, in whom “About Last Night” has taken a great interest from its first day onward, has a new CD coming out on April 6 called Neruda. It’s a song cycle based on the poetry of Pablo Neruda and featuring Edward Simon on piano.
I wrote the liner notes:
If Luciana did nothing more than sing, she’d still be a miracle. But she also writes music, sometimes to her own graceful words, sometimes to those of poets who catch her curious ear. Neruda is an hour-long song cycle based on the poetry of Pablo Neruda and the piano pieces of Federico Mompou, sung in her Brazil-perfumed English (a language she speaks with the freshness and surprise of an explorer charting a new world) and as uncategorizably protean as everything else she does. “House” dances down the street in a sinuous 7/4, spurred on by her own deft percussion playing. “Poetry” has the concentration of an art song by Faur
“It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.”
Gore Vidal, “Antipanegyric for Tom Driberg”
I’m in this morning’s Wall Street Journal with a tribute to my favorite movie, now out on DVD:
“The Rules of the Game” is the greatest movie ever made–but it doesn’t act that way. For much of its 106-minute length, Jean Renoir’s masterpiece, filmed in France on the eve of World War II, plays like a chic bedroom farce in which a group of well-to-do Parisians spending a weekend in the country seek to sleep with persons not their spouses. Only toward the end does it become fully clear that high comedy is about to precipitate into violent tragedy, and that Renoir’s true purpose (as he later acknowledged) was to portray a society he believed to be “rotten to the core.” Small wonder that the film’s 1939 premiere sparked a near-riot. The audience must have felt as if it had been slapped in the face. “The truth is that they recognized themselves,” Renoir explained. “People who commit suicide do not care to do it in front of witnesses.”…
One can never see a film like “The Rules of the Game” often enough. Indeed, I have returned to it more than once at times of great personal stress. I watched it, for instance, not long after 9/11, knowing that recent events would have cut yet another facet in its jeweled surface, and as I watched it yet again in the Criterion Collection’s DVD version, I realized that I was seeing a requiem not merely for France but for Old Europe, exhausted by modernity and willing to pay any amount of Danegeld in order to be left alone.
No link, so go buy a copy of the Journal and turn to the “Leisure & Arts” page. I never cease to be amazed by the number of people who don’t know that The Wall Street Journal has an arts page–and a damned good one, too. Believe it or not, the Journal isn’t for rich people only, or even primarily.