ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Rome’s Colosseum To Get New High-Tech Floor

Milan Ingegneria, a structural engineering and architecture firm, has won an €18.5m (£16m) bid to build and install a retractable arena floor that will allow visitors “to see the majesty of the monument” from its centre, culture minister Dario Franceschini said on Sunday. - The Guardian

How Genre Fiction Can Help Literary Fiction Deal With Assault

Crime fiction is, roughly speaking, concerned with plot - and literary fiction (again, roughly speaking) with the interior of characters' thoughts. Sometimes, that means literary fiction doesn't deal well with the more plot-driven side of rape narratives, and crime fiction doesn't deal well with the emotional effects. So: "Especially where complex stories about sexual assault are concerned, mixing genres can open up our storytelling capacities, giving writers—and readers—access to ever more empathy and nuance." - The Atlantic

Reimagining Black Life And Death Onscreen

The Oscar-nominated short film A Love Song for Latasha, says filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison, was one way of figuring how to deal with the aftermath of a violent death, from the people who best knew the murdered teen. "So often we hear from elders, adults, or community activists, and I’m always really curious as to how our children process this moment. How did the young Black girls, the young boys that knew Latasha—how were they affected by this? And I really believe in collaboration to inform the process, to help inspire the visuals, and I wanted to share their truth, their memories, as a way to fill in this archival gap." - Slate

Move Over, Thomas Edison And The Lumiere Brothers

Britain may no longer have an empire, but at least it could have this: the title of the "true" father of cinema. "Film director and historian Peter Domankiewicz believes Friese-Greene will soon be reinstated as one of the great figures in the development of the moving image: the one who got there before Thomas Edison, the Lumière brothers and George Méliès, the Frenchman whose story was told by Martin Scorsese in the hit 2011 film Hugo." - The Guardian (UK)

The Grammys Overhaul Again, Eliminating Secret Committees

The scandal-plagued Recording Academy is making the change after decades of complaints. Instituted in 1989, "the committees’ work began to be seen as evidence of a problematic system in which insiders rewarded their friends and punished their enemies. More recently, a number of high-profile Black artists — among them Drake, Frank Ocean and Sean 'Diddy' Combs — have suggested that Grammy nominations are tainted by institutional racism." - Los Angeles Times

Asian American Choreographers And Dancers Demand Recognition

After the shootings in Atlanta, the already planned 10,000 Dreams Virtual Choreography Festival transformed into something that Asian American ballet dancers and choreographers have been missing and wanting for years - community. "There was a deep moment where we sort of were committing to building a network, building a community, taking up space, being loud, being bold. This festival really came out of that impetus of saying, 'No, we’re going to take up space, we’re going to make some noise, and we’re going to show you how brilliant we are.'" - Washington Post

The Pivot To YouTube

For Oscar-winner Brie Larson, who won for Room and has since played Captain Marvel in the eponymous movie and Avengers: Endgame, it's not as if she needed a new revenue stream. But her weekly chats with herself, which now have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, are a form of self-care. - The New York Times

Evaluating Eli Broad In Los Angeles

He was a friend and foe to museums, writes Christopher Knight. And Carolina Miranda writes, "Over the course of his life, he helped bring to fruition — in whole or in part — designs by an array of award-winning international design stars, including Richard Meier, Renzo Piano, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and, most famously, Frank Gehry. Or perhaps most infamously." - Los Angeles Times

The NY Phil Goes Traveling, In A Shipping Container

Last year it was a Ford F-250 pickup truck that saved the day, and the audiences around the city. "Bandwagon 2 will trade in the pickup truck for a 20-foot shipping container atop a semi truck, which will visit four parks around New York City for weekend-long residencies through May. ... Tricked out with a foldout stage, video wall and integrated sound and lighting, the setup is now more arresting and theatrically attuned." - The New York Times

Jhumpa Lahiri On Living In Linguistic Exile, And Translating Her Own Work

That would be the book (Dove mi trovo, or Whereabouts) she wrote first in Italian and then translated into English - her first novel written that way since she began her decades-long love affair with the language, and with Rome. - The Guardian (UK)

Rotten Tomatoes Added A 1941 Review That Wrecked Citizen Kane’s Perfect Rating

Citizen Kane used to have a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Then things changed. "The writer, credited as Mae Tinee (a play on 'matinee') comments: 'It’s interesting. It’s different. In fact, it’s bizarre enough to become a museum piece. But its sacrifice of simplicity to eccentricity robs it of distinction and general entertainment value,' adding: 'I only know it gives one the creeps and that I kept wishing they’d let a little sunshine in.'" - The Guardian (UK)

Writing Mainstream TV Shows About Native American Families

It's normal - but an exciting kind of normal - for Sydney Freeland. When she started film school, "I remember thinking, like, ‘OK, wait. I’m Native American and I’m transgender, but I want to be a film director? That’s insane. That isn’t going to happen.’ But I wanted to see what I could do anyway." - HuffPost

Holbein Left A Clever Clue In A Portrait Of Henry VIII’s Wife

Which wife? Well, for centuries, everyone thought it was Catherine Howard (the second of the beheadeds in the old rhyme). Instead, thanks to Hans Holbein's clue (and an art historian's tenacity), we now think the portrait is of Anne of Cleves (the second of the divorced wives, or in this case, annulled). - The Observer (UK)

Directing Isn’t Easy At The Best Of Times

But for an Asian American director during the pandemic, kicking off Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month via an online platform, it's a whole new (basket)ball game. - Oregon Artswatch

Motherhood Can Be Radical

Just ask Adrienne Rich. "Rich’s predicament, as a mother who was also an artist, remains a predicament today. And what she did with that predicament, what she did with her rage and frustration, remains deeply instructive. Of Woman Born lays bare the cultural and medical and economic practices that define motherhood, and exposes how our everyday experience of mothering is shaped by this enduring institution." - LitHub

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