Rachel Morrison, the director of photography for Dee Rees’ Mudbound, is the first woman ever nominated for cinematography. That’s embarrassing for a stupidly sexist Hollywood, but no slight to the great Morrison, who was also the first woman to shoot a comic book movie: She’s been walking the walk for two decades. “Now I’m seeing many more women getting calls to do bigger films,” she says.
“What makes bibliomancy fascinating is that unlike other forms of divination, it trades in something which already has an interpretable meaning – words. Perhaps a butcher can figure out the narrative that a sheep’s liver conveys, but that The Aeneid, as indeed all texts, has a meaning requires no suspension of disbelief, even if the meanings which are being derived seem far from authorial intention.”
As the art of close reading—a finely grained analysis of a text—has declined, a cohort of experts has emerged to reverse the trend and encourage stronger reading habits. Their solution has a kind of old-school simplicity to it: We need to allow the physicality of the book itself to lure us back into the pleasures of reading.
“School administrators said the decision was made in an effort to be considerate of all students after concerns about the [racist terms used in the books] were raised over the years. The books are not banned, however, and will still be available for optional reading.” Said one high school English teacher in the city of To Kill a Mockingbird, “I think it’s dated. That book now to me reads like it was written to explain racism to primarily a white audience. My African-American population doesn’t need to have racism explained to them.”
In the era of auteur-driven film and television, YouTube has always been a space for auteurs—or as they’re known online, creators—to maintain complete autonomy over their content. The transition from online platforms to traditional media may seem like a natural next step, but oftentimes taking that leap comes with immense risk. For online creators, the biggest part of that risk is loss of creative control.
For example, Marianna Calbari in Greece: A plethora of crises – economic, social and political – has fuelled the demand for theatre in Greece. In the midst of unparalleled austerity, the country still outstrips every other European nation in the number of theatres it has per capita. For Marianna Calbari, the playwright, director and actor who shot to fame at the height of the country’s crisis, the stage has been a refuge. “All theatre,” she says, “has the power of consolation.”
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar: “Space is the hardest part about being an artist today. There are times when we’re in a different space every day and that’s hard on the creative process. Apply for those residencies – they’ve become modern dance gold.” (video)
Lyn Gardner: “When reviewing space gets tight it is not the shiny, starry mainstream shows in the West End or at the National or the Royal Shakespeare Company that get cut, but the new, the unknown and the innovative.” Especially if those shows are at regional theatres: for a producer, “schlepping across the country and a night in a hotel may be worth it, if reviews by those you trust have alerted you to a company with a great show you haven’t previously heard of.”
“Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined filmmaker Ava DuVernay and producer Dan Lin on Monday to launch the Evolve Entertainment Fund, a public-private partnership aimed at creating new opportunities for communities that have been historically excluded from the entertainment industry. The fund plans to raise $5 million by 2020 to award grants to various entertainment industry organizations.”
“Akram Khan’s much talked-about reworking of Giselle, created for English National Ballet in 2016, will come to the United States next year, the company’s first trip across the Atlantic in 30 years. The Harris Theater in Chicago will present English National Ballet in four performances of Mr. Khan’s work, Feb. 28 to March 2, 2019.”
The cities of the future won’t be “smart,” or well-engineered, cleverly designed, just, clean, fair, green, sustainable, safe, healthy, affordable, or resilient. They won’t have any particularly higher ethical values of liberty, equality, or fraternity, either. The future smart city will be the internet, the mobile cloud, and a lot of weird paste-on gadgetry, deployed by City Hall, mostly for the sake of making towns more attractive to capital.
‘Confabulation’ comes from the Latin fabula (‘story’) which can be either a historical account or a fairytale. When we confabulate, we tell a story that is fictional, while believing that it is a true story. As we are not aware that our story is fictional, this is very different from a lie: we have no intention to deceive. So in confabulation there is a mismatch between what we aim to do (tell a true story) and what we end up doing (tell a fictional story).
“Arts and sports suddenly had something to say to each other. Arts groups surely capitalized on the moment, holding Eagles-themed promotions to sell tickets to their performances and using the chance to shed their sometimes-elitist aura. But the arts in a way were just expressing the larger civic sentiment as they often do, whether with an orchestra concert at the Mann after 9/11 to calm a shaken city or a choir and ensemble assembling in a Rittenhouse Square church to memorialize victims killed in 2016 at the Pulse nightclub.”
“As a species, we have built cities and crafted stories, developed cultures and formulated laws, probed the recesses of science, and are attempting to explore the stars. This is not because our brain itself is uniquely superior – its evolutionary and functional similarity to other intelligent species is striking – but because our unique trait is to supplement our bodies and brains with layer upon layer of external assistance. This provides us with a depth, breadth and permanence of mental and physical capability that no other animal approaches. Humans are unique because we are complex, and we are complex because we are the beast that automates.”
Though 49 of the site’s top 50 tracks are songs from official artist accounts, the site is plagued with secondary accounts posting primary content, all of it loaded with track info designed to game the system’s search algorithms in their favor. If other platforms have problems with “fake news,” SoundCloud has problems with fake music, and in both cases the issue is more feature than bug.
According to the new budget proposal, the NEA’s budget would be cut down to $29 million, and the NEH’s budget would be reduced to $42 million. Both organizations are currently budgeted at around $150 million; they account for well under 1 percent of the government’s budget. “The Budget proposes to begin shutting down NEA in 2019, given the notable funding support provided by private and other public sources and because the Administration does not consider NEA activities to be core Federal responsibilities,” the budget proposal reads.
With “Springsteen on Broadway” — and the approximately $2.4 million it brings in every week — on hiatus, overall sales dipped by $2.8 million to $22 million for 24 shows. Attendance slipped by about 20,000 to 191,186, or 83% of the street’s overall capacity. Those numbers were better than the same week last year (when there were 23 shows playing), with attendance up about 15,000 compared to 2017.
Is Venable’s vision for his museum misguided, or a clarion call for a struggling industry to cast aside its pieties in pursuit of a purely rational bottom line? As of last October, the Indianapolis Museum of Art has rebranded itself as Newfields: A Place for Nature and the Arts. Admission is no longer free, and your $18 ticket brings you into a wonderland of flowering gardens, foreign delicacies, theatrical performances, cat-video festivals, mini-golf, beer gardens, and, should you be into such things, an art museum, too.
“Only recently has a line been added to the show asking audience members to ‘keep a respectful distance’ from the performers. Wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a culture where this nannyish reminder was unnecessary? It would. We don’t.” Alexis Soloski lays out the case.
As Michael Cooper reports, City Ballet has “no intention of editing him out of the company’s history, the way Kevin Spacey was cut out of the film All the Money in the World after he was accused of misconduct. The Martins ballets remain important to the ticket sales and continuing the company’s fortunes.” Even so, there are occasional moments in his choreography that now look, well, problematic …
Calling developer Gerald Wolkoff’s painting over of the famous graffiti murals – with no warning for the artists – “an act of pure pique and revenge for the nerve of the plaintiffs to sue” (what’s more, Wolkoff was an arrogant brat in the courtroom), Judge Frederic Block awarded each artist the maximum legal amount, $150,000, for each destroyed work.
“Ms. Maxwell was a longtime favorite of critics. Ben Brantley of The New York Times, for one, praised her again and again. In 2005, when she played the world-weary Baroness of Vulgaria in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (the role led to her first Tony nomination and a Drama Desk award), he called her ‘the real heroine for anyone who demands wit and sophistication from a Broadway production.'”
Trump’s budget proposes eliminating federal funding for the CPB over a two-year period. The budget has to be approved by Congress before it can take effect. In a statement released Monday, PBS president Patricia Harrison said that the “elimination of funding to CPB would at first devastate, and then ultimately destroy public media’s ability to provide early childhood content, life-saving emergency alerts, and public affairs programs.”
Monday Recommendation: Dawn Clement In Tandem
Dawn Clement, Tandem (Origin)
Dawn Clement’s recording history includes piano collaborations with saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom and trombonist Julian Priester, among other prominent colleagues. The Seattle Times has called her … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-02-12
Propwatch: the dolls in John
The best scene in any play in London right now (don’t argue, I’m not listening) opens the second act in John by Annie Baker. Three women – Mertis, who runs a guesthouse in Gettysburg, … read more
AJBlog: Performance Monkey Published 2018-02-12
Yannick’s Hollow Parsifal
The highwater mark for Wagner at the Metropolitan Opera in recent decades was the 2013 Parsifal,handsomely directed and strongly cast. The crucial ingredient, however, was Daniele Gatti’s leadership in the … read more
AJBlog: Unanswered Question Published 2018-02-11
Aletheia to Tour Northeastern U.S.
Composed by William Osborne for singer-instrumentalist, computer-controlled piano, and quadraphonic electronics, Aletheia is a music theater work featuring the solo performance of Abbie Conant as the title character. Osborne writes, “Aletheia is an opera singer … read more
AJBlog: Straight|Up Published 2018-02-12
The Obamas took a significant chance on both artists and were rewarded with powerful images that will shake up the expectations and assumptions of visitors to the traditionally button-down presidential galleries.
Holland Cotter: “Not only are the Obamas the first presidential couple of African descent to be enshrined in the collection. The painters they’ve picked to portray them — Kehinde Wiley, for Mr. Obama’s portrait; Amy Sherald, for Mrs. Obama — are African-American as well. Both artists have addressed the politics of race consistently in their past work, and both have done so in subtly savvy ways in these new commissions. Mr. Wiley depicts Mr. Obama not as a self-assured, standard-issue bureaucrat, but as an alert and troubled thinker. Ms. Sherald’s image of Mrs. Obama overemphasizes an element of couturial spectacle, but also projects a rock-solid cool.”
“In many scientific fields, from genetics to economics to palaeobiology, a kind of implicit trust is placed in the images and the algorithms that produce them. Often viewers have almost no idea how they were constructed. The complexity of computers has made data-analysis a black-box, something it’s hard for humans to peer into. At the same time, computer jockeys such as my dad have achieved a new cultural status – if not quite Indiana Jones, they still have a kind of power and authority most of us can’t access. Increasingly, with the advances in machine-learning and AI, even those authorities are sometimes mystified by how their algorithms work.”
Gagosian’s mortality might even have a silver lining if he can tap the right successor. As Galloway writes, “Dying removes the icon from the inevitable judgment of everyday existence, including aging, and elevates persona to legend—ideal for a brand.” Just think: Louis Vuitton (the company) was founded in 1854. Louis Vuitton (the man) died in 1892. So the brand has been stacking cash for 164 years, and the founder has spent 126 of them stitching in that grand atelier in the sky.
Barrack Obama called the process of sitting for a portrait “torturous,” noting that as far as he knows he’s the first person in his family to have a portrait done. “I tried to negotiate less gray hair, smaller ears,” Obama joked at the unveiling. “Maybe the one are where there were some concessions … his initial impulse may be in the work may be to elevate me … mounting me on horses … and I had to explain I’ve got enough political problems without you making me look like Napoleon.”
One mom who won’t take her son said, “I’m pretty sure Beatrix Potter will be turning in her grave about now. … Allergies are often not taken seriously enough anyway. To have them trivialized on the big screen by such a popular character is immensely disappointing.”