Netflix now makes more television than any network in history. It plans to spend $8 billion on content this year. TV has gone through major transformations in the past — cable and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox toppled the hegemony of the Big Three broadcast networks in the 1980s, for instance — but this leap dwarfs all others. Netflix doesn’t want to be a streaming, supersized clone of HBO or FX or NBC. It’s trying to change the way we watch television.
“Helena [Newman] is the chairman of Sotheby’s Europe and co-head of Impressionist & Modern Art Worldwide and also happens to be the auctioneer who recently sold the firm’s most expensive painting to date: a 1917 Modigliani that went for $157.2 million. Helena tells us how she finds and sells some of the most expensive art in the world and what it takes to command a room full of people bidding millions of dollars on masterpieces.” (podcast)
Over 25 years, “Vice had grown from a free magazine to a company with 3,000 employees spread across a cable network, more than a dozen websites, two shows on HBO, an ad agency, a film studio, a record label, and a bar in London. Vice had become the tenth-highest-valued private company in America” – largely thanks to co-founder Shane Smith’s gift – using persuasion, exaggeration, and sometimes outright deception – for convincing investors to hand over millions of dollars. Turns out, though, that Smith had expected to cash out well before now. Reeves Wiedeman reports how it went down.
Orwell was right. The totalitarian regime rests on lies because they are lies. The subject of the totalitarian regime must accept them not as truth—must not, in fact, believe them—but accept them both as lies and as the only available reality. She must believe nothing. Just as Orwell predicted, over time the totalitarian regime destroys the very concept, the very possibility of truth. Hannah Arendt identified this as one of the effects of totalitarian propaganda: it makes everything conceivable because “nothing is true.”
During intermission on opening night of the company’s production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, an audience member suffered a heart attack. “Paramedics were called, and worked with doctors who were in the audience for a half-hour before taking their patient to a waiting ambulance, where he later died.”
“The difference between an art-fair business and a gallery business is our costs are fixed way ahead of time, and our revenue is also predictable because we’re not taking a percentage of the sales. We have a very stable business in terms of forecasting six months out. So by definition, we’re going to come in between the most successful and the least successful galleries. We have to maintain a fair model that allows us to stay in business and allows galleries to do business at the shows. For us to cut costs drastically would make our business precarious, which wouldn’t be in anyone’s interest.”
Somewhere on the timeline between the long run of the Oldowan and the more rapid rise of Acheulean technologies, language (or what’s often called protolanguage) likely made its first appearance. Oren Kolodny and his co-author, Shimon Edelman, a professor of psychology at Cornell University, say the overlap is not a coincidence. Rather, they theorize, the emergence of language was predicated on our ancestors’ ability to perform sequence-dependent processes, including the production of complex tools.
Some have described the image by Jesco Denzel, an award-winning photographer with many stunning compositions, as a Renaissance painting or the work of a Dutch master. Indeed, its composition resembles famous artistic portrayals of contention, from Caravaggio’s The Calling of Saint Matthew to Edward Degas’s Rehearsal Hall at the Opera. Its ambient quality speaks to the work of Johannes Vermeer, who so skillfully blended light and color to tell a story. Indeed, the image is otherworldly and surreal, in many ways more like a painting in a museum than a photograph from a geopolitical summit. But the photo reminded me of something more mundane: Yanny vs. Laurel, a debate spurred by an audio clip that was shared widely online last month.
The research was conducted by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which released its findings Monday. Researchers studied the reviews of the 100 top-grossing films of 2017 that were posted on the aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. Of the 19,559 reviews studied, 77.8 were by male critics and 22.2 were by female critics. Stacy Smith, founder and director of the Inclusion Initiative, said film critics are “overwhelmingly white and male.”
Ironically, in the musical devoted to their lives – A Chorus Line, of course – there often is no chorus. But Actors Equity wants to change what chorus members can achieve: “It’s petitioning the Tony administration committee to consider awards for not only choruses, but their counterparts in plays, known as ensembles.”
Stuart Chafetz says that while classical fans came because of the orchestra itself, pops fans had a different goal. “‘They were coming for the Bee Gees, or they were coming for Randy Newman, or they were coming for Jurassic Park,’ Chafetz said. ‘I often ask, ‘First time to the symphony, round of applause.’ The whole place erupted, and I thought: ‘There’s something here. … You know, this is my mission.’'”
Well, not all of them – East Los High, on Hulu, has had several discussions and storylines on the show, and then there’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and a few others. Perhaps things are changing though: “I’m not sad that Time’s Up is happening and that Me Too is happening, that we’re talking about consent. … It certainly was great in that it started a conversation about female sex and pleasure.”
Barring some last minute miracle, the protections of net neutrality will become something people in the US used to have instead of something they still enjoy. “Internet service providers will be much freer to block, speed up or slow down access to certain content” – but only until state regulations come in to prop up the freedom of the internet waves.
“‘Pyonghattan’ was the joke nickname given by foreign diplomats to a cluster of shiny cylindrical towers that emerged in the capital in 2012, assuming this was a one-off publicity stunt. But since then, almost every year has seen the grand unveiling of another lavish trophy project, each more futuristic than the last, with parades of jaunty towers dressed in sci-fi costumes and crowned with cosmic symbols, worthy of scenes from The Jetsons.”
The actor had been involved in show business since he was 12. “Odell was found unresponsive in his Tarzana residence in San Fernando Valley June 8, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office confirmed to Variety. The cause of death has not been released, pending an autopsy. No foul play is suspected.”
Whew. This in-depth piece definitely calls the future of storytelling in favor of Netflix: “TV has gone through major transformations in the past — cable and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox toppled the hegemony of the Big Three broadcast networks in the 1980s, for instance — but this leap dwarfs all others. Netflix doesn’t want to be a streaming, supersized clone of HBO or FX or NBC. It’s trying to change the way we watch television.”
One lawyer characterizes it as “the very first step in a very long marathon” toward a finish line of ending sexual harassment and assault in the industry – but it’s a good step. “SAG-AFTRA struck a new deal with ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, which limits private meetings in off-site locations, including hotel rooms and private residences.”
His poem “last will and testament” begins: “get your flag out of my face, it tickles!” Jerome Rothenberg’s appealing translation from the German continues:Hans Magnus Enzensberger and get that tinny wreath off my chest, it’s … read more
AJBlog: Straight|UpPublished 2018-06-10
Beauty. Beautiful. Beautifully. It’s justpossible I overuse these words. A quick search through my dropbox suggests that in the past year I’ve applied them to: Alina Cojocaru’s acting in Giselle;the final image … read more
AJBlog: Performance MonkeyPublished 2018-06-08
The latest episode of Three on the Aisle, the twice-monthly podcast in which Peter Marks, Elisabeth Vincentelli, and I talk about theater in America, is now available on line for listening or downloading. In this … read more