“Aged 36, Jing [Huan] is part of a new breed of foreign-trained conductors, as China hopes to gain recognition in the field after winning global fame for its soloists, including piano and string virtuosos. After long relying on Western conductors, a growing number of symphony orchestras around the country are now entrusting the baton to a fresh generation of Chinese musical directors.”
The director always resisted giving any interpretation or explanation of the film’s final scene. But in a segment from an unaired Japanese television documentary shot in the late 1970s, Kubrick – reluctantly (“I’ve tried to avoid doing this ever since the picture came out”) – tells what he had in mind.
Besides definitive interpretations of his own music, he must surely have given more first performances than any other conductor, alongside an outstanding body of recordings. He was the central focus of so many activities, and an irreplaceable mentor to his fellow composers, who constantly sought and relied on his advice and encouragement.
“Television is dead. And television will not be reborn. It will not come back. What has surfaced instead is the digital platform of entertainment. Cinema will come back with different meaning.” The digital platform to which Refn seems to be referring in particular is his own byNWR.com, which he calls an unadulterated cultural expressway for the arts. It’s there to inspire the youth!”
In 1996, a mafia penitento (an informant) claimed that he had stolen the Caravaggio on the request of a high-ranking boss. In 2009, another penitentoasked about the Caravaggio and said that he’d heard, back in 1999, that the painting had been ruined during an earthquake while in storage in Sicily, and had subsequently been eaten by rats and pigs rooting through the rubble. The work still hovers at the top of the FBI’s Most Wanted Stolen Works of Art list, but it has since been labelled “missing, presumed destroyed.”
“STEM From Dance [is] a New York City-based nonprofit founded by Yamilee Toussaint — an MIT grad who’s been dancing since age 5. The program targets middle and high school girls of color, who are vastly underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, and might not otherwise see STEM as an option or be encouraged to try it.”
“Far more urban, far more ethnically and culturally and politically diverse, the South is no longer a place defined by sweet tea and slamming screen doors, and its literature is changing, too. ‘It is damn hard to put a pipe-smoking granny or a pet possum into a novel these days and get away with it,’ the novelist Lee Smith once said.” Even so, Margaret Renkl has a answer to the question – one that’s paradoxical and somewhat painful.
“That’s where my storytelling comes from. My feminism comes from somewhere else: acute dissatisfaction. … I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to tell stories. Sadly, I also don’t remember a time when I wasn’t telling people what I think about the world.”
“YouTube said it will provide funding in about 20 global markets to support news organizations in ‘building sustainable video operations.’ The grants will let new orgs build out video capabilities, train staff on video best practices, and enhance production facilities. YouTube says it also will expand its team focused on supporting news publishers … and also detailed new features intended to flag misinformation and highlight authoritative news sources.”
Jean-Marc Bustamante, the outgoing director of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA), France’s national arts academy in Paris, has criticised the French culture minister for a lack of support after being attacked by students. This follows allegations of sexual harassment made by students against some of the school’s teachers earlier this year. An online petition on Change.org, demanding that the administration address the issue, has more than 1,000 signatures.
“For over two centuries, since 1737, the Lord Chamberlain had the authority to veto new plays that they deemed indecent or that posed a threat to public order. … In the UK, we may no longer have ‘big C’ Censorship, but there’s also that with a small c, which can take the form of regulation such as film certification, or artists and organisations self-censoring due worries about public protest, sponsorship and its potential loss, media storms.”
Netflix is a production company of peerless scale when it comes to TV. It’s projected to spend $12 to $13 billion on original programming in 2018; meanwhile, HBO spent $2.5 billion on its shows in 2017. Netflix’s strategy is to overwhelm, pumping out fresh content at its subscribers and relying less and less on licensed material it doesn’t own. HBO has always had more of a “prestige” bent, taking a very long time to develop its shows and launching them with extreme fanfare, with an eye toward awards. But Stankey seems to view that deliberate pace as a result of laziness, and his desire to upend the network’s careful approach to putting out new shows (it only makes a handful per season) could mean the end of HBO as we know it.
“Playwright Chantal Bilodeau first visited the Arctic in 2007. She had not thought much about climate change in the past, but seeing Alaska’s melting glaciers firsthand and hearing stories of forced migration propelled the crisis to the top of her mind. She decided to write a play about the high north, its people, and the challenges they’re facing.” Bilodeau is now expanding the project into an eight-play cycle.
“Premiering Tuesday on TruTV, Paid Off With Michael Torpey is pretty traditional for the genre: There are three rounds of play in which contestants buzz in to answer trivia questions and earn points. What sets it apart from other entries in the genre is what happens in the final round. If the top contestant answers eight trivia questions correctly, she wins a cash prize equal to the balance she owes on her student loans, because the contestant pool for Paid Off is the more than 40 million Americans who hold student loan debt.”
The Golden Man Booker. “As a system of selection, this is a curious conflation of the single expert and the wisdom of crowds — or, if you will, super elitism and mob rule. After all, each novel on the shortlist was chosen by just one person (not nearly enough), and yet the winner was chosen by thousands (far too many). Having the unwashed public pick the best novel sounds wonderfully egalitarian, but it ignores all kinds of unanswerable questions about the self-selection and legitimacy of the voters.”
“When you watch Vertigo in the age of the internet, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, it resonates as loudly as a church bell.” Not to mention catfishing and #MeToo.
“If we simply let cyberspace run its course to a future determined by Silicon Valley, those libertarian-minded engineers will paradoxically lead us to cities shackled by algorithmic conformity. It would be a neural network, yes, but one that operates in lock step.”
“On July 14, an artwork equal in length to 14 blue whales placed in a line will go on display in its entirety for the first time in more than half a century. Incidentally, those colossal creatures are central to the work. At 1,275 feet long, the Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World, which was painted in 1848 in New Bedford, Massachusetts by Benjamin Russell, an artist and merchant, and Caleb Purrington, a sign painter, is the longest painting in North America, according to the New Bedford Whaling Museum, which is staging the work’s big return.”
Gaga, the now-famous style/vocabulary/training method developed by the Israeli choreographer, played a key role in the development of both the staging of the musical and its performances.
“In May, the 95-year-old Marvel superhero creator launched the suit against [Pow! Entertainment’s] co-founder Gill Champion and its CEO, Shane Duffy, after it was alleged Lee had been tricked into signing a document giving away rights to use his name and likeness.” In his statement announcing the end of the suit, Lee said, “The whole thing has been confusing to everyone, including myself and the fans.”
“Few musicians have broken free of the questionable tag ‘child prodigy’ as completely as Knussen, who transformed himself from the nervous teenager who conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in his own symphony at the age of 15 to a consummate musician: a composer, conductor and teacher who became one of the most respected figures in contemporary music.”
“On Friday, the Ninth Circuit of the US Appeals Court essentially struck down a California state law that required fine artists to be paid royalties when their work is resold. The three-judge panel said that the law, called the 1977 California Resale Royalties Act (CRRA), is pre-empted by the federal Copyright Act. The decision brings to an end a seven-year legal battle.”
An Iranian teenager had thousands of Instagram followers with videos of herself dancing – without a hijab – to pop music. Last week she was arrested, and on Friday state TV aired her “confession.” In response, many young people are now posting to social media videos of themselves dancing; the hashtag is Persian for “Dancing is not a crime.”
The pessimist in me, however, thinks San Francisco can only continue further down this path, with the old-money propertied class dying or cashing out, the non-techies getting squeezed, and everyone getting pushed into the four-level hierarchy. In case there’s any doubt, I find the growth of this rigid caste system horrifying, and antithetical to both liberal democracy and the American project. It also seems that, at least in San Francisco, we’re close to a point of no return.
With his Malibu-style, boy-next-door looks and stage name dreamed up by Henry Willson — the agent for Rock Hudson as well — the blondish Hunter was a constant presence on the front of fan and teen magazines in his heyday.
Archival research has its moments: Yeats scholar John Kelly “was browsing the catalogue of Princeton University Library, where he had pored over Yeats’s holdings some years earlier, when he spotted a file of 17 letters to the poet’s publisher he had not seen before. He discovered from the librarian it had been stolen in the 1970s, disappearing without trace until it turned up recently, delivered anonymously in a brown package.”
Maybe arts organizations need to grab hold of the “influencer baby” trend on Instagram. (Yes, this does sound eerily like something out of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.) “Influencer marketing has exploded. And more recently, one area has proven to be particularly lucrative: sponsored content that involves kids, or spawn con.”
“Transmitted from the roofs of churches and apartment buildings, unlicensed radio stations offer listeners spiritual sustenance, immigration information, and news from home.”