“Set against a backdrop of the dreamy mountains of Labëria in southern Albania, Washed by the Moon, British/German filmmaker Dan Shutt’s directorial debut, is a rich journey through the region’s musical history. … We invited the director to compile a mix that encapsulates the ancient Albanian tradition of isopolyphonic singing.”
“My Life With John Steinbeck recalls a troubled marriage that spanned 1943 to 1948, a period in which he would write classics including Cannery Row and The Pearl. During their marriage, Conger Steinbeck described a husband who was emotionally distant and demanding. ‘Like so many writers, he had several lives, and in each he was spoilt, and in each he felt he was king,’ she wrote. ‘From the time John awoke to the time he went to bed, I had to be his slave.'”
“When I got the job as artistic director if you’d told me that the centre I run would have bedrooms, a co-working space for 150 businesses and a family play room, I might not have believed you. But cultural venues are changing. And they need to change more.”
“Since I was a little kid, I was interested in figuring out other people and why they did the things they did. Even when I was doing purely instrumental work, I always thought of the melodies and the form as a kind of interplay between characters. Different forces in the piece, maybe chords, were working with each other or against each other. I was putting human dramas onto this music all the time, even if I was the only one who ever knew it.”
Last year, the conservative mayor’s office, backed by Netanyahu’s controversial national culture minister, Miri Regev, began moving against the Barbur Gallery, which has been operating in a city-owned building for 13 years. The reason? Barbur hasted several events by Breaking the Silence, an organization founded by former Israeli soldiers who oppose the continued occupation of the Palestinian territories. Last week a judge approved an eviction request, even as he acknowledged that the request was blatantly political.
While disabled people are still less likely to engage with the arts than others, 75.7% did so last year, the highest level since records began, and significantly above the average of 71.2% recorded between 2005/06 and 2016/17.
“More people in the United States listen to and enjoy jazz or near-jazz than any other music. Jazz is of tremendous importance for its quantity alone.” That was Marshall Stearns, one of the founders of academic jazz studies, writing in 1956 to argue why his subject was worthy of serious scholarship. As Nate Chinen says in his fascinating and vital new book, Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century, that passage now sounds bizarre, like a report from “a vanished culture.” In fact, the music’s status today is the complete opposite: Most people vaguely recognize jazz’s cultural importance, but no one’s expected to get too excited about it
Two new books argue that Shakespeare wove oblique political critiques of the English establishment into his works, and that we can learn a thing or two from them in our own troubled times.
The most widely tested model, so far, is called Embeddings from Language Models, or ELMo. When it was released by the Allen Institute this spring, ELMo swiftly toppled previous bests on a variety of challenging tasks—like reading comprehension, where an AI answers SAT-style questions about a passage, and sentiment analysis. In a field where progress tends to be incremental, adding ELMo improved results by as much as 25 percent.
Of course, it had to be the adaptation of Ann Patchett’s novel Bel Canto. The movie, which comes out on September 14, “is the rare film that does not use opera to comment ironically on bloodshed, or signal sinister depravity, or provide the sonic equivalent of a heart-shaped box of chocolates in a moment of slightly cloying Valentine’s Day-style romance.”
Tlingit artist Alison Marks made it to answer the male gaze that permeates the contemporary Pacific Northwest market. She said, “Many of the male artists working today are kind and gifted and admirable people, but there are these very detailed anatomical works on the market representing the female form.”
Er, yes, that cancelation seems like a good idea for everyone who’s self-employed and earning less than £6.205 per year.
Petlin “strove to preserve history in a style that was neither realistic nor abstract. Rather than depict brutal events graphically, he reimagined them with subtlety and surrealism.”
Woodson has two books out this week – and both immediately made bestseller lists. Where does the prolific award-winner get her ideas and her lyrical style? The South.
After Crews wrote tweets about being groped by an agent, he thought he’d be the one facing serious, possibly career-ending consequences. “‘The first thing I did when I came home after tweeting those tweets, I told my wife, ‘Hollywood is over. I think we may have to leave.’ That was the reality,’ the actor said. Still, he felt it was his duty to speak out. ‘Hopefully, me coming forward with my story will deter a predator and encourage someone who feels hopeless,’ he wrote at the time.”
When you let the algorithm go in Netflix Roulette, things can get interesting. “No one could have predicted binge-watching, which means that once again reality has outstripped our wildest, grimmest imaginings.”
Williams was dyslexic but instead of getting tested, she was told she was lazy and stupid. She dropped out of school and got addicted to drugs – but when a psychologist gave her the learning disability diagnosis, her life changed. Then, “becoming fascinated by how the written word could convey a story, she went on to publish her first book at 28 and eventually landed a $1 million contract to write a mystery series about a tough female private investigator named Keye Street.”
Said no one ever … except this woman in Spain, who gave Mary eyeliner and a bright pink headscarf, and who said, “I’m not a professional, but I always liked to do it, and the figures really needed to be painted. So I painted them as I could, with the colours that looked good to me, and the neighbours liked it.”
The jazz saxophonist’s creativity is unmatched – and here’s the music to prove it.
And Chloë Sevigny is making that move. But “will we ever allow her to be known first as an actress and second as a downtown personality — the epitome of cool”?
The writers of a letter say that Rencontres d’Arles Photography Festival director Sam Stourdzé has to take real action. This year’s numbers are damning: 12 men and three women, but that’s not all: “Throughout the world female artists who have been trained in the best art schools constitute more than 60% of the graduates. Yet, they receive less support, pay, and rewards, and represent barely 20% of the artists exhibited in France.”
Reicha, a theorist and composer who taught at the Paris Conservatory – and influenced Berlioz, Liszt, Franck, Gounod – was a quirky, unconventional thinker whose theories presaged Ives and Bartok. “Reicha was driven by a desire to bring the same structure and logic to music education that he saw in other sciences.”
Women superheroes, that is, with their heavily styled, beautifully flowing tresses (Thor has long hair too – but he pulls it back when he fights). “Something happens when women become superheroes in earnest, as though it’s impossible to deify them without the hallmark of traditional femininity, the comic equivalent of Breck Girls.”
Rolly Crump has a reputation as one of the park’s consistent critics – but for good reason. For deacades, the designer “has offered blunt assessments of Disney designs as well as his former peers — a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is artist who is offended at the suggestion that others would be offended by his critiques. At the same time, Crump is fiercely possessive of Disneyland’s ideals and believes strongly in the theme park as a place of living art.” (Don’t miss the detail about the poster he had on his Disney door that said “Smoke marijuana.”)
Here’s the thing, haters: “Far more than a frothy break in the action, de Mille’s original choreography revolutionized musical theater. She had stage and film in her blood: Her father was a playwright, and Cecil B. de Mille was her uncle. That made her a natural to create dances for Oklahoma!, but de Mille did more than build on the western theme: Her ballet for the dream sequence advanced the narrative in ways singing and talking couldn’t.”
Waterstones is buying the 115 year-old family-owned chain Foyles, saying the deal will help to “champion” real bookshops in the face of online rivals.
“We’re telling the best stories that we can possibly tell — the most dynamic, the best writing — period. The fact is: Voices that have been too often marginalized in our theater have some of the most exciting stories to tell. So if we’re going to tell the best stories, we darn well better have a mix of storytellers and stories that reflect gender diversity and many, many other expressions of identity.”