This is in France, where a little town overlooking Lake Geneva installed a statue of the Blessed Virgin in a public park in 2011, and a court has now ordered the figure’s removal. (Maybe this is a job for the Satanic Temple?)
The director says you have to ease people into it. “I thought of it like the frog boiling slowly in water. Maybe people wouldn’t realize they’ve been suckered into a musical until it was too late.”
These folks don’t think they beat Brokeback Mountain because of Academy voters’ homophobia (or at least skittishness). But they made the movie, so they would say that, wouldn’t they? Even so, they have quite a story to tell.
Clint Smith: “My classroom was filled with almost exclusively black and brown students, many of them undocumented immigrants. While Ellison wrote of invisibility as a black man caught in the discord of early-twentieth-century racism, this particular group of students read the idea of invisibility not as a metaphor but as a necessity, a way of insuring one’s protection.”
“When musicians play instruments, their brains are processing a huge amount and variety of information in parallel. Musical styles and strengths vary dramatically: Some musicians are better at sight reading music, while others are better at playing by ear. Does this mean that their brains are processing information differently?”
It’s Mark Stryker, longtime arts writer for the Detroit Free Press. “Some of you will be surprised – maybe shocked – to learn that after 21 years as an arts reporter and critic at the Detroit Free Press, I am leaving the paper. Frankly, I’m kind of shocked to have just typed those words myself. I’m taking advantage of the voluntarily severance package that was offered to all newsroom employees. My last day is (gulp) Dec. 16.”
“After weeks went by and no money changed hands, [Father] Zerafa got a parcel in the post containing a slice of the Caravaggio canvas. They intended to slice off strips until they were paid or the painting was destroyed.”
Tamara Best: “I barely listen to classical music, so how did a live string quartet end up in my apartment on a Saturday night?” (The answer: Groupmuse.)
The musicians’ three-month work stoppage will be over if they ratify the proposed new contract on Wednesday. So what’s in the new deal? Well …
“Student training ensembles are de rigueur among American orchestras, but the Detroit Community Orchestra extends the idea to adults. Several other major orchestras have started musical training programs for avocational musicians, but the DSO model of an ongoing chamber orchestra appears unique. The musicians rehearse weekly at the Max, conducted by two former high school music directors who work in the DSO’s community and learning department. DSO musicians also work on occasion with the new ensemble as coaches.”
“I would argue that the key to diversity should be addressed at the very top: commercial theatre. It has a responsibility to showcase BAME performers in leading roles in order to show the merits of, and then to offer, diverse casting in mainstream productions.”
No, not the “unlikeable” ones like Cersei Lannister on “Game of Thrones,” whose walk of shame partially redeems her, but the ones on dark comedies like “Fleabag” and “Transparent,” wherein the characters offer “a way of challenging audiences to confront their own biases against historically less sanctioned forms of female behavior.”
Riz Ahmed, one of the stars of “Rogue One,” says he’s reached a level he didn’t even consider. “The action figure is like an extra level you didn’t know was there.” But he still gets searched every time he flies – the last time he was searched twice, only to get on the plane and find his face on the cover of the in-flight magazine.
In Turkey since the failed coup, thousands of academics, teachers and journalists have been jailed, and pro-Kurdish books have been pulped. But “only three authors are behind bars, none of them for their books.”
“In the epic, 16-year battle over a priceless painting looted by the Nazis, there is one point on which all sides agree: When Lilly Cassirer and her husband fled Germany ahead of the Holocaust, they surrendered their Camille Pissarro masterpiece in exchange for their lives.”
Khandwani was a trailblazer who founded the Toronto-based Kalanidhi Festival for South Asian contemporary dance. “She was rabid about people coming to new things, for them to broaden the horizons of their artistry. She was a pioneer, a city builder, a cultural catalyst.”
The results show that the battle might be between “La-La Land” (which won the New York Film Critics Circle award) and “Moonlight,” though “Manchester By the Sea” was a runner up in many categories as well.
Yeah, no, not really. “Everyone knows about the big cases: the conviction and exile of Roman Polanski, the (denied and unproven) accusation of Woody Allen. But there is also a vast unacknowledged history of normalised abuse – virtually every female star and many male stars have endured a casting-couch assault, although the MO has of course been offscreen.”
Thomas Ostermeier has returned again and again to plays that strip the nationalist far right of its masks and pretenses, and he and his theatre have been sued and threatened for it. Why does he do it? “Because, he says, he’s ‘interested in truth.'”
The project was ambitious, with $100 million in start-up costs, and the producers had to shut down production to revamp, revise and rewrite, so everyone in the industry thought it would tank. But it seems likely that “Westworld will surpass True Detective’s season-one audience and end up with the biggest viewership of any HBO first-year series ever.”
This Week: The next wave of arts journalism layoffs begins… Lots of debate about the role of artists in the Trump era… Prominent Canadian artists petition the government to “fix” support for creativity… It’s getting harder to define what “home” is… Is “mindfulness” overrated?
This Week: A relation between common experiences and ticket prices?… Some clues about why arts audiences in Canada have declined over 20 years… Netflix taxes reflect changing culture… Does culture have to have social or political relevance?
Howard Sherman tracks down the actor playing “Mike Hot-Pence” – and raising money for Planned Parenthood – in Times Square: “I decided to have some fun with it and dress as ‘Sexy Mike Pence.’ Once I decided on jacket and tie for the top half and short shorts for the bottom half, the ‘Hot-Pence’ moniker popped into my head.”