Tshering Wangyel wrote, directed and shot at least two films a year – and for years carried a portable screen, projector and generator himself to villages throughout the Himalayan kingdom. His Bollywood-meets-Buddhism style ultimately became more popular with Bhutanese audiences than the Indian movies that had dominated the market.
“Hicklin aims to make bookselling more selective and personal — in other words, everything that Amazon is not — by attaching familiar names to titles and having them explain why those books have shaped them.”
“The idea of a self-repairing, pollutant-neutralising, climate-adapting ‘living’ architecture no longer seems the preserve of fiction.”
“Sometimes, advances are made at the expense of already established forms; other times, the established forms are themselves challenged and reinvigorated by the resulting blowback. At this moment, it’s the shifting sands between fiction and nonfiction that compel attention.”
“[Brian McCarty] was shocked to find an altered version of his photograph Cinderella photoshopped with the terrorist group’s flag. … The [altered] text reads, ‘Even if war destroys everything, the Islamic sign and state is protected and will never fall down.'”
“Whereas filmmakers feel comfortable taking artistic license when adapting novels or the works of most other playwrights, there’s an unwritten rule that Shakespearean dialogue is so precious as to be locked in, that the stories cannot be tampered with in any significant way. Directors update the setting … but more often than not the core storyline and dialogue remain virtually untouched. … One has to wonder if film’s apparent reverence towards Shakespeare is too restrictive, when cinema allows for so much possibility.”
J. Bryan Lowder: “The same music that you’d be chastised for dozing off to during a concert is available for precisely that purpose when you get home. Why does the taboo apply in one place and not the other? … I’m happily using a Cy Twombly piece as my iPhone background right now; should using a Beethoven sonata as nightcap really feel any different?”
What did the guy expect if he didn’t venture beyond the European galleries? He ought to have visited the Byzantine, Ethiopian, and Armenian collections. (He even missed Gauguin’s Ia Orana Maria [Hail Mary].)
With the passing of Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn, The Guardian reviews – verse by verse – the fates of her cohorts.
“What does the rest of the world see as the greatest British novels? In search of a collective critical assessment, BBC Culture contributor Jane Ciabattari polled 82 book critics, from Australia to Zimbabwe – but none from the UK. This list includes no nonfiction, no plays, no narrative or epic poems (no Paradise Lost or Beowulf), no short story collections (no Morte D’Arthur) – novels only, by British authors (which means no James Joyce).”
“The book that fits the title of ‘Great American Novel’ is often debated, with contenders including Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. Yet what elements would make up its equivalent across the Atlantic – the ‘Great British Novel’? This video attempts to answer that question – through the words of a few authors who made the top 25.”
Female novelists wrote six of the top ten titles on the list, including the top three, and make up 40% of the total. The UK certainly has a long tradition of great women authors, from Jane Austen to Hilary Mantel, but previous lists haven’t been quite so equitable. What made the difference here? (Actually, it’s those bloody foreigners.)
“It has long been known that the bluestones that form Stonehenge’s inner horseshoe came from the Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire, around 140 miles from Salisbury Plain. Now archaeologists have discovered a series of recesses in the rocky outcrops of Carn Goedog and Craig Rhos-y-felin, to the north of those hills, that match Stonehenge’s bluestones in size and shape.”
“An influential and entertaining opera critic who amused, informed and infuriated his readers and editors in almost equal measure … He was the editor of Opera magazine from 1986 to 1999, and, at various times, opera critic of Harpers & Queen, The Spectator and The Times; he also contributed regularly to the Building a Library slot on BBC Radio 3, among many other programmes.”
“Some have wondered whether there is a term for this post-binge separation. Allow me to suggest one: We have, to tweak a term from the glum in winter, Unseasonal Affective Disorder: post-binge malaise.”
The work required now to have and develop a career as a writer is a full-time occupation. That is different (and requires different skills) from the art of writing itself. Is this such a bad thing?
“Redesigning the dance major is an example of how Mills can retain a contemporary liberal arts education in a competitive environment that demands continuous innovation,” President Alecia DeCoudreaux said.
This year’s Pulitzer winner, Julia Wolfe’s “Anthracite Fields,” is a predictable nominee for contemporary classical composition, as is the ubiquitous Andrew Norman’s “Play,” yet a possible dark-horse is Gerald Barry’s uproarious setting of “The Importance of Being Earnest.”
“It might take Taylor Swift recording an album with John Luther Adams or (an even greater probability) Caroline Shaw recording with Kanye West for the folks in charge of the Grammy Awards to catch up with the breadth of music that people are now listening to and how they are listening to it. Once that happens, hopefully the various categories in which musical achievement are acknowledged by the Recording Academy won’t feel quite as straitjacketed.”
The Innovation Imperative (But Will It Get Us An Audience?)
Recently, an orchestra manager told me that his orchestra was going to be “the most innovative orchestra in the world.” I asked what he was doing that was so innovative, and he rattled off …read more
AJBlog: diacritical Published 2015-12-07
BID’s Skid: Sotheby’s Poaches Christie’s Marc Porter, While Stock Hits a 52-Week Low
Could Marc Porter be the turnaround artist that Sotheby’s urgently needs? If so, it may not be soon enough: “Because of a non-compete clause,” writes Kelly Crow for the Wall Street Journal, Porter won’t assume … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2015-12-07
Monday Recommendation: Brad Mehldau
Mehldau assembled this five-hour account of his solo piano mastery from tapes of concerts he played from 2004 to 2014. Applying the power of his technique and the … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2015-12-07
The Trumpet: A History. A Demonstration.
Trumpet virtuoso Bobby Shew sent a history of his instrument. The trumpet started as a weapon of war. It later became a signal/alert tool. This led it to become utilized for fanfare announcements. It then … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2015-12-08
“The Westfries Museum in Hoorn, 50km north of Amsterdam, said on Monday it suspected members of the Ukrainian state security service, SBU, the far-right Svoboda (Freedom) party, and ‘art criminals with contacts … at the highest political level’ might also be involved in the attempt to sell the canvases.
“Upon entering the Armory, ticket-holders will be presented with numbered keys, which will lead to individual lockers [for cell phones, watches, etc.] … And for 30 minutes, listeners will be required to wait, in silence and near-darkness. … When the centimeter-by-centimeter approach of the musician and his instrument is complete, listeners will remove their headphones” and listen to the Goldberg Variations.”
“We have ideas, many of them, every day. We have them, but we don’t often reflect on them. Mostly they just come and go. How many ideas did you have today? What was their character? Some you might describe as big or small, simple or complex. Is it possible to gain a better understanding of ideas, their types and value to us? Is it possible to establish a taxonomy of ideas?”
“‘I was very happy when I gradually became a Warhol superstar. I felt like Elizabeth Taylor! Little did I realize that not only would there be no money, but that your star would flicker for two seconds and that was it. … You live in a hovel, walk up five flights, scraping the rent. And then at night you go to Max’s Kansas City where Mick Jagger and Fellini and everyone’s there in the back room. And when you walked in that room, you were a STAR!”
One linguist calls it “‘intellectual used-car-salesman voice.’ You get the same kind of thing in other high-energy sales pitches. I guess the purest form of this style is the carnival barker.”
“Yes, we actually looked at mid-century photographers who were photojournalists. A large part of them happened to be women, people like Ruth Orkin, Esther Bubley, Helen Levitt and then later Vivian Maier. These were photographers who were starting to experiment in color. So that gave me the idea of trying to reference a visualization of, let’s say, early Ektachrome, rather than Kodachrome, rather than color negative. And that’s why the colors have this kind of coolness/warm mixture.”
“One development in the classical-music Grammys during the last several years has been the inclusion of more diverse corners of this vast field. For many, that is a good thing — better than having Georg Solti (still the all-time Grammys champ), Vladimir Horowitz or the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra dominate year after year, as in the past. Yet patterns sometimes persist.”
“Building materials are designed specifically to resist growth, and much research has been done to develop paint treatments and biocides that make sure the concrete and wood and bricks that sheath a building aren’t colonized by living things. But a new group is trying to change all that. Instead of developing surfaces resistant to moss and lichen, the BiotA lab wants to build facades that are ‘bioreceptive.'”
“When the moderator at a conference panel asked Sarandos if he was happy with the fact that a recent survey showed Netflix would have the second-biggest show on cable if its viewers were traditionally measured—right behind Thrones—Sarandos evasively asserted that internal research suggests a Netflix show would actually take that number one slot.”
“‘Dear audience,’ Mr. Harnoncourt wrote in the letter, which was in German. ‘My bodily strength requires me to cancel my future plans.’ He wrote of the ‘unbelievably deep relationship has developed between us on the stage and you in the hall,’ added that ‘we have become a happy community of pioneers,’ and urged audiences to remain faithful to that spirit.”