Director and/or writer of more than 40 films, Akerman is most famous for her 1975 work Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, a three-hour dissection of three days in the life of an ordinary young widow in Brussels – and a film that, many observers argue, changed cinema history.
Female-driven movies make money. In an era when movies are beset by competition from quality television, video games and alternative entertainment, the industry can’t afford to be biased.
“How can performance artists possibly compete in a world where a selfie-taking Canadian can make thousands of dollars after being inadvertently kicked in the head by a Peruvian train driver and posting an 11-second video of the event on his YouTube channel?”
“I love writing and I’m very serious about it, but when it’s over, it’s over. It’s not for the ages. I can’t visualize anybody doing my pieces 50 years from now. I’m just glad if they do them Wednesday.”
“Look around the country this theatre season and you see activity from coast to coast – with intensive new musical development in Toronto, a resurgent Charlottetown Festival flexing its muscle, and the Vancouver scene absolutely exploding with musical-theatre activity.”
With federal funding so key to arts and culture in Canada, it seems odd that this importance is not reflected in an election campaign. It almost makes you pine for 2008 and that nonsensical Stephen Harper quip about galas for rich, whining artists. (Okay, maybe not.)
“Founded in 1892, one year after Carnegie Hall opened and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed its first concert, the series has overcome economic ups and downs and the vicissitudes of public taste to become one of the oldest and most storied classical institutions in the country. But after 123 years, declining ticket sales and a lack of fresh leadership have forced Tuesday Musical to shut down.”
The $168-million complex represents one of the most ambitious showings ever of public support for music in Canada. “This is the largest effort ever to celebrate our music,” says Andrew Mosker, CEO of the NMC. Of the $168-million budget, about $125 million has been raised so far, including $95 million from three levels of government.
it’s not that creative people are simply hopeless at relationships — or at least it’s not only that. “When you read the big headlines about creativity, it’s touted as the golden key to success for businesses, whether it’s small entrepreneurial ventures or the big behemoths. But there’s a cost, and the cost is that because you’re so infatuated by the limitless potential or ideas at the beginning of development . . . you’ve chewed up a lot of brain space.”
“While in 1993, a college-educated person between the ages of 25 and 29 had an 8 percent chance of disliking classical (music), in 2012, a respondent in that same age-education group had a 15 percent chance (of doing so),” the researchers write.
“For many observers, this Catch-22 is the fittingly complex legacy of a woman nicknamed La Mamá Grande for her ferocious protection of her authors — she used to set up some of her most promising authors in Barcelona apartments, paying them salaries so they could write full-time — and her sometimes grandiose, “après moi, le déluge” style. Her agency was as much a cult of personality as an institution.”
“Balanchine is unique unto himself. I think the real heirs to Balanchine are [Alexei] Ratmansky and the upcoming Justin Peck actually. I think these people possess an extraordinary skill set that is far more aligned with Balanchine’s way of organizing. I was trying to work on another thing because I didn’t think Balanchine was very imitable. You can’t imitate Balanchine.”
“The biggest pop star in America today is a man named Karl Martin Sandberg. The lead singer of an obscure ’80s glam-metal band, Sandberg grew up in a remote suburb of Stockholm and is now 44. Sandberg is the George Lucas, the LeBron James, the Serena Williams of American pop. He is responsible for more hits than Phil Spector, Michael Jackson, or the Beatles.”
“Almost a century ago, a fad for sleep-learning swept the industrialised world, ending only after neuroscientists determined it was physiologically impossible. Yet today, a growing body of research suggests they were wrong. Sleep-learning appears to be heading for a revival, on a far more solid scientific basis than its earlier incarnation.”
Mary Lou Williams once said, “I’m the only living musician that was there when each era started.” Richard Brody writes that “she was more than just there – she was one of the key developers of the musical ideas of these eras, and she did more than just remain up-to-date; from era to era, she surpassed herself.”
“In the midst of the film’s expensively produced spectacle, the gradual loss of a will to live – a subjective experience by nature – resists being rendered onscreen. … There’s no villain, no decisive action, and not much argument – just terrible lassitude and growing mental incapacity.”
“Sure, Jack Thompson–like figures are on the wane – it’s increasingly uncommon for broad, radical arguments linking video games to real-world violent behavior to be taken seriously. But there’s still a lot of scaremongering, and it’s not just occurring on hyperventilating cable news. … Its clearly time for more complex theories about how this multi-billion-dollar industry affects those who partake in its wares.” Here are a few ideas.
“Holding homemade signs reading ‘God Hates Renoir’ and ‘Treacle Harms Society,’ the protesters ate cheese pizza purchased by Geller, and chanted: ‘Put some fingers on those hands! Give us work by Paul Gauguin!’ and ‘Other art is worth your while! Renoir paints a steaming pile!'”
“Throughout New York’s history, Times Square has served as a bellwether of … perceptions of the city, both for those who live here and those who don’t.” High glamour in the 1920s, bawdy burlesque in the ’30s, grime grit and vice in the ’70s, cleaned-up and “Disneyfied” through the ’90s and ’00s. And in 2015? Cartoon characters and topless women in body paint hustling endless hordes of tourists for selfies (and tips), and those tourists taking pictures of the selfies they just took, transmitted onto a billboard.
“Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to Jesse Sheidlower, author of The F-Word, about a recent discovery about the history of one our most enduring expletives. (podcast)