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If Artworks Could Watch Us Watching Them

January 20, 2015 - 3:40am

“As museumgoers, we’re used to looking at art, but a new project from filmmaker and artist Masashi Kawamura inverses the traditional relationship of viewer to artwork. For his blog What They See, Kawamura has taken photographs from the perspectives of famous artworks, inviting us into their visual fields. We see what they would see – if they could see.”

The People Who Say Michel Houellebecq’s New Novel Is Islamophobic Are Wrong: It’s *Francophobic*

January 20, 2015 - 3:39am

Adam Gopnik: “Houellebecq is, simply, a satirist. He likes to take what’s happening now and imagine what would happen if it kept on happening. … The principal target of the satire [in Submission] is not French Islam – which is really a bystander that gets, at most, winged – but the spinelessness of the French intellectual class”

French Mayor Bans Oscar-Nominated Anti-Jihadist Muslim Film

January 20, 2015 - 3:36am

“While Charlie Hebdo returned to Parisian newsstands with a defiant image of a contrite Mohammad emblazoned on its cover, Timbuktu, a much-praised, Oscar-nominated movie by the internationally known Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako, was unceremoniously yanked out of a theater in the Paris suburb Villiers-sur-Marne.”

It’s Frightening How Easy It Is To Make People Falsely Remember Committing A Crime

January 20, 2015 - 3:32am

“By the end of the third interview, after a bunch of carefully crafted nudging to do their best to remember, a full 70 percent of the students [in the study] said, ‘Yep, I committed that crime when I was younger,’ and they ‘volunteered … detailed false account[s]’ of those crimes.”

Kierkegaard Gets Right To The Heart Of Boredom

January 20, 2015 - 3:31am

In a section of his 1843 masterwork Either/Or: A Fragment of Life, … the Danish philosopher defines boredom as a sense of emptiness and examines it not as an absence of stimulation but as an absence of meaning – an idea that also explains why it’s possible, today more than ever, to be overstimulated but existentially bored.”

How To Care For Your Feet When You Torture Them By Dancing En Pointe

January 20, 2015 - 3:20am

Advice from a ballet master at Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

Florida Grand Opera’s Ft. Lauderdale Season May Be Saved

January 20, 2015 - 3:07am

Two weeks ago the company announced that, due to a sharp drop in support there in recent years, it was no longer viable to travel from Miami to perform at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Now an anonymous donor’s matching grant may make the difference.

Wallace Shawn Says He’s A “D-List Actor Who Does Animal Voices For A Living”

January 20, 2015 - 3:06am

“Being an actor is a strange thing that came up in my life, and I’ve had great good luck with it … I take myself much more seriously as a writer, but I understand why people might not like my writing. I mean I really understand why it’s not as popular as the writing of some other people. … I actually don’t understand why I haven’t been taken more seriously as an actor, in the sense of being given better parts.”

Trying To Give Everyone A Good View Has Made Theaters More Exclusive, Not Less

January 20, 2015 - 3:03am

Prewar theaters “had a greater capacity at the lower price levels than at the higher, a contrast to today, where there are very few cheap seats and they are all at the very back or the very front. … Seat prices have been levelled up rather than down on the grounds that all enjoy an uninterrupted view of the actor.”

Making A Rainbow Out Of One Of Brooklyn’s Ugliest Pieces Of Infrastructure

January 20, 2015 - 3:01am

“Most days the underside of the Smith-9th Street subway bridge over the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn is a tangle of ungainly gray beams, but this week it has been aglow in bold colors every night.”

Why Is The U.S. So Confident It Was North Korea That Hacked Sony? Because The U.S. Had Already Hacked North Korea

January 19, 2015 - 3:30pm

“For about a decade, the United States has implanted ‘beacons,’ which can map a computer network, along with surveillance software and occasionally even destructive malware in the computer systems of foreign adversaries.”

Choose The Books You Want To Read Carefully, For You Have A Limited Time On This Planet

January 19, 2015 - 3:00pm

“Life is too short for Martin Amis. Life is too short for Ayn Rand. Life is too short for 1,000-plus pages of Infinite Jest and life is too short to give Philip Roth another chance.”

Wait, Someone’s Launching A New Radio Show All About The Nitty-Gritty Details Of Jazz?

January 19, 2015 - 2:30pm

Yep: “What instantly sets ‘MusicHeads’ apart from other jazz shows is the format: Barber converses with fellow musicians before asking them to perform musical examples solo and alongside her. In effect, we in the radio audience are eavesdropping on a dialogue among peers.”

The Polish Author And Filmmaker Who Illuminated The 20th Century Journey Of Disillusionment

January 19, 2015 - 2:00pm

“Often experimental in structure, mixing diary entries with intensely lyrical passages, [Tadeusz] Konwicki’s work was not always political, though his anti-Soviet novels, published underground, are among his most esteemed works.”

24 Pieces Of Life Advice From Werner Herzog

January 19, 2015 - 1:15pm

“Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.”

Theatre Companies In Southern California To Release A Plan To Bring Diversity To The Stage

January 19, 2015 - 11:40am

“Tim Dang, producing artistic director of East West Players, has written an initiative that calls for at least 51% of those employed by Southern California theater companies by 2019 to be people of color, women or those younger than 35.”

Amazon Is Making TV, Of Course – And Now It’s Going To Make Movies, Too

January 19, 2015 - 11:00am

“‘Whereas it typically takes 39 to 52 weeks for theatrical movies to premiere on subscription video services, Amazon Original Movies will premiere on Prime Instant Video in the U.S. just 4 to 8 weeks after their theatrical debut,’ the company said in a press release.”

As An Orchestra Turns More Professional In Tennessee, A Patron Laments The Loss Of Local Talent

January 19, 2015 - 10:45am

After a patron writes a letter (which you can read here) calling West Tennessee’s Jackson Symphony “random good musicians hired from all over” and lamenting a lack of local music teachers on stage at the concerts, the Symphony responds with a letter that involves donors, standards, and football.

Do Britain’s Film Awards Not Care About The Great Mike Leigh Because He Spurns Them?

January 19, 2015 - 10:30am

“Bafta does not have a dazzling modern-day record in the field of independent voting. The shifting of its awards ceremony in 2001 to pre-empt the Oscars has done nothing to diminish the impression that it will always be a feeble facsimile of its US counterpart. The difference now is that, rather than mimicking the Oscar nominations, the Baftas mostly second-guess them.”