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A Brief History Of Religion On The Stage

April 23, 2015 - 4:09am

“Religious drama is one of the oldest forms of British theatre, with the incorporation of performance into worship recorded from the time when Christianity was only 500 or so years old.” Mark Lawson gives an overview of the 15 centuries since then, from medieval mystery plays through Murder in the Cathedral and Jesus Christ Superstar right up to The Testament of Mary.

Lars Von Trier: ‘I’ve Started Drinking Again, So I Can Work’ (Uh-Oh)

April 23, 2015 - 4:07am

The all-too-irrepressible filmmaker, in one of the few interviews he’s given since his unfortunate Nazi joke got him banned from Cannes in 2011, talks about anxiety, AA, rebellion, Dogme, and why he puts so much sex in his movies (He comes from a nudist family).

All Missoula Is Worrying About The New Book, “Missoula”

April 23, 2015 - 4:05am

“The local prosecutor wrote an urgent letter to its publishers trying to delay its release. Book sellers are taking orders for copies that wait in sealed boxes, ready to be opened on Tuesday. Some people are dreading its revelations about rape in their football-loving college town. Others are glad: Tell the story, they say, the louder the better.”

Historian And Author Frederic Morton Dead At 90

April 23, 2015 - 4:04am

“An Austrian-born Holocaust refugee who became a highly regarded chronicler of his abandoned homeland, capturing in works of history and fiction the Viennese society at the fin de siècle and on the eve of two world wars,” Morton was best known for A Nervous Splendor: Vienna, 1888-1889 and Thunder at Twilight: Vienna, 1913-1914, as well as a history of the world’s most famous banking family The Rothschilds.

Gregory Pardlo’s Long Rise To Sudden Fame And The Pulitzer For Poetry

April 23, 2015 - 4:02am

“Mr. Pardlo’s path to poetry was tortuous and unconventional, punctuated by long breaks and odd jobs. He struggled with alcoholism, which runs in his family. ‘My family’s a hot mess,’ he said.”

How Did San Francisco’s Fine Arts Museums Lose Their Director After Just Two Years? And What Do They Do Now?

April 23, 2015 - 3:58am

“The departure of Colin Bailey, director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco since June 2013, to become director of the Morgan Library and Museum in Manhattan. throws FAMSF back into a quandary, if not a crisis, of leadership. … Most museum directors who change jobs in less than two years’ time leave under a cloud of dissension or discontent, but Bailey told The Chronicle by phone that he had not been looking for a job elsewhere.”

Prada Foundation Opens Contemporary Art Museum in Milan

April 23, 2015 - 3:57am

“For more than 20 years, the Prada Foundation has been staging contemporary art exhibitions in abandoned warehouses and disused churches” in Milan. “Recently, however, the Prada Foundation has set its sights on establishing permanent homes to present exhibitions and to show its vast holdings of art, mostly works from the 1950s to the present.”

A French Philosopher Who Has Happiness (!) Figured Out

April 23, 2015 - 3:56am

Frédéric Lenoir: “It’s difficult to get what you want. Even if we desire something, most of the time we don’t take the right steps to get it – that’s the problem with pleasure. We want to be happy, but we prefer pleasure. But pleasure and happiness are quite different.”

We’ve Got Another Faked-Memoir Scandal To Feast On

April 23, 2015 - 3:55am

“The ‘memoir’ of a British war correspondent who purportedly committed rape, murder and other crimes before dying last year was initially written several years ago as a novel, it has emerged. Author Colin Carroll had described the novel in an interview more than five years ago with a local newspaper in Cork.”

From Augustine To Oprah: Why We Get Confessional In Public (And Why People Listen)

April 23, 2015 - 3:51am

“For while the instinct to confess is not always hard to understand – whether or not the confessor means to justify or condemn himself – the instinct to hear a confession is another thing entirely.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates Unpacks the Way Comics Have Conquered the World

April 23, 2015 - 3:49am

“Seventy-seven years after Superman first leapt into the American imagination, superhero stories have never been more popular (or lucrative). Comics have become a breeding ground for multibillion-dollar movie and TV franchises … But why are superheroes resonating so strongly? And are they worthy of the attention? These questions are important enough to compel Ta-Nehisi Coates to take a timeout from kicking off national conversations about race and politics, don his fanboy cape, and go in search of the answers.”

Surely You Can’t Be Serious: An Oral History Of “Airplane!”

April 23, 2015 - 3:48am

“Yes, we’re serious. And don’t call us Shirley.” The three writer-directors and several cast members give their memories of life on the set.

The Iffy Legacy Of Latin America’s Weirdest, Most Embarrassing, Longest-Running TV Megahit

April 23, 2015 - 3:47am

Sábado Gigante, which has been parodied by such esteemed American outlets as Saturday Night Live and The Colbert Report, is a combination of Maury, The Price Is Right, and American Idol – except a Mexican luchador with a trumpet decides whether the contestant gets fed to a lion, and Don Francisco, the show’s charismatic host, wears a lot of bizarre hats.”

How Glenn Gould Helped Apple Design Its Products

April 22, 2015 - 3:06pm

“The conversations we have are conversations about the human qualities that Gould has that are important for doing something that’s really extraordinary — in the way that his musical performance was extraordinary.”

Did This Man Kill The CD Recording Business?

April 22, 2015 - 2:30pm

“With his access to music – during this period Universal was cornering the market in hip-hop, which was becoming the most popular music in the world – Glover was able to get albums to RNS weeks ahead of their release. Over its 11-year span, RNS was responsible for leaking more than 20,000 albums.”

Big New Major Awards For Humanities Scholars

April 22, 2015 - 2:17pm

“The Carnegie Corporation of New York, which announces its first class of 32 fellows on Wednesday, will provide grants of up to $200,000 to each recipient. The award, to be given annually, supports a year or two of full-time research and writing leading to the publication of a book or study.”

Enormous Challenges Face New York Philharmonic

April 22, 2015 - 1:58pm

“Each item on its agenda would pose significant challenges on its own. But the orchestra must do them all nearly simultaneously, adding layers of counterpoint-like complexity to the tasks at hand.”

How Artificial Intelligence Is Going To “Read” Your Emotions To Give You What You Want

April 22, 2015 - 1:31pm

“The software will read your emotional reactions to the show in real time. Should your mouth turn down a second too long or your eyes squeeze shut in fright, the plot will speed along. But if they grow large and hold your interest, the program will draw out the suspense.”

How The New Whitney Could Be The Next Great Contemporary Art Museum

April 22, 2015 - 12:19pm

The museum used to be a storehouse for the art of the past, the display of supposed masterpieces, the insightful exploration of the present in the context of the long or compressed histories that preceded it. Now — especially as embodied by the Tate Modern, Guggenheim Bilbao, and our beloved MoMA — the museum is a revved-up showcase of the new, the now, the next, an always-activated market of events and experiences, many of which lack any reason to exist other than to occupy the museum industry — an industry that critic Matthew Collings has called “bloated and foolish, corporatist, ghastly and death-ridden.”