Jean Nouvel's MoMA Tower
A new 75-story tower designed by the architect Jean Nouvel for a site next to the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown promises to be the most exhilarating addition to the skyline in a generation. Its faceted exterior, tapering to a series of crystalline peaks, suggests an atavistic preoccupation with celestial heights. It brings to mind John Ruskin’s praise for the irrationality of Gothic architecture: “It not only dared, but delighted in, the infringement of every servile principle.”
Commissioned by Hines, an international real estate developer, the tower will house a hotel, luxury apartments and three floors that will be used by MoMA to expand its exhibition space. The melding of cultural and commercial worlds offers further proof, if any were needed, that Mr. Nouvel is a master at balancing conflicting urban forces. (NY Times)
Born in Fumel, Lot-et-Garonne, he was educated at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was a founding member of Mars 1976 and Syndicat de l'Architecture. In 2005, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art hosted a major retrospective of his works.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's daughter Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt was named after him, as Pitt is a fan of his work. (Wikipedia)
"Hearts of Darkness" DVD
"Hearts of Darkness" is an engrossing, unwavering look back at Francis Coppola's chaotic, catastrophe-plagued Vietnam production, Apocalypse Now. Filled with juicy gossip and a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at the stressful world of moviemaking, the documentary mixes on-location home movies shot in the Philippines by Eleanor Coppola, the director's wife, with revealing interviews with the cast and crew, shot 10 years later. ... the film chronicles Coppola's eventual decent into obsessive psychosis as everything that could go wrong does go wrong. Storms destroy sets, money evaporates, the Philippine government continually harasses the director, Coppola has romantic affairs, and he can't write the story's ending. Everything is captured on film. In the most disturbing scene, we watch Martin Sheen have a drunken nervous breakdown while his director goads him on (he eventually suffered a heart attack, but finished the film).
Other incredible footage is not visual, but aural as the film includes tapes Eleanor Coppola recorded without Francis's knowledge. In them, he truly sounds like a madman as he confesses his fears about making a bomb of a movie. But while Hearts of Darkness is an amazing, voyeuristic experience, its importance lies in the personal reflections offered by those involved. Sheen, Coppola, and Dennis Hopper speak frankly without embarrassment, offering us an essential piece of film history. (Dave McCoy\Amazon)
142nd Safest City
142nd Safest City
While New York remains one of the country's safest big cities, Detroit has earned the ominous distinction of being the nation's most dangerous. New York City ranked 142nd out of 378 cities with a population of at least 75,000. (NY1)
Queen guitarist Brian May has been appointed chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University in Britain, they announced Monday.
May, whose bands hits include "Bohemian Rhapsody", will start the job as honorary head of the university in February, when he takes over from Cherie Blair, wife of former British premier Tony Blair.
"Yes, I will be celebrating tonight. How? With a delicious vegetarian roast and a glass of choice dessert wine!" May said in a statement released through the university.
May was awarded his doctorate in astrophysics in August. He started the PhD in 1974 but ditched it when Queen's fortunes took off before returning to his studies last year.
His duties will include presiding over graduation ceremonies and representing the university on special occasions. (AFP)
Book Description: A vivid portrait of what it means to be a teenage girl in America today, from 58 of the country's finest, most credentialed writers on the subject
This generation's unprecedented comfort level with the written word [text and instant messages, blogs and social network pages] has led to a fearless new American literature. These collected essays, at last, offer a key to understanding the inscrutable teenage girl-one of the most mislabeled and underestimated members of society, argues editor and writer Amy Goldwasser, whose work has appeared in Seventeen, Vogue, The New York Times, and The New Yorker.
In this eye-opening collection, nearly sixty teenage girls from across the country speak out, writing about everything from post-Katrina New Orleans to Johnny Depp; from learning to rock climb to starting a rock band; from the loneliness of losing a best friend to the loathing or pride they feel about their bodies. Ranging in age from 13 to 19, and hailing from Park Avenue to rural Nevada, Georgia to Hawaii, the girls in RED-whose essays were selected from more than 800 contributions-represent a diverse spectrum of socioeconomic, political, racial, and religious backgrounds, creating a rich portrait of life as a teen girl in America today. (Amazon)