Tuesday, August 7, 2007

2nd Quadrant 8/13 '07

Week of August 13, 2007

Tom Snyder

The Times reports that Tom Snyder was a pioneer of late-night television. He was best known for the show “Tomorrow.” His success at keeping viewers up past their bedtimes lead the way for the likes of David Letterman. Eventually, the show’s ratings declined, and Mr. Snyder was replaced by Letterman. He was the show’s host for eight years from the 1970s to the 1980s. His last interview was with John Lennon.
Tom Snyder was born May 12, 1936 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and died July 29, 2007 in San Francisco. He was 71.


The Guardian Unlimited reports that Pitmatic, which is the argot or slang used by north-east [England] miners for more than 150 years, has been compiled into its first dictionary - Pitmatic: The Talk of the North East Coalfield. The dictionary was compiled by Bill Griffiths, the country's foremost Geordie scholar through detailed research of archives and interviews. The dictionary includes pit recollections and analysis of the origins of the dialect's words.

Pitmatic’s Wikipedia entry states that the dialect was develop due to specialized terms used by miners. For example, the word “Cuddy” was an abbreviation for the local saint Cuthbert of Lindisfane, but the miners used the word to refer to a pit pony or “a short, thick, [and] strong horse.”

The Book Design Review

The Book Design Review is a [very intriguing] blog dedicated to the best, and sometimes the worst, of book design, book covers, and book jackets.

David Michalek’s “Slow Dancing"

Coolhunting has a post on David Michalek’s “Slow Dancing,” which was an outdoor installation on 40-foot screens that featured 43 dancers. The dancers performed a variety of genres that included ballet, break dancing, and Balinese dance among others. The dancers were asked to prepare three five-second phrases, were shot at 1000 frames per second and, “When played back in real time, the five-second movements equal about eight minutes, allowing the viewer to see every minute detail and move.” The show ran nightly from 9:00 PM - 1:00 AM, and ended on July 29, 2007.

Apple’s profile of Michalek mentions that he learned filmmaking at NYU, had an apprenticeship with fashion legend Herb Ritts, and his pictures have appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Vogue.

The full Times review can be read here, and includes a multimedia slide show.

Below is a link to a Times video of the installation.

In Slow Motion

Michelangelo Antonioni

The Times reports that Michelangelo Antonioni films, “were cornerstones of international filmmaking in the 1960s, inspiring intense measures of admiration, denunciation and confusion…” The confusion may have stemmed from the fact that Mr. Antonioni was a rule breaker who,”… challenged moviegoers with an intense focus on intentionally vague characters and a disdain for conventions like plot, pacing and clarity. He raised questions and never answered them, had his characters act in self-destructive ways and failed to explain why, and sometimes kept the camera rolling after a take in the hope of catching the actors in an unscripted but revealing moment.”

According to Mr. Antonioni’s Wikipedia page, Ingmar Bergman once remarked that he admired some of Antonioni's films for their detached and sometimes dreamlike quality, and considered “Blowup” and “La notte” masterpieces.

Michelangelo Antonioni was born September 29, 1912 in Ferrara, Emilia Romagna, and died July 30, 2007 at his home in Rome. He was 94.

The full Times article includes a multimedia slide show.

Ernst Ingmar Bergman

According to the Times, Ingmar Bergman was considered one of the greatest directors in history, who centered his work on the great themes of, “the relationship between the sexes and the relationship between mankind and God,” which, “…brought a new seriousness to filmmaking in the 1950s.” Woody Allen referred to Mr. Bergman as, “probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera.”

Mr. Bergman’s Wikipedia page states that he directed 62 films, and over 170 plays. In addition, he won the best foreign film Academy Award for “The Virgin Spring.”

Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born on July 14, 1918, in the university town of Uppsala, Sweden, and died July 30, 2007 at his home on the island of Faro, off the Baltic coast of Sweden. He was 89.

The full Times article includes a multimedia slide show.

Osvaldo Golijov’s "Azul"

The Times reports that on last Tuesday night at the Mostly Mozart Festival, 25-year-old cellist Alisa Weilerstein played the solo part in the New York premier of composer-in-residence Osvaldo Golijov’s, “mesmerizing,” Azul for cello and orchestra. The Times review states that,” The piece, true to Mr. Golijov’s aesthetic, unabashedly combines elemental contemporary sonorities, soulful cello outpourings, ritualistic stretches of obsessively repeated riffs and melodic fragments, and South American folk music…”

Osvaldo Golijov recently completed the composition of the soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola's upcoming film "Youth Without Youth," and Alisa Weilerstein is a 2004 graduate of Columbia, who strongly prefers to be called ‘precocious’ instead of a prodigy.

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