Tuesday, November 13, 2007

2nd\NE Quadrant 11/19 '07

The Approval Matrix: Week of November 19, 2007

NPR's "Project Song"

Father Scott posted on Pax Arcana, "For Project Song, a video podcast, NPR provides the studio and inspiration for a songwriter to write and record a song in two days. In its first edition, Project Song featured the unfortunately-spelled Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields acclaim."

And Flatlander related on the blog False 45th, "Regarding lyrics, he [Stephin Merritt] likes to write at a bar with lots of noise. So, NPR built a bar in the studio for Merritt. Regarding music, Merritt once read an interview with ABBA where they claimed they never write their music down because they believe that if they can't remember the music then the fan won't be able to either. So, Merritt follows that philosophy.

"Diva" @ Film Forum

(1982) Just one lousy misstep, and reedy postman Frédéric Andréi is on the run all across Paris— including a hair-raising car-and-moped chase through the Métro— hotly pursued by a drug dealer/white slaver/cop honcho’s hit team (including blond, sun-glassed Dominique Pinon, wielding the world’s most vicious awl); ruthless Taiwanese music pirates; and the obviously outmanned flics themselves: all because he pirated a recording of the woman of his dreams, the NEVER-recorded opera super-star Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez, as she wraps up a recital with an aria from obscure 19th composer Alfredo Catalani’s La Wally … and, well, maybe also, because of the incriminating tape a hooker on the run from the aforementioned hit squad slipped into his mail pouch…

Longtime assistant director Beineix’s debut was an international arthouse sensation, playing for over a year in some cinemas, nabbing four French Césars (including Best Film and Philippe Rousselot’s cinematography), and singlehandledly launching the cinéma du look, an explosion of visually stunning, punk-inspired, super-cool French movies in the early 80s. (Film Forum)

"Diva" Trailer

Stoppard's "Rock 'n' Roll"

Bob Burnett wrote in his review of the play on the Huffinton Post,"Like most Tom Stoppard plays, Rock 'n' Roll operates on multiple levels. The narrative tracks Czechoslovakian political history over a twenty-two year period: from the Russian occupation in 1968 to the withdrawal of Soviet troops and the election of Vaclav Havel."

"The play's primary concern is the relationship between art and politics. Stoppard ponders whether it's possible to have a free society without complete freedom of expression; however bizarre or banal that expression may be. The aesthetic that Stoppard focuses on is rock 'n' roll; a musical idiom that, since its origin in the fifties, many critics have dismissed as not being an art form. That's been described as a semi-toxic byproduct of market-driven popular culture."

"Stoppard believes rock 'n' roll is art. He brackets his story by referencing two rock icons: the late Sid Barrett, the disturbed genius who started Pink Floyd; and The Rolling Stones, who appeared in Prague in 1990."

"I have never left a new play more convinced that I just witnessed a masterpiece." Daily Telegraph [ARCADIA]

Obama on "SNL"

"A Life of Picasso Volume III:
The Triumphant Years 1917-1932"

Waldemar Januszczak wrote in his review of the book in The Sunday Times, "... volume one took Picasso’s life up to 1906 when he was barely 25, and had not yet invented cubism. Volume two kept up the inspired work, and took us through cubism to the first world war. The present volume picks up from there."

"The volume ends with the incipient arrival of Maar, the dark mistress of whom Richardson himself seems naturally fondest, and whom he also knew. Great things lie ahead, therefore. As for this volume, it is no match for the first in excitement or raw perspicacity, but the latest instalment of the finest artistic biography ever written keeps up most of the good work."
Hilary Spurling says in the Guardian Unlimited, "The third volume of John Richardson's landmark biography of Picasso shows how the artist's misogyny caused huge pain - and fuelled some of his finest work."

NATURE's "In the Valley of the Wolves."

In 1995, the first gray wolves were transported from Alberta, Canada to Yellowstone National Park, to repopulate the sprawling landscape with the species, absent for more than 70 years. The following year, a second wave of wolves was brought to the park from British Columbia, Canada; five of them were released together, and they were named the Druid Peak pack. Since the arrival of those first immigrants, wolves have thrived in Yellowstone -- and none more dramatically than the Druids.

The epic history of the Druids, one of more than a dozen packs now occupying the 2.2 million acres of Yellowstone, is documented in NATURE's "In the Valley of the Wolves." "In the Valley of the Wolves" was produced and shot in High Definition by Emmy-award winning filmmaker Bob Landis. (PBS)

NATURE | In the Valley of the Wolves | Web Exclusive | PBS

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