Jamie Foxx Is The Voice Of Pixar’s First Black-Led Film

But Pixar did a lot more, Foxx says, than just hire a Black man to be the lead character. “The filmmakers enlisted a host of A-list cultural, music and faith consultants — including Ryan Coogler, Kenya Barris, Quincy Jones and Yo-Yo Ma — to lend their expertise and perspective to the film’s story, in addition to the artisans who worked on the film directly, like Jon Batiste (who composed original music for the film) or Daveed Diggs and Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson (who voiced characters Paul and ...
Tags: Art, Media, Jamie Foxx, Pixar, PAUL, Foxx, Yo Yo Ma, Jon Batiste, Daveed Diggs, Curley, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, 12.25.20, Voice Of Pixar, Ryan Coogler Kenya Barris Quincy Jones

Inventing The Solo Waltz

No, we can’t all have random dance partners this year, so let’s go with a throwback to 1908. “The waltz may have a reputation as the ultimate social dance for partners — the way it is traditionally performed at the balls — but there is another interpretation, one that resonates in this pandemic year of physical distancing. More than a century ago, the Viennese dancer Grete Wiesenthal transformed the waltz into a powerful form of solo movement.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, 12.24.20, Grete Wiesenthal

Hues of our own: How we perceive color

Each of us lives in our own multi-colored universe. And there's scientific proof of it.I'm basking inside the sun. It's hot and stuffy – and that's putting it lightly. Everything around me is bathed in a storm of UV- and X-rays, masses of plasma roll all around, white-hot from nuclear fusion. The temperature is two million degrees Celsius, but the gas is almost a proper gas by now, its density has dropped to bearable fractions of a kilo per millilitre – not like deeper inside, on the edge of the...
Tags: Art, Neuroscience, Earth, Brain, Innovation, Senses, Sight, Human body, Jacek Malczewski, Low Beskids, Żydowskie, Magura National Park, Zosia Krasodomska JonesReprinted

The Generosity Of A Playwright Who Earned Some Unexpected Money

This isn’t exactly a normal year for any playwright, and indeed, Jeremy O. Harris of the multiple-Tony-nominated Slave Play has earned little from his plays. But fashion collaborations and HBO came through – and Harris is coming through for others in return, including numerous “microgrants” to 152 U.S.-based playwrights. “In dire times, he believes, everyone should be committed to ‘protecting, uplifting and sharing,’ adding: ‘Some might call it philanthropy, but I call it upkeep or maintenance....
Tags: Art, Hbo, Theatre, HARRIS, Tony, Jeremy O Harris, 12.23.20

Just Because A Book Is ‘Literary’ Doesn’t Mean It Needs To Be Dull

Kiley Reid, the author of Such a Fun Age, published a year ago to strong sales and a spot on the Booker longlist, is helping change publishing’s mind, she believes. Talking to another writer, she found out that “she was saying that she’s used my novel to point out to editors that if this person is doing humour that is literary fiction, why can’t I do it too? The premise that literary fiction has to be a drag – it’s just so silly.” – The Observer (UK)
Tags: Art, Words, Kiley Reid, 12.27.20

What Was The Best Movie Of 2020?

Let the Slate Movie Club kickstart that conversation (and perhaps explain where to find all of these so-called best movies of a year when we mostly couldn’t go to the cinema). Start here, and work forward, for discussion of everything from First Cow to Beanpole to Bacarau and so many more. – Slate
Tags: Art, Media, Bacarau, 12.26.20, Slate Movie Club

How Realistic Is Netflix’s Ballet Drama Series?

Tiny Pretty Things is about as realistic as you might expect on every level … except dance. The show “may have outrageous levels of drama, mystery and murder, but the ballet is undoubtedly the best part of the show. That’s likely because nearly every actor playing a ballerina in the show is a trained dancer in real life. Those dancers’ influences are what make the portrayal of ballet so realistic in the show.” – CBR
Tags: Art, Dance, Netflix

Please Keep Your Hands, Feet, And Breath Inside The Car While At The Museum

That’s 2020 for you, and it’s also a clever way to deal with distancing. In Mexico City, “Objects In the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear (Los objetos en el espejo están más cerca de lo que parece, in Spanish) … brings together over 30 works by more than 20 contemporary artists, from sculpture to video works and LED installations, across three floors of a commercial parking garage in the city’s Polanco neighborhood.” – Hyperallergic
Tags: Art, Mexico, Visual, Polanco, 12.23.20

The Weird Case Of The Hallmark Channel’s Jewish Christmas Movies

There’s the 23andMe email telling a Christmas-obsessed woman that she’s 50 percent Jewish; there’s the central character who is an outsider to Judaism; there is the “We’re just like you!” theme, and then there are the many, many, many, many, MANY Hanukkah decorations. “The trend is an assimilationist project which tests the meaning of the increasingly buzzword-y, amorphous concepts of ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion.’ Do Jews really want or need to see themselves in Christmas Movie World?” – HuffPos...
Tags: Art, Media, Judaism, 12.24.20

Look, Buildings Of Any Tradition Can Be Beautiful

Seriously. We’re having this discussion because the U.S. president is determined to damage as much as possible before he’s forced to leave, but: “America has beautiful and popular non-traditional structures – the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles – and it has crude and soulless classical buildings.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, New York, Washington, America, Los Angeles, Visual, Guggenheim Museum, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 12.27.20

Will Publishers Continue To Benefit From The Trump Bump?

More than a thousand books have been published about the 45th president during his ruinous four years in office. Now, “publishers are racing to acquire news-breaking works about his final days in office, as well as comprehensive historical accounts of the Trump era, sober expositions examining how he has changed the Republican Party and the country, and gossipy insider accounts of what really went on in the White House.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, White House, Words, Republican Party, Trump, Trump Bump, 12.24.20

The Look Of The Sounds Of Jazz

When animators were trying to illustrate the sounds of the new Pixar film Soul, they needed some non-traditional ideas, like … watch a jazz pianist play. “Along with video, they were able to digitally save the notes that were being played. That digital stream could be reverse-programmed into the animation in a way that worked almost like a player piano signaling to the animators which key was being played with each note. So when you see Joe at the piano, he’s playing exactly the notes you’re he...
Tags: Art, Music, Pixar, Joe, 12.25.20

What Drives Some Writers To Drink?

Hmmm. “Nothing slows the flywheel, nothing treats the node of unease on the ribs, like a drink—you don’t have to be an alcoholic to know that. And for writers, there might even be a fragile biochemical moment when the drinking helps.” – The Atlantic
Tags: Art, Words

Some British Viewers Did Not Appreciate A Beloved White Character’s Appreciation Of Black Lives Matter

In her Christmas Day sermon, the Vicar of Dibley – on the long-running, eponymous show – took a knee and discussed racism. The character “is shown being filmed by parishioner and farmer Owen Newitt as she tells the audience she has been preoccupied with the ‘horror show’ of the death of George Floyd, who died while in US police custody.” – BBC
Tags: Art, Media, US, Dibley, George Floyd, 12.24.20, Appreciation Of Black Lives Matter, Owen Newitt

Oh, What The Heck, Let’s Rank The Streaming Services

It’s not like there’s much else to do here at the tail end of the year but try to cram in Oscar bait or kids’ Christmas movie or soul-enhancing shows that lead us down internet rabbit holes or terrible superhero movies that lead to massive excellent live-tweeting sessions. So: What’s the best streaming service out there? Our lives, after all, depend on it. – Fast Company
Tags: Art, Media, 12.26.20

Why Is An American-Written, Directed, And Acted Movie About The American Dream Only Eligible For A Foreign Film Golden Globe?

Could it be – is it possible – that Korean Americans aren’t seen as American? (And that last year The Farewell, another Asian American written and directed movie, dealt with similar anti-Asian racism?) “It’s a multilingual film that reflects the reality of Americans that are multilingual. So it’s authentic to have that dialog in the language that would have been spoken growing up in a family like this growing up in rural Arkansas. What could be more American than that?” – The Guardian (UK) ...
Tags: Art, Media, Arkansas, 12.26.20, Foreign Film Golden Globe

We Could Do More Than Revive The WPA For Artists; We Could Revive CETA

Sure, there was the WPA during the Great Depression. But: “From 1974 to 1982, federal funds provided employment to 10,000 artists nationwide under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA).” It wasn’t intended to help artists – but a revival could be. – Hyperallergic
Tags: Art, Ideas, 12.25.20

By The Pronouns, Who Designs And Directs In Major Regional Theatres?

Well … yes, it’s mostly he/him types. But also, 2020 was a real career killer. “Most designers, just like most artists in the field, have no work right now. They are hanging on by their fingertips. They have been forgotten or ignored by most of the theatres that called themselves ‘artistic homes’ for the artists. Many theatre designers I know are considering leaving the theatre—not just until it comes back, but forever—or have already left for good.” – HowlRound
Tags: Art, Theatre, 12.22.20

Fanny Waterman, Who Presided Over The Leeds Piano Competition For Decades, 100

She was the driving co-founder of the competition, which succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. “The idea of presenting an international music competition in 1960s Leeds, a gritty industrial city in northern England, seemed risky. But Ms. Waterman, a Leeds native who learned perseverance from her poor Russian immigrant father, believed in the vitality of her hometown and was certain she could draw support for the venture.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, England, People, Leeds, 12.26.20, Fanny Waterman, Ms Waterman

Barry Lopez, Award Winning And Influential Environmental Writer, 75

Lopez wrote Arctic Dreams (for which he won the National Book Award) and many other works that deeply synthesized reporting and essay form and science writing. He had recently lost land, housing, and archives to one of Oregon’s dreadful Labor Day fires. “Lopez was still being lauded in his final days, with an induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and with the literary organization Sun Valley Writers’ Conference announcing this week that it had awarded him its inaugural Writer ...
Tags: Art, Oregon, People, Lopez, Barry Lopez, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 12.26.20, Sun Valley Writers ' Conference

Staggering Economic And Career Cultural Losses Thanks To The Pandemic

Take star violinist Jennifer Koh as an example: “nine months into a contagion that has halted most public gatherings and decimated the performing arts, Ms. Koh, who watched a year’s worth of bookings evaporate, is playing music from her living room and receiving food stamps.” More than fifty percent of actors and dancers, and more than one fourth of musicians, are entirely out of work. And then there’s the broader category of arts and culture creatives. What will happen? – The New York Times ...
Tags: Art, Issues, Jennifer Koh, 12.26.20, Ms Koh

Desecrated and hidden for centuries, priest's effigy is restored to glory

Medieval statue smashed in reign of Henry VIII was found behind church pipe organHis stone face was smashed in by Henry VIII’s soldiers during the Reformation. His alabaster hands, once clasped in prayer, were cut off and the angels who cradled his head were decapitated. Afterwards, his shattered form lay hidden for centuries behind an old pipe organ, unseen, forgotten and enveloped in dirt.Now, in a find that conservators have described as “exciting beyond our expectations”, this desecrated eff...
Tags: Art, Religion, UK News, Culture, Art and design, Sculpture, Henry Viii, Derbyshire Continue, John de Belton

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