Art


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When Salvador Dali Viewed Joseph Cornell’s Surrealist Film, Became Enraged & Shouted: “He Stole It from My Subconscious!” (1936)

Did Salvador Dalí meet the diagnostic criteria for a personality disorder and maybe, also, a form of psychosis, as some have alleged? Maybe, but there’s no real way to know. “You can’t diagnose psychiatric illnesses without doing a face to face psychiatric examination,” Dutch psychiatrist Walter van den Broek writes, and it’s possible Dali “consciously created an ‘artistic’ personality… for the money or in order to succeed.” No doubt Dalí was a tireless self-promoter who marketed his wor...
Tags: Art, Facebook, New York, Hollywood, Film, College, America, Brazil, Salvador Dalí, Museum of Modern Art, Cornell, Freud, Moma, Mike Wallace, Dali, Josh Jones


A moment that changed me: Patrick Stewart on the teacher who spotted his talent – and saved him

I skipped the 11-plus and was failing at school. Then I met Cecil Dormand, the extraordinary English teacher who transformed my life for everI never sat my 11-plus. On the day of the test, I wandered around the hills near the golf club above my home town of Mirfield in West Yorkshire. I ate my lunch sitting against a dry stone wall, looking down on the town, where I could see my school pals in the playground during a break in the exams. I doubt if I would have passed, anyway. And, frankly, I jus...
Tags: Family, Education, Children, Film, Theatre, Life and style, Society, Teaching, Culture, Stage, Schools, Parents and parenting, West Yorkshire, William Shakespeare, Venice, Shakespeare


The Man Who Sold His Skin review – tattooed refugee story offers up art-world satire

Serious themes are undercut by the flippant tone of this story about a Syrian refugee who becomes a conceptual art objectHere is a muddled caper of movie that doesn’t know what it wants to say; it doesn’t work as a satire of the international art market, nor as a commentary on the racism of white European culture. And its attitude to Syria is undermined by a silly and unconvincing ending that leaves a strange taste in the mouth. It is inspired by the Belgian conceptual artist Wim Delvoye and his...
Tags: Art, Europe, Film, UK News, World news, Syria, Immigration and asylum, Culture, Middle East and North Africa, Art and design, Belgium, Installation, Brussels, Assad, Sam, Lebanon


The Man Who Sold His Skin review – art-world satire runs only skin deep

Serious themes are undercut by the flippant tone of this story about a Syrian refugee who becomes a conceptual art objectHere is a muddled caper of movie that doesn’t know what it wants to say; it doesn’t work as a satire of the international art market, nor as a commentary on the racism of white European culture. And its attitude to Syria is undermined by a silly and unconvincing ending that leaves a strange taste in the mouth. It is inspired by the Belgian conceptual artist Wim Delvoye and his...
Tags: Art, Europe, Film, UK News, World news, Syria, Immigration and asylum, Culture, Middle East and North Africa, Art and design, Belgium, Installation, Brussels, Assad, Sam, Lebanon


Back to the Future: The Musical review – the car’s the star

Adelphi theatre, LondonThis is a splashy theatre-film mashup, with gravity-defying effects, cute quirks and offbeat gagsHow does a car speed at 88mph on stage? That must have been the biggest challenge for this musical adaptation of the hit 1985 film about Marty, Doc and the time-travelling DeLorean, which has to achieve that ferocious velocity to tear back across the decades to 1955. Kudos to the production for pulling off the effect so spectacularly.It really does seem as if the DeLorean is de...
Tags: Musicals, Film, Theatre, Culture, Stage, Back To The Future, West End, Delorean, Adelphi, Marty Doc, Finn Ross, Tim Lutkin


Scientists identify key conditions to set up a creative ‘hot streak’

Researchers use AI to reveal runs of artistic success are commonly preceded by an experimental phaseWhether it is the director Marta Meszaros, or the artist Jackson Pollock, those in creative careers often experience a particular burst of success.Now researchers have used artificial intelligence to reveal such “hot streaks” are commonly preceded by an experimental phase followed by a focus on one particular approach once the winning period has begun. Continue reading...
Tags: Art, Books, Science, Technology, Film, Culture, Art and design, Computing, Hilary Mantel, Peter Jackson, Jackson Pollock, Artificial intelligence (AI, Márta Mészáros


Homebody or hellraiser: Our autumn arts preview has you covered

From online comedy to cinema’s new blockbusters to all-night rave festivals, a look at the cultural highlights for all levels of commitmentNew streaming gems to enjoy from within the comfort of your own four walls. Continue reading...
Tags: Art, Music, Film, Theatre, Culture, Art and design, Stage


The Lost Leonardo: has a new film solved the mystery of the world’s most expensive painting?

Is the $450m Salvator Mundi a fake? This film – featuring tearful sycophants, sneering experts, dodgy dealers and a secretive superyacht – may finally settle the great Da Vinci controversyIt is almost exactly 10 years since Salvator Mundi was unveiled, this “lost Leonardo” instantly triggering astonishment around the world. Since those giddy days, the work has had a turbulent time. As well as becoming the most expensive painting in history, going for $450m (£326m) at auction, Salvator Mundi was ...
Tags: Art, Film, Painting, Culture, Art and design, Heritage, National Gallery, Da Vinci, Leonardo, Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi, History of art, Documentary films, Luke Syson, Andreas Koefoed, Syson


Timothy Spall’s teenage obsessions: ‘For my art A-level I nailed up apples covered in pubic hair’

The actor on studying with the Sex Pistols, being in a Bowie tribute act, the appeal of Roxy Music, the help of teachers and the power of surrealism Continue reading...
Tags: Art, Film, Culture, Art and design, Pop and rock, Timothy Spall, Sex Pistols, Bowie


Russian cinema: a century of state-approved propaganda

During the Soviet days, movies promoted socialist ideology.Today, films serve up cautionary tales about revolution and insurrection.However, Russian cinema is more than propaganda; the films are as rich as the country's history.In 1930, the renowned Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein traveled to New York City in the hope of striking a production deal with Paramount Pictures. While executives were impressed with the director's inventiveness and artistic vision, they worried that the overtly polit...
Tags: Art, Putin, Vladimir Putin, Film, Nazis, Russia, New York City, Mexico City, Innovation, Elton John, Moscow, Finland, Armando Iannucci, Red Army, Ussr, Kremlin


Splitting Ownership and Display/Consumption

I wrote about NFTs last week and said this in that post: But when a party emerges online that anyone is invited to attend and the 500 person group picks up a punk with a party hat and they all change their social network avatar to this, well that got my attention. https://avc.com/2021/08/the-opening/ Fractional/collective ownership is something we have been interested in at USV for a while. It fits well with our thesis about expanding access. We have an investment in Otis that is providin...
Tags: Art, Games, Music, Film, Trends, USV, Crypto, Albert, Otis, Air Jordan, Hanel Baveja, MakingNick Grossman


Amazing Grace: artist’s tribute casts new light on Victorian rescue heroine

Grace Darling’s role in saving the survivors of a shipwreck off Northumberland is to be commemorated on the anniversary of the featA ferocious gale blew across the north-east coast of Britain on the night that made Grace Darling a star of popular history. She was to become a beacon of bravery for the Victorians when she set out in a small rowing boat to help the distressed passengers of the sinking SS Forfarshire.Now she is to be celebrated with a large art installation in Northumberland, commis...
Tags: Art, Film, Communities, Britain, Art and design, Charities, Voluntary sector, Heritage, Water transport, Queen Victoria, Northumberland, North East Coast, Shipping Industry


Una Stubbs: a life in pictures

Una Stubbs – the actor whose long career took in Summer Holiday, Worzel Gummidge, Till Death Us Do Part and most recently Steven Moffat’s Sherlock – has died aged 84.Una Stubbs, actor in Sherlock and Till Death Us Do Part, dies aged 84Una Stubbs obituary Continue reading...
Tags: Television, Film, Theatre, UK News, Culture, Television & radio, Stage, Sherlock, Steven Moffat, Una Stubbs


An Introduction to Japanese Kabuki Theatre, Featuring 20th-Century Masters of the Form (1964)

The English language has adopted kabuki as an adjective, applied to situations where exaggerated appearances and performances are everything. Business, politics, media: name any realm of modernity, and the myriad ways in which its affairs can turn kabuki will spring to mind. A highly stylized form of dance-drama originating in the seventeenth century, it continues to stand today as a pillar of classical Japanese culture — and indeed, according to UNESCO, one piece of the Intangible...
Tags: Facebook, Japan, Film, College, Theatre, Dance, Unesco, Shakespeare, Seoul, Bard, Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Colin Marshall, Ichikawa, 21st Century Los Angeles, Facebook An Introduction


Sir Ian McKellen: ‘What does old mean? Quite honestly I feel about 12’

It’s half a century since Sir Ian McKellen first played Hamlet. Now he’s starring as the Dane again – at 82. He talks about his extraordinary life, why he’ll never write his memoir – and his one lasting regretOh, birthdays,” Sir Ian McKellen growls, on the occasion of his 82nd. “At my age I don’t do birthdays.” The wider world has not yet been informed, however, and cheerful cards have come in stacks to McKellen’s London townhouse. Messages chime in on his computer and two landline phones ring o...
Tags: London, Film, Theatre, Life and style, Culture, Stage, Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings, Ian Mckellen, McKellen


How did a £120 painting become a £320m Leonardo … then vanish?

A film about the disputed Salvator Mundi blames the National Gallery for its role in giving credibility to the claim that it was the artist’s lost workThe National Gallery is facing controversy over its role in the tangled story of how the world’s most expensive painting emerged from obscurity before being sold for a staggering £320m, only to vanish again from the public eye.The gallery exhibited the Salvator Mundi in its Leonardo da Vinci exhibition a decade ago when it was an unknown work with...
Tags: Art, Film, Painting, UK News, Culture, Art and design, Heritage, Museums, National Gallery, Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi, Documentary films


Strong to the Finich: In Defense of Popeye the Musical

I’m working on a new book called Play / Back: A Different History of Movie Musicals, and it’s been such a fun exercise for two reasons. First, I’m discovering incredibly weird, cool movie musicals I had never heard of before, like Madam Satan, Volga-Volga, The Happiness of the Katakuris, Zachariah, and lots of others. Second, I’m really studying films that I have seen before, but I’m seeing them with entirely new eyes, and finding so many wonderful new details. Especially with those films that ...
Tags: Hollywood, Musicals, Film, Robin Williams, Theatre, Disney, Cinema, Williams, Nashville, Robert Evans, Vanity Fair, Paramount, Malta, 1980s, Robert Altman, Harry Nilsson


Joan Allen: ‘Acting’s like tennis. You bring your game’

Adulterous housewives, CIA bosses – Joan Allen has played them all with consummate skill. Now, in Stephen King adaptation Lisey’s Story, she’s turned her hand to visceral horrorIn some ways, Joan Allen is like an American Gary Oldman; wait, stay with it. She looks so different from one role to the next that she’s way beyond mercurial, further towards intangible – like a spirit slipping into a role more than a flesh-and-blood actor. Or maybe this is just acting at its most rarefied. One of the la...
Tags: Hollywood, Television, Media, Drama, Film, Stephen King, Theatre, Apple TV, Chicago, Culture, Television & radio, Connecticut, Stage, Broadway, John Malkovich, TV streaming


‘It’s cooler to hang Lennon’s guitar than a Picasso’: pop culture wins out at auctions

Sales of items from celebrities such as Janet Jackson and K-poppers BTS are trending – and reframing what goes under the hammerIs celebrity merchandise the new Monet? Auction houses are in flux, with more and more pop culture items being sold under the hammer for six and seven-figure sums.Last month, Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills hosted a three-day auction of Janet Jackson’s personal belongings, including some of her most iconic stage outfits. Buyers included Kim Kardashian, who snagged Jac...
Tags: Art, Fashion, Music, Kim Kardashian, Instagram, Film, Los Angeles, Life and style, World news, US news, Culture, Art and design, Pop and rock, Beverly Hills, Jackson, Nirvana


Was the fiddler framed? How Nero may have been a good guy after all

He was a demonic emperor who stabbed citizens at random and let Rome burn. Or was he? We go behind the scenes at a new show exploding myths about the ancient world’s favourite baddieNero comes with a lurid reputation. “The main thing we know about him is his infamy,” says Thorsten Opper, curator of the first British exhibition devoted to the Roman emperor. “The glutton, the profligate, the matricide, the megalomaniac.” Also, the pyromaniac: famously, Nero “fiddled while Rome burned”, or at least...
Tags: Art, Books, Music, Film, Fiction, History, Bbc, Rome, Culture, Art and design, Sculpture, Classical Music, Exhibitions, Opera, British Museum, Roman Britain


‘I tend to do the opposite of what people like’: unstoppable film-maker Ayo Akingbade

As a young black woman in a white-dominated industry, the film-maker has faced huge obstacles. But her enigmatic, uplifting works about housing estates and gentrification are now winning awards worldwide“I was ready to shake up the world,” says Ayo Akingbade, remembering the day she graduated from film school. But she soon encountered obstacles. “People think you don’t have a voice,” she says, “because you don’t have the money, the name, or whatever.”Akingbade is sitting in her London studio sur...
Tags: Art, London, Film, Housing, Race, Communities, Society, UK News, Culture, Art and design, Exhibitions, Whitechapel Gallery, Tina Turner, Documentary films, Ayo Akingbade, Sade Naomi Campbell


Stage Struck: Gloria Swanson before the pictures got small

Twenty-five years before the hard-bitten Hollywood tale Sunset Boulevard, Swanson played a small-town waitress with a dream to actThe stage on screen: more films about theatreGloria Swanson’s most enduring role is the imperious, bitterly eclipsed screen queen Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. But to fully appreciate Desmond’s faded glory in Billy Wilder’s 1950 noir classic, you need to see Swanson’s silent films. Stage Struck – directed 25 years earlier by Allan Dwan – both revels in and pastic...
Tags: Hollywood, Film, Theatre, Film Industry, Culture, Stage, John, Silent Film, Billy Wilder, Desmond, Sunset Boulevard, Gloria Swanson, Swanson, Norma Desmond, Allan dwan, Sunset Boulevard Swanson


The Lady in the Portrait review – painterly pageantry in a Chinese royal court

Fan Bingbing stars as an emperor’s wife having her portrait painted in this artful yet inert period dramaThis French-Chinese co-production about an earlier French-Chinese collaboration offers handsome pageantry amid its lavish recreation of 18th-century imperial court life, but it isn’t quite enough to compensate for a puttering narrative motor. Longtime Apichatpong Weerasethakul producer Charles de Meaux has turned director with a far eastern equivalent of Girl With a Pearl Earring – another de...
Tags: Art, Europe, Film, France, China, Painting, Culture, Asia Pacific, Art and design, World cinema, Pearl Earring, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Bingbing, Fan Bingbing, Melvil Poupaud, Charles de Meaux


Under the Pavement Lies the Strand: Berliners build a feminist future

Part of the New German Cinema boom, Helma Sanders-Brahms’ 1975 film about two actors asks if theatre still has revolutionary potentialThe stage on screen: more films about theatreGrischa Huber, the magnetic German star who died this year aged 76, became a feminist icon in European cinema with one of her first features. She was an established stage performer by the time she was cast by director Helma Sanders-Brahms as a politically engaged theatre actor in the film Unter dem Pflaster ist der Stra...
Tags: Health, Europe, Film, France, Germany, Women, Theatre, Society, World news, Culture, Feminism, Stage, Abortion, World cinema, Huber, Grischa


Olympia Dukakis obituary

American stage and screen actor who won an Oscar for her role in the 1987 film MoonstruckAfter more than two decades of distinguished work in the US theatre as an actor, director and teacher, and appearances in a dozen or so films, Olympia Dukakis, who has died aged 89, became hugely famous overnight by winning the best supporting actress Oscar in 1988 for her performance as Cher’s mother in the romantic film Moonstruck (1987).The course of her career suggests that her ambitions never lay in the...
Tags: Hollywood, Film, Theatre, US, World news, US news, Culture, Democrats, Stage, US television, LGBT rights, Broadway, Cher, Tennessee Williams, Olympia Dukakis


‘Olivier was jealous of me’: TV drama pioneer Derek Granger at 100

On his centenary, the veteran producer recalls adding punch to Coronation Street, bringing Brideshead to the screen and his ‘turbulent’ relationship with one of the acting world’s greatsThere are more than 22,000 centenarians in the UK, and on 23 April there will be a sprightly addition to their number: Derek Granger, a former Granada TV producer whose credits include Brideshead Revisited and Coronation Street. Talking to Granger in his Thames-side flat, I don’t get the sense of a man who lives ...
Tags: UK, Television, Drama, Film, Theatre, Culture, Television & radio, Stage, Coronation Street, Soap opera, Ian Mckellen, Financial Times, Brideshead Revisited, Olivier, Granger, Laurence Olivier


‘An explosive energy’: Sam Mendes pays tribute to Helen McCrory

Whether acting in Chekhov on stage or a Bond film, the star – who has died aged 52 – was incredibly exciting to watch, remembers the Skyfall directorMost actors are liked by those they work with. A few are loved. With Helen it was unquestionably the latter. People would light up at the mention of her name. I was one of those people.When I was directing Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night as my final productions as artistic director of the Donmar in 2002, I asked Helen to play the role of Sonya in Uncl...
Tags: Film, Theatre, Culture, Stage, James Bond, Sam Mendes, Donmar Warehouse, Helen, Chekhov, Sonya, Uncle Vanya, Helen McCrory, Yelena, Vanya Word


Helen McCrory remembered: ‘She had a brightness about her. She was a star’

Richard Eyre, the National Theatre director who cast the actor in some of her earliest roles, pays tribute to her after her deathPart of the tragedy of Helen McCrory dying at such a young age, leaving a husband and two young children, is that professionally she had everything to look forward to. She had established herself as a very considerable actor in the theatre and on film and television.She had a brightness about her, a luminosity: she was, in short, a star. She lit up a stage or a screen ...
Tags: Television, Film, Theatre, UK News, Culture, Television & radio, Stage, The Queen, Richard Eyre, Helen McCrory


‘He’s telling a story of his time’: how Bill Traylor, born into slavery, became an art titan

Referred to as ‘the greatest artist you’ve never heard of’, Bill Traylor’s compelling life is put under the spotlight in a new documentaryBill Traylor had already lived a full life before he was born as an artist. Enslaved at birth on an Alabama cotton plantation in 1853 and having spent his entire life as a farmer within a 40-mile radius of Montgomery, it was only in his late 80s that he, homeless and alone, parked himself by a bustling intersection in the state capitol’s segregated black neigh...
Tags: Art, Film, Alabama, America, Culture, Art and design, Drawing, Montgomery, Traylor, Bill Traylor, Documentary films


Henry Glassie: Field Work review – hypnotic glimpses of folk art in the making

This documentary about the celebrated folklorist also takes a leisurely look at the working methods of the artists he reveresThere’s an unmistakable slow-cinema vibe to this scrupulously observational documentary, which seems somehow to go on for weeks despite its 100-minute running time. The ostensible subject matter is American anthropologist Henry Glassie, who is college professor emeritus in folklore and ethnomusicology at Indiana University; but it isn’t really “about” him in any convention...
Tags: Art, Music, Science, Biology, Film, Americas, UK News, World news, Turkey, US news, Culture, Art and design, Sculpture, Anthropology, Northern Ireland, Brazil



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