UEA professor is against capitalism Shock, Horror!

What is astonishing is the acquiescence with which the value system I’ve just described is met with by most writers. Most will feel that it doesn’t speak to why they’re writers at all, but few will discuss this openly. Acceptance is one of the most dismaying political consequences of capitalism. It informs the literary too, and the way publishers and writers “go along” with things. The Booker now has a stranglehold on how people think of, read, and value books in Britain. It has no serious critics. Those who berate its decisions about individual awardees (James Kelman’s prize back in 1994 prompted one judge to say it was “frankly, crap”) ritually add to its allure. After all, the attractiveness of the free market has to do with its perverse system of rewards – unlike socialism, which said everyone should be moderately well off, the free market proposes that anyone can be rich.

The Booker’s randomness celebrates this; it confirms the market’s convulsive metamorphic powers, its ability to confer success unpredictably. In literature, it has redefined terms like “masterpiece” and “classic”.

Few writers, though, display any prickliness. Instead, we end up with the acceptance characteristic of capitalism – which, lately in politics, has led to deep alienation and monstrous alternatives like Donald Trump.

The Booker prize created Trump it appears.

Well, you know, it’s their money

He directed Merchant-Ivory classics such as The Remains of the Day, Howards End and A Room with a View, but American director James Ivory is struggling to interest investors in his latest project. The problem, it seems, lies with his writer: William Shakespeare. For more than five years, Ivory has tried in vain to raise money for a cinema adaptation of Richard II.

Despite 50 years of critical acclaim and Oscar recognition, plus British actors Tom Hiddleston and Damian Lewis lined up to star in his production, financiers are refusing to part with their money. “They look at you like you’re crazy,” he said. “There is an assumption that there is no money to be made from such an investment.”

It’s even possible that they’re right:

Producer Stephen Evans was not surprised to hear of Ivory’s struggle to finance his film. He encountered “much scepticism” from potential investors in making Henry V with Branagh. It was only through friends in the City that he could fully finance the movie. Despite Oscar nominations for Branagh as best director and actor, and great reviews, the film did not do well at the box office.

Perhaps the fault is in ourselves, the film goers, not the stars nor investors?

Horrors

Kal Penn has highlighted racial stereotypes prevalent in Hollywood by sharing “awful” audition scripts he was given in the early years of his career.

Simple visual art form uses stereotypes. Film at 11

Biting the hand that feeds

Ken Loach has launched an uncompromising attack on the UK government at the 70th British Academy Film Awards.

Speaking as he picked up his award for outstanding British film for I, Daniel Blake, which is conceived as a critique of the current state of the benefits system, Loach touched on accusations by some that his film failed to reflect reality.

Hasn’t it been said state which has financed his entire career? Including that very dandy indeed house in Widcombe?

Wouldn’t have thought so really

Did the Mona Lisa have syphilis?
Jonathan Jones

Others will know better than I but I’d doubt it.

Is this why Del Giocondo needed snail water? If so, it is possible she wanted it for someone other than herself. In any case, her recorded purchase was more than a decade after she posed for Leonardo. But suppose she already had a sexually transmitted disease in 1503. What would that say about Leonardo’s most famous painting?

In those first couple of decades of the arrival (perhaps irruption) of syphilis in Europe it was horribly, hugely, virulent. Noses fell off within months of infection. Death was swift.

It’s only later that it became a chronic disease that might take decades to kill.

I could believe someone in 1703 living a decade with syphilis, could believe, possibly, 1603, but 1503 seems most, most, unlikely.

Bit odd really

We need to be more frank about the afflictions faced by the elderly, according to actress Miriam Margolyes.
The 75-year-old Cambridge-educated comedienne believes the physical challenges of getting older are rarely discussed.
In fact, she said there was a conspiracy of silence about the elderly.

‘Nobody tells you that old age is going to be sh***y,’ she said in an interview. ‘It’s a kind of conspiracy.’

Literature is just absolutely packed with the miseries of age. Given that Margolyes has done some Shakespeare I assume she’s familiar with Lear?

These people are fucking nuts

So, black bird plays Russian countess in something snipped out of Tolstoy:

Back when you were first cast in Natasha, you tweeted that you were so excited to do the show and that a black woman could be cast as a Russian countess. What’s important to you about helping to open those doors of diversity?

Denée Benton

It’s powerful to take down the boundaries that separate us and remind everybody that we’re all human and we all have the ability to tell the human story.

I’m fine with that.

But imagine the outrage if a white actor were to black up to portray a black. Or a cis het male were to portray some trans…..in fact, didn’t we just have that protest, that trans actors should be playing trans characters?

Superduper!

Ken Loach’s latest film is a hit!

It won the Palme d’Or in Cannes, comes from a beloved British auteur and has garnered critical acclaim, but would Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake prove too tough a sell for cinema audiences? If UK distributor eOne had any qualms, they have surely evaporated now that I, Daniel Blake has opened with an impressive £404,000 from 94 cinemas, and £445,000 including previews. Stripping out the previews, site average is a very robust £4,298.

Does that mean we don’t have to give him taxpayers’ money for the next one?

Ever so slightly elitist isn’t it?

The National Gallery has only got until 22 October to buy Jacopo Pontormo’s Portrait of a Man in a Red Cap (1530), a masterpiece of Florentine mannerism that is currently subject to a government export ban. It has already been sold to a US collector and tax has been paid on it, so the gallery has to match the £30m price – and the deadline is rapidly approaching. With a £19m government grant already awarded.

Why does it matter? Why is it so important to keep this particular painting in Britain? Perhaps because it is not just a beautiful portrait but a moving document of politics and history. For this is a picture of a young idealist: a relic of revolution.

We’ve already taxed the dustmen and the nurses for the pleasure of the Guardian’s art critic. Now he wants even more of other peoples’ cash to feed his desires?

OK, so, the start of the movie script is……

A 10-year-old girl is sharpening her sign language skills with an unusual student — her 7-month-old puppy named Walter.

The pair, who were both born deaf, became best friends the minute they met back in January.

“They’re the same,” Julia’s mom, Chrissy, explained in a video posted on Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA’s Facebook page. “She’s learned a whole other kind of love.”

And Walter’s learning a whole new way to communicate.

So far, the little girl has taught the terrier-chihuahua mix how to sit, ask for food and respond to his name.

“It seems like he’s picking it up,” Jamie Holeman, community relations associate at Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA, told CBS News.

So they’re out one day and they witness a crime and the crims see them doing so and hunt them down and they are able to beat the crims by using silent hand signals to get the dog to bite the crims on the bum so they fall out of the window onto a cop.

Shit, they’ve made fourth sequels to movies with less plot than that.

Actually, the entirety of French cinema has less plot than that.

I suppose this is the sort of shit you’ve got to say if you’re an artist

“It is absolutely extraordinary to see the transition happening to London,” Gormley said. “Up to this point the towers have been the exception, not the rule. But it is fascinating to see how London is being transformed overnight from a terraced housing-based city to Dallas or something closer to Abu Dhabi.”

Gormley laments the unchanging priority of corporate values over social values as the skyline rises higher and higher. “I don’t see those towers expressing much more than the testosterone of a late capitalist society,” he added.

The work’s title speaks to Gormley’s belief that we have all become “blind, sleeping servants” of a system that creates everything for us with ease and yet perpetuates social injustice and an unequal distribution of resources.

The most striking feature of the last 40 years has been how those resources are becoming more equally distributed. Idiot.

As to the testosterone the rest of us look at the skyscrapers as the efficient use of an expansive resource, urban land…..

Quite glorious!

The subversive British filmmaker Charlie Lyne was looking for a way to express his displeasure with the U.K.’s film censorship bureaucracy. So he decided to use the website Kickstarter to crowdsource funding for the dullest movie imaginable.

Like the Motion Picture Association of America, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) rates and classifies movies. But unlike in the U.S., in the U.K. it’s actually illegal to screen unrated movies or sell them on DVD. The BBFC can also ban a movie altogether unless the filmmaker cuts the parts the Board finds offensive.

What’s more, the BBFC requires filmmakers to pay for this mandatory exercise in classification. There’s an initial fee of 101 pounds ($147) with another 7.09 pounds ($10.35) per minute of footage. Movie trailers cost extra, as does a DVD classification—even if the BBFC already classified the movie for theatrical release.

Because the price is based on a film’s run time, the more money Lyne raised, the longer his protest film could be. In the end, 686 backers offered up 5,936 pounds ($8,666.56) and the final film, Paint Drying, is 607 minutes long.

Still better than Ken Loach too.

To explain modern art for you

Bhamber, who has an art degree, was enchanted when she discovered the history of her acquisition. “I really didn’t have any idea of what the painting depicted, but I fell in love with it,” she said.

Somebody with an art degree no less, has a painting but has no idea what that painting is of.

He tried to capture its character – which he described as a “diabolical contraption, a dusty hunk of electric and mechanical hardware that reminded me of the disturbing 1950’s Quatermass science fiction television series” – in a near-lifesize two metre by three metre Portrait of a Dead Witch, which he also intended as a joke about the contemporary craze for computer-generated art. He described it as a portrait rather than a still life: “I think I had some idea that the painting brought the computer back to life, or at least to another life.”

It’s a portrait…..

Actors wear make up Shock! Horror!

The estate of Nina Simone has slapped down Zoe Saldana, the star of a controversial new biopic about the late soul icon, in an excoriating Twitter post.

The release on Thursday of a new trailer and poster for Nina has reignited debate over whether producers were right to cast Saldana, a US woman of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, given the actor required dark makeup and a prosthetic nose to resemble her subject. A number of Twitter users accused the Star Trek actor of performing in “blackface”, and now the carriers of Simone’s flame have weighed in to condemn Cynthia Mort’s film.

She is an actress. the technical description of what she is doing is acting.

That is, pretending to be someone else for the purpose of telling a story.

And amazingly, all actors and actresses wear make up to aid them in doing so.

In other words, fuck off you ghastly little tossers.