“Fusing art, politics, and history, Riefenstahl had composed a symphonic ode to domination. For the American filmmakers, living in a rowdy democracy, no such grand synthesis was possible, or even imaginable. But how do you create war propaganda in a democratic country? Do you just make movies promoting victory? Is it possible to work, under military sponsorship, as an artist and a truthteller?” Read the full article in the New Yorker.
“…those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences. They are not. Audiences want to see them, and, in fact, they make money.”
Watch Cate Blanchett’s Academy Award acceptance speech on heraldsun.com.au.
“Television is not the new novel. Television is the old novel.”
Read the full post at NYTimes.com.
“Bezos is right: gatekeepers are inherently élitist, and some of them have been weakened, in no small part, because of their complacency and short-term thinking. But gatekeepers are also barriers against the complete commercialization of ideas, allowing new talent the time to develop and learn to tell difficult truths. When the last gatekeeper but one is gone, will Amazon care whether a book is any good?” Read the full article in The New Yorker.
“If we believe artists perform labor of value, we should also care about how (and whether) they get paid.”
Read the full article in The New Yorker.
“Some of you might be thinking, ‘Oh lord, why do we need a day to celebrate actors being silly, wearing bright colors and singing obnoxiously at squirming kiddos and bored parents?’ But if you think that’s what Theatre for Young People is, you’re missing out on truly powerful, hilarious, bold, engaging, surprising theater that might just save the world.” Read the full article on Huffington Post.
A local storyteller here in Vermont used to say, “Stories teach us to be human.” This piece from the New York Times backs up that statement using findings from psychology and neuroscience.
“Amid the squawks and pings of our digital devices, the old-fashioned virtues of reading novels can seem faded, even futile. But new support for the value of fiction is arriving from an unexpected quarter: neuroscience.” Read the full article.
In the Cracked.com article “5 Ways Modern Men are Trained to Hate Women,” David Wong proposes that the stories we tell teach men that society owes them a hot chick. He writes:
We were told this by every movie, TV show, novel, comic book, video game and song we encountered. When the Karate Kid wins the tournament, his prize is a trophy and Elisabeth Shue. Neo saves the world and is awarded Trinity. Marty McFly gets his dream girl, John McClane gets his ex-wife back, Keanu “Speed” Reeves gets Sandra Bullock, Shia LaBeouf gets Megan Fox in Transformers, Iron Man gets Pepper Potts, the hero in Avatar gets the hottest Na’vi, Shrek gets Fiona . . . and so on. . . . From birth we’re taught that we’re owed a beautiful girl. We all think of ourselves as the hero of our own story, and we all (whether we admit it or not) think we’re heroes for just getting through our day.
In the last few decades we (as a society) have spent a lot of time talking about how stories affect girls and women. I’ve heard and said ad nauseum that, for example, Disney’s princesses aren’t the best role models for girls. After all, waiting for a handsome prince to come rescue you isn’t an effective plan of action. But for the most part, we only pay lip service to the ways these stories affect boys and men: We write three pages on how out-of-proportion Barbie is, and then tack on, “And guys shouldn’t feel they have to look like G.I. Joe either.”
Our laws and government consider women and men to be equal members of society but – in light of the recent spate of insulting and patronizing moves against women in both the media and legislative bodies around the country – it looks like we’re still telling a lot of the same old stories.
A couple of quotes from the news recently:
“I just had this profound love for storytelling. I think it’s just an amazing thing we get to do. We’re so complex; we’re mysteries to ourselves; we’re difficult to each other. And then here’s this storytelling that reminds us we’re all the same. I consider it such a privilege.” -Brad Pitt, speaking with Backstage (Read the full interview here.)
“I think that stories, and the telling of stories, are the foundations of human communication and understanding. If children all over the country are watching films, asking questions and telling their stories, then the world will eventually be a better place.” -Beeban Kidron, co-founder and directory of Filmclub (Quoted here on The Guardian‘s Teacher Network Blog.)