04.29.18

Jayne Mansfield – Hollywood Starlet, Polyglot Intellectual, Or Practicing Satanist? (Or All Three?)

"Some of the best known lurid 'facts' about Jayne Mansfield, the American film star of the '50s and '60s, are based on rumour. So the directors of a new documentary about her short and scandalous life faced a difficult task. Was Mansfield, one of the first actresses to be marketed as a 'blonde bombshell', also a violin-playing intellectual with superb comic timing who spoke five languages? Or was the star who came to be known as the 'working man's Marilyn Monroe' actually a devil worshipper who was decapitated in a car crash as the result of a curse?"

NEA Chairman Jane Chu To Step Down

"National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu said in a statement that she will resign June 4, after four years at the head of the federal arts agency. The Trump administration has twice targeted the NEA for elimination, but Chu made no reference to this turbulence in her statement, saying only that it has been an 'honor and privilege' to serve as the agency's chairwoman."

What Larry Harvey Created With Burning Man

Burning Man is far, far, far from perfect. It’s still mostly hedonistic (with some awesome exceptions) and corny at times. It’s very white (The Root and The Guardian have both done great interviews with black Burners talking about why). There is always some percentage of douchebags (usually around 20-30 percent) who suck and do stupid things. And, sure, there’s plenty of sex and drugs and music, and some people can’t handle that in a mature way. But I can’t overstate how much I owe to Larry Harvey. Thanks to him, I learned what it is to be inspired by astonishingly creative people, weird people, sexy people, challenging people; to let go of the New York cynicism for a little while; to experience some of the most intense, vivid, and alive times of my life. I learned how to live.

Avengers Sets New All-Time Opening Weekend Box Office Record – $630 Million

Internationally, Infinity War dislodged Jurassic World ($316.7M) at No. 2 (that movie also had China at open). In comps that did not include China at the bow, Infinity War‘s overseas start blew past Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ($314M) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($281M). Worldwide. Only three movies had previously topped $500M in their openings: F8, The Force Awakens and Jurassic World.

How Theatre Can Help Us See Bodies Differently

The power of theatrical visibility has the potential to create real change in society towards the acceptance of “othered” individuals, as we have seen from the power of queer characters onstage, which translated from the stage to movies and TV, and, finally, into the national vocabulary. But this progress has notably lagged when it comes to the representation of disability onstage.

Are We Really Facebook’s Product?

Behind the aphorism’s sudden ubiquity lies a long and surprising history—one that yields a fresh perspective on our present technocultural moment. It suggests that Facebook’s business model is neither as novel as it might seem, nor as deterministic of its values as critics assume. The pithiness that makes “you are the product” so quotable risks obscuring the complex pact between Facebook and its users, in ways that make social media’s problems seem inevitable and insoluble. They’re not—but if we want to fix them, the first thing we need to do is redefine our relationship.

‘Hair’ Is Fifty, And The Nude Scene Is Still A Big Deal

Parliament had to intervene so the show could be produced in London - yes, it took an act of government to allow the actors to be naked onstage. Back on Broadway, during previews in 1968, show co-writer Gerome Ragni explained that the rules about nudity were flexible in the production: "Anybody who feels like it can take his clothes off. Everybody wants to now, even the stagehands. We turned them on."