05.16.18

A Brief History Of Ink

"Although historically ubiquitous and seemingly omnipresent, ink is anything but simple. ... On a basic material level, inks consist of two components: colour and a way for that colour to attach itself to its intended surface, be it papyrus, parchment or paper. But the way that those elements combine, and the ingredients used to make them, offer a variety of permutations, proving ink to be one of the most curious and complex objects in human history." Lydia Pine chooses half a dozen different inks from across the centuries to tell the story.

‘The Sound Of Music’ – The First Critic-Proof Movie Musical?

As beloved as the film was and is, The Sound of Music was not rapturously received by the critics back in 1965: Joan Didion despised "its suggestion that history need not happen to people ... Just whistle a happy tune, and leave the Anschluss behind," and Pauline Kael called it a "sugar-coated lie that ... makes a critic feel that maybe it's all hopeless." Pamela Hutchinson explores how the critics lost that particular argument, paving the way for everything from Mamma Mia! to The Last Showman.

A Children’s Librarian Tells How To Survive Storytime

Kristen Arnett: "Working children's services sometimes means dealing with a bunch of sugared-up kids who got into a box of Lucky Charms cereal (I recognize that look — I also eat Lucky Charms to get amped). But it also means thinking on your feet and getting way outside your comfort zone. By that I mean you'll probably have to kneel on the floor, and if you're wearing a skirt, everyone is gonna see your underwear and four different kids will point it out loud enough for everyone in the library to hear."

Oscar Hammerstein Was A Genius. So Why Doesn’t He Get More Respect?

No one questions Hammerstein’s historical significance, nor does the popularity of these six musicals show any sign of diminishing. But there is a gap between that popularity and the esteem in which he is held by many critics. Kenneth Tynan summed up the conventional wisdom about the alleged sentimentality and naiveté of Hammerstein’s work when he dismissed The Sound of Music as “a show for children of all ages, from six to about eleven and a half.” Stephen Sondheim, Hammerstein’s protégé, put it more forgivingly when he described him as “easy to make fun of because he is so earnest.”

Is The Wildly Popular MoviePass About To Go Bust?

Eight months after slashing its price and expanding membership past 2 million users, MoviePass is now at risk of going bust. The parent company, Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc., which now owns 92 percent of MoviePass, said last week that it had just $15.5 million in cash at the end of April and $27.9 million on deposit with merchant processors. MoviePass has been burning through $21.7 million per month.

Dorothy Allison Wonders When Working-Class Rage Will Bubble Up Through Fiction

Fiction apart from her own, that is. Her project, and the project that she hopes other working-class writers will take us, is clear: "Trying to write with love and respect about people who even as you love them are destroying themselves and to try to write it accurately and with some of the grace of Meridel Le Sueur is the challenge. But you can’t write about this stuff and be boring. That would be a sin against God."

Dorothy Allison Wonders When Working-Class Rage Will Bubble Up Through Fiction

Fiction apart from her own, that is. Her project, and the project that she hopes other working-class writers will take us, is clear: "Trying to write with love and respect about people who even as you love them are destroying themselves and to try to write it accurately and with some of the grace of Meridel Le Sueur is the challenge. But you can’t write about this stuff and be boring. That would be a sin against God."

Yes, Performing Artists Need To Pay Attention To Visas (No, Not The Credit Card)

Why? Because the U.S. visa process has gotten more expensive and much harder to navigate with success. "Visa delays and denials have damaged a wide number of productions, and in many situations, have led to cancellations. It is tempting to feel powerless—to feel that there is nothing that the performing arts community can do to push back against cultural isolation. But all is not hopeless."