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papeetepatrick

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Everything posted by papeetepatrick

  1. She was not proposing censorship, but she was not trying to be objective at all either. It's true, though, that doesn't matter, most of us aren't most of the time, but she's a real film buff and student of film. Actually, she said 'the girl characters were so silly' as well, but she was not looking into whether they were accurately portrayed for the milieu, but that example could be argued ad infinitum. But sure, the misogyny in 'Rififi' is something you cannot possibly miss, it's very extreme there, and many would find it revolting, and so they don't watch it. And 'Birth of a Nation', also, really IS racist, but real film scholars like Aileen Bowzer in particular, formerly of MoMA, know how to look at Griffith's great work anyway. Yes, there were protest, but the film was also enormously popular all over the country (the 'highest-grossing film of the silent era'), which it definitely would not be now as a new film. As a work from the past, it is respected even if loathed. Edited to add: I'm really now convinced one has to be careful with Wiki. I just took a look at their entry for 'Birth' and it is described as a 'comedy film'. ????
  2. That's the most harebrain quote in the article. 'Saving the book' indeed. It doesn't have to be taught if it's got to be ruined. I don't think it's inconceivable to think that all sorts of new 'cleansings' will be done for political correctness, even if the grounds for doing this is that it's 'high school young kids', not undergrads reading Faulkner. I don't buy it, and think that there will be many efforts to 'cleanse' the whole Faulkner canon, which is full of the use of the n-word. I know people who already support this sort of thing, and there are publishers and producers of great power who wouldn't think it was an important matter at all (to keep the pure texts of any of these works.) There are surely arguments that, in university, there might even be more objection by radical students. On the plus side, 'The Wind Done Gone' has not overtaken 'Gone With the Wind' as it had hoped to. Thanks for the Ellison info, Quiggin, which does remind one that the word is used quite liberally among blacks themselves, with slight changes in the spelling, which is understandable as a somewhat peculiar exclusivity. But there are lots of people who object to leaving artworks as they were, even when it has to do with the period. A friend of mine talks about the use of the word 'chicks' in 'Blow-up' as being sexist, and that's why she hates the film (of course, it probably is sexist, but then get rid of the Ku Klux Klan sequence in 'Birth of a Nation' too, I guess, if people are just too delicate to even bear the fact that conditions in the past that are no longer acceptable ought not to be whitewashed--yes, I rather like that word for this sort of thing. Don't they even want to save evidence of what they're now fighting against?)
  3. Is this typical for a story like this to come out five days later? If so, I wasn't aware of it, and had never noticed such delays except in obituaries or news from AfPak, etc. Thanks in advance, if anyone knows.
  4. Yes, I think you picked out the one striking passage of the article. I don't see it as 'outmoded' or 'repellently sexist', but whether most do, and that makes it bite the dust I don't know any more than anyone else. I'd think that if it did, that really would be the end to the essence of ballet, although there will still be lots of dance of all kinds. Not sure I agree that most have 'moved away from this view of the social structure', though. That's the liberal view in a few advanced western nations, and not even everywhere there: As long as there a preponderance of heterosexual marriages with children, even with repeal of DADT and gay marriage, there are still plenty of people who don't like those new social advances. otoh, it does suggest the horrible possibility that we'd get a Palinesque 'How's the new outdoorsy ballet workin' fer ye?' which, god knows, would be another form of ballet death knell.
  5. Very true, Simon, but it's still different if a choreographer does it, even if it appears to be unfair. At least it's within the profession, and strong competition can fight it back if they've got the spine (and they have.) The rest is just, as Kojak, used to say 'pah-ty fa-vahs, not the BADGE', when people write these 'superlatives' within short periods of time which give a buzz briefly, and then are relegated to the rest of the amnesia. There's actually something a bit on the 'hick' side to always be doing the rankings which 'slant' describes very well (indeed that IS 'very American' to always have to categorize as in a competition), although I tend to agree with your assessment of Balanchine's tactics, which were pretty transparent. What he did was make an 'understated star system', but this convinced many people that it was not, in fact, a star system, because of not announcing in advance, etc. But everybody always knew who was dancing, even if they had to wait longer; and the difficulties caused by that gave it that 'kiss of chic' thing that a lot of urbanites always go for (in a sense, you could say, it made it an even more enhanced, however specialized, 'star system', in making itself more special that way--no getting around it, it was a shrewd, effective strategy at such a high level, and that's uncommon)--and they were definitely talking about afternoons with 'two Farrells' and days with 'three Ashleys', etc. That was written up in a piece a few years ago about Bouder, which apparently was then going on for her (talk about 'two Bouders today!'), even further back a New Yorker Magazine writer started saying 'they're all boring, until now I've found PART', etc.. Mearns could, in fact, with her clearly burgeoning development, be doing just what 'slant' said, by beginning to eclipse Bouder (for those interested in such things, and sometimes they are to a degree, if it becomes very obvious.) In 2006, people were talking about Mearns here a lot, but she's clearly a much bigger star by 2011.
  6. This thread has been good for talking about and discovering specific nature of Mearns's great talent, but this is what I was talking about, and it wouldn't be so easy to forget it, since it was only in June of this past year. Macaulay wrote: So we get what people used to tell me were 'Southern superlatives' in some of my own extreme assessments (I've since curtailed this severely.) So you could then have, after 'Greatest American Ballerina', and 'Most Sensational Ballerina Now Before the Public', you could then have 'Most Versatile Ballerina', 'Best Body on a Womanly Ballerina', 'Most Virtuosic Ballerina in Balanchine', I guess. What Simon finally wrote about 'this is what makes a ballerina' (even if I'm a lot more interested in Osipova personally) is more meaty than this kind of 'Ballet Oscar' thing, so it was worth it going through the thorns. Then there could be 'Most Beautiful Feet on a Danseur Noble', etc., etc., and give them all to Hallberg or Gomes could get 'Best-Fitting Purple Tights on a Rothbart', etc., 'Most Likely to Inherit the Mantle and Occupy the Place Left Vacant by Suzanne Farrell'. But there should be a unisex Oscar 'Best All-Around Dancer in the Whole World'. You know. A sort of 'Super Bowl Award'.
  7. Ho ho ho, I really didn't think that could be it, since you're so popular here, but that does help matters indeed. I know Helene is sick of my endless complaints about the pm! Happy New Year to you, senor!
  8. Cristian, thanks. Since you put this, I don't think they'll mind if I say I am the poster who tried to reach you since Xmas by pm! And it always gave me a pink thing that said 'your message was not sent', so I sent you the brief email to ask you, because I doubted you'd blocked me. The whole PM thing is too confusing. A conversation with you shows 'turn OFF notifications', with another poster it offers 'BLOCK'. I wonder what you get when you try to pm me. Anyway, I tried maybe 8 times to pm you since then, and always this sign came up, so I finally emailed inside the same Ballet Alert page (your profile page, I believe.) But all this was much clearer in the old functionality, although pm's seem to be the main thing that don't. Most of the other features are better, but who knows. Oh yes, I didn't think to email till now, because it wasn't really urgent, but I also thought it might just be that your mailbox was full, that maybe you'd forgotten to empty it.
  9. Yes, you may do, and yet not all will agree that it's of any importance. or that you are either, of course (after all, there's Jane and leonid, you know). Because some of it's hype, even if you've actually seen these dancers. Yes, she's beautiful and a fine dancer, but this 'action' is publicity and nothing else. The Dewdrop I saw her do was good, but not great, and the Swan was great but not that great. A lot of us have seen the greatest dancers of NYCB and over decades, and even the ones who were the critics' darlings, as Suzanne Farrell definitely was, are not greatest because of this kind of critic-talk; she was still 'one of the greatest' in many people's minds, but even though I once thought she was 'THE greatest', I don't anymore (and those who do think it do not think because any critic told them to at any given point). And what does any of that matter? Or is that not allowed once these pronouncements are made? Is there a point at which these judgments become official? No, there never is, even when Tobi Tobias once wrote in New York Magazine that there was no understudy for 'Mozartiana', and that if Suzanne didn't do it, then they cancelled it. Why? Because 'she is simply incomparable'. Although I don't say that this sort of febrile prose does not come quite naturally as part of the 'greenhouse effect'. This is all common knowledge, of course, it's just that if it's possible to get worked up, it's very human to enjoy it, and it becomes part of the snob appeal that is always aimed for in all realms of the art, as everywhere else. Not that I don't think this kind of 'promo criticism' is not par for the course. But, in that case, it's also another way of marketing your favourites. That's cool, but expect disagreement. It's so elementary a thing that I recall when someone was shocked, she said, that I could be both and Anglophile and a Francophile.
  10. No, he means by 'The Great' the same thing as 'the Greatest', it's just a more theatrical thing to say 'The Great'. Gramatically it's all right, just a bit annoying. In this case also, since he wants to emphasize her 'a great ballerina' is probably not quite enough, but he should be content with 'one of the greatest ballerinas' or 'one of the two or three greatest ballerinas' (in that case, he wouldn't even have to say 'American', which is pretty much beside the point these days anyway, since everything is more accessible than in past epochs. But critics are sometimes able to promote performers they want to by hyping them up, so it's no big deal really. That's probably all it means.
  11. Yes, I didn't catch that part of your remark, Drew. You may well be right that it was there, but I don't remember a mention of Kirkland in that passage at all (I don't have the volume at home either.) The whole thrust of that was the attempt to bring some of those 'farrellisms' (wasn't the article called 'Farrell and Farrellism?' Yes, I'm pretty sure) onto Von Aroldingen (at least as I remember it, but it's been a good while, and Kirkland may well have been mentioned there), whom Croce was talking about as someone without a great deal of talent. Maybe that was just because the project was doomed from the start, but necessarily a reaction to the turmoil of that whole scene. Von Aroldingen was certainly a fine dancer, if maybe not quite 'great', I don't know. It would seem logical that Kirkland could easily have been very influenced by Farrell, makes me wonder if she started 'loathing her' later (I would expect those two not to have ever been too close, though, even given the nature of the territory in general, which is not about divas being galpals so much.)
  12. I totally agree, and these things don't stop. One just stops paying much attention them, they're really little different from 'What's your fave five?' People who say 'the greatest' don't seem to realize that light-years difference it makes to say instead 'one of the very greatest', and the latter keeps it within the art, not in fanboy/fangirl form. Drew wrote: Of course. If Farrell didn't influence, then who did as a ballerina? If she didn't, there's no such thing as influence, and there indisputably is. I remember well that passage from Croce, I believe she even made a verb of it 'farrellize' and also 'farrelization', and was referring mostly to Karin Von Aroldingen. What's fascinating about that is that Farrell had become so definitive in certain ways that, even at that early date, 20 years before she'd retire, she had already 'become a caricature'. Which means that then certain individual characteristics would still be there in 1975-6 onwards, but that most of these would have that greater aura of maturity. I've seen Mearns a few times, and she's great, but I can't see any point in stirring up people with this sort of talk either. I've also seen Bouder a good bit more, and I wasn't less impressed with her. It almost seems like something for a high school yearbook.
  13. Oh yes!!! the VERISMO of the blue-collar lass in the Pittsburgh factory especially. I admit the schlock all works, though, because Beals is really into it. And the ending never fails to thrill. Remember this is the same period as 'Gloria', but while not a dance movie, it is much more worthy of Top 100 films of all time than 'Flashdance', although I'm very touched that, since it's already 2011 in Angleterre, you have claimed it as 'the incomaparable [sic], sublime, genius work of art'. I guess I think 'The Red Shoes' is better, and I much prefer 'Saturday Night Fever' if talking within the pop-dance genre. Lots of cinephiles who've never been to a ballet are raving about 'Black Swan' though. I'm not convinced, though, it sounds convincingly dreadful from the reviews i've read here.
  14. While we're still okay on 'pedantic or not', I'd just say that I think colloquialism is better as the 'surprise witticism', but it cannot be the general style, and shouldn't draw too much attention to itself. That may be what you meant by 'in general', this is just to refine my own thoughts on the matter. I just think some writing has to be more formal than other kinds, or we've really lost standards of real merit (there are some who, of course, actually believe that merit shouldn't any longer be the issue in any number of circumstances, from not awarding meritorious students any more than the others to the sky's the limit, but this is generally limited to hard Marxists, as in some of the controversies over the recent tuition hikes in the UK. I haven't the time of day for such things.) If you mean 'colloquialisms' like Pauline Kael was always using, yes, they worked there, but it's just very important to know when not to use the colloquial voice, if only because it it's too easy (which using the colloquial voice is), it probably should be scrutinized before use, with leeway given only for deadlines, etc., not for 'space', since that simply didn't have to be used, and that's obvious. The more I think about it the more I think the use of 'idiot' by this reviewer is downright appalling. It's enough to start wanting to throw out a few slurs regarding provincialism, or write letters to the editor, etc. The Macaulay things we disagree on are less clear-cut even if we hold strong positions about them; use of 'idiot' in the 'pure form' this guy did it is inexcusable, and I think he deserves, in fact, a severe reprimand, if not firing. He's not at Macaulay's level to 'deserve a break' yet, at least without a real reprimand (and even Macaulay has had to be answerable to criticisms recently, whether or not you take his side.)
  15. Sandy, that's the whole point, a review like this should not be colloquial. I remember Joan Didion writing in a NYReviewof Books article on the Unabomber Manifesto, when she describes him as writing in 'the colloquial voice, that most desolate of lakes'. That's one of the best lines I ever read (and idiosyncratically witty), but then the lady has been known to do a few of them. I'm bringing it up, though, because I don't think I fully understood her quite baroque phrase until now. Colloquial is blogtalk (mostly, although you do find some careful blogposts too, that don't get sleazy. But I think it's worse when it goes in professional journals). Just as an aside, I thoroughly enjoyed your thoughts on 'stupid jerk', Drew. I guess I'm glad he didn't say that too, although this sort of thing is so easy to skirt, and it shows a sort of out-of-control tendency that is becoming pretty common.
  16. The thing about 'idiot' and even 'idiotic choice' is, again, as Ray pointed out in the discussion of Macaulay's talk about Ringer and Angle, it's more something that should be cleaned out by the time it goes print and worldwide. That's a perfect example of BLOGTALK, in which people scream 'idiot', with the usual prosaic expletives, all the time. I see what bart means about context, and surely there can be affectionate use of 'idiot' (I'd have no friends at all if we both didn't call each other 'idiot' all the time!), but I definitely agree with kfw that a serious review should not say 'Ratmansky is an idiot'. Period. And we don't even say that here, do we? And this is closer to a blog than a professional review, I'd think, although fortunately we're forced to adhere to standards of decency which I am grateful for despite my own tendencies. Anyway, most of the points on the NJ 'idiot talk' have been covered, I just wanted to add that this is an utterly pure example of the blogtalk practices, and that there's another issue: It's probably going to become more prevalent, not less. But I fully sympathize with kfw's lament here. The review sounds immediately just CHEAP because of this.
  17. I think it would for Oprah (so as not to call attention to it if she sat right next to Obama), but not for Jones. What do you think? I don't think they put Jones last 'after white people'. Frankly, I doubt they even considered the three last ones, that it was more like a coin-toss. The people that know Jones won't necessarily know Haggard, although some more of both, maybe, will 'remember' Herman, although he's actually the least productive now (correct me if I'm wrong about Haggard, though, who may still perform.) I like Jones's work a lot sometimes, what I've seen of it, but I haven't seen the piece mentioned.
  18. I doubt that, but I can see why you might think it. Despite Mccartney's longer history, Oprah is 'bigger' now. At this point, Haggard and Herman are not that well-known outside their fields, esp. Herman, who hasn't done anything new for a long time (although Haggard used to be). I'd say Herman's popular shows from the past are obviously better-known than anything of Jones, but Jones is well-known in the dance world--although almost nobody in the dance world is all that well-known. Oprah probably had 'rank' by not being so obviously right next to the president, which wouldn't have looked right, given that she's so political, and McCartney's English,so that neutralized her closeness to Obama.
  19. Hard to imagine this better-said. Because that is the best possible analogy, since surely one of the toughest. We do let our sentimental attachments go too far sometimes, and we sometimes have to go on and take that leap and face the harsh facts of going past 'tis a poor thing, but one's own'. I recently faced that my mother was brilliant at some foods, but had no feeling for carrots at all, and always ruined them!
  20. Pamela, your Swedish Christmas sounds more like the Stahlbaums than anybody's I've heard of! Made me think of some parts of Sweden I've wanted to see, including that beautiful house that Ingmar Bergman had at one time (or all his life, I just remember it from a bio on him, it was breathtaking), and some of the Swedes I've known here. I recently read that one of my old conservatory colleages, Staffan Scheja, is a professor at Royal Academy in Stockholm, and has founded a chamber music society in Gotland, which I've been told by others is a magnificent place. This has certainly been borne out by photos I've seen of it--lots of wonderful use of wood in homes I remember especially.
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