Meet new faculty: Katie Adkison and what the Bard tells us about the power of voice – Bates News

Each week this fall, well introduce new Bates professors who have tenure-track positions on the faculty.

This years nine tenure appointments are in the disciplines of art and visual culture, classical and medieval studies, economics, English, environmental studies, dance, politics (two appointments), and psychology.

This week we introduce the seventh of our nine new faculty members, Katie Adkison.

Name: Katie Adkison

Title: Assistant Professor of English

Degrees from: University of California, Santa Barbara, Ph.D. in English; Colorado State University, M.A. in English literature, B.A. in English education

Her work: Adkison studies the role of an individuals spoken voice in early modern English literature what the actual feeling of speaking means and conveys, especially in terms of power structures.

In Adkisons scholarship, voice becomes a kind of embodied sensation. Not literally a sixth sense, but something more akin to sensing knowledge than to just a tool of communication.

Her dissertation: The Sense of Speech: Voice and Sovereignty in Early Modern Tragedy, describes the relationship between early modern theories of sovereignty and the phenomenology of the voice in Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedy.

For example: In the opening scene of King Lear, the titular monarch decides to divide his kingdom based on how much his three daughters say they love him. His first two daughters make elaborate but insincere declarations of love.

Lear then turns to his third daughter, Cordelia, and asks, What can you say to draw a third more opulent than your sisters? Cordelia, who does truly love the king, responds, Nothing, my Lord. She continues:

Unhappy that I am, I cannot heaveMy heart into my mouth: I love your majestyAccording to my bond; nor more nor less. (1.1.91-93)

In referring to her own voice, Cordelia is trying to tell her father something about politics and about love that his love test is failing to understand, says Adkison. Shes saying that love and politics are not mathematical equations. You cant give more love through your voice the way that you can give more money or more of something tangible.

The opening scene is a kernel in the larger lesson of the play. Cordelia, in effect, is vocalizing the fact that her vocalization cant do what her father wants it to do it cant be reduced to words. Shes saying, Theres more to love here, just as theres more to language in the very voice Im speaking through.

The scene sets the stage for the tragedy. Lear wants words to equal inheritance, a kingdom, power. Cordelia wants no part of it. And so it ends, with death, tears, and so much pain, says Adkison.

Iambic sortameter: In King Lears opening scene, Shakespeare uses a jarring version of iambic pentameter for some of Cordelias lines. The rhythm is off, says Adkison, noting that the Bard sometimes uses an extra syllable, 11 instead of the usual 10 or even a whole extra two-syllable iamb in some lines.

Shakespeare did that often, she explains, usually to draw attention to something. If the rhythm is off, you are supposed to feel it as an audience member.

We cant know the intentions of the author now or 500 years later. But the meaning is there, regardless. Thats magic to me.

Adkison recalls the moment that something felt off in one of the lines. And so I started counting syllables, the way youre supposed to when something feels off. The extra syllable had to be purposeful. Its too perfect not to be.

In Cordelias 11-syllable lines, there is something that literally cant be divided up. The rhythm of the lines is as out of step with her fathers demands as her inability to speak her love is. Shes really talking about vocal rhythm and the experience of voice to explain whats going on.

A beautiful thing: The beautiful thing about how literature thinks about language is that we cant know the intentions of the author now or 500 years later, Adkison says. But the meaning is there, regardless. Theres always something new to be parsed and to be found. Thats magic to me.

Classroom magic: Sometimes, magical classroom moments happen when a teacher allows a discussion to go off the straight rails.

Last winter, at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Adkison was teaching Thomas Mores Utopia. A student asked, Is anyone watching The Good Place? referring to the NBC fantasy comedy about a utopian, but problematic, afterlife.

Rather than guide the discussion back to the 16th century, Adkison took a moment to connect the dots. She noted the etymology of the word utopia and how it can mean the good place or no place or the good place that cannot exist or something along those lines.

Eager for wordplay, Adkisons students jumped at the chance to connect Mores Utopia to The Good Place, which led to a conversation about the way that the show uses and problematizes the notion of a utopia in such interesting ways.

Then she guided the students back to how More imagined what a good life looked like in his Utopia. The text is infamously sticky about how one constructs a good life, what it means to live the good life, and all the problems that are wrapped up in that text.

And a course is born: All of that left Adkison wanting so badly to teach a class on utopia. And if you look at utopia, you have to teach the second half of the class on dystopias because it seems to be true that a good place for some frequently comes to mean a bad place for others.

College students are special because they will think with you taking on the agency of research and thinking of their learning as their own.

And, voil! This spring, Adkison will teach such a course on utopian and dystopian fiction, from Mores Utopia and Margaret Cavendishs The Blazing World to George Orwells 1984 and the first of N.K. Jemisins Broken Earth trilogy. Im hoping well end with the first season of The Good Place and try and end on a funny note even if its not necessarily optimistic in all of the ways one wants it to be.

Why Bates? I was so excited when I visited Bates to see how much collaboration happens between departments and between students and faculty. Collaborative research structures the idea of the undergraduate thesis that all students write here.

Why college? College students are special because they will think with you taking on the agency of research and thinking of their learning as their own.

Finding her path: At my core, I have always known I wanted to be a teacher, Adkison says.

I thought I would be a high school English teacher for the rest of my life. But my path to graduate work was one I found late in the stages of my own bachelors degree, when I was taking education courses alongside literature courses. I realized I had more questions about the literature. I couldnt be done.

Visit link:

Meet new faculty: Katie Adkison and what the Bard tells us about the power of voice - Bates News

Travis Scott Appears to Hint at New Music: ‘Going to Go Cook Up and Build These Walls for Utopia’ – Complex

Travis Scottappeared to tease his forthcoming album Utopia with an incredibly small change to his Instagram that only eagle-eyed fans may have noticed when hechanged his bio from Astroworld, the title of his 2018 album, to Utopia.

Scott also tweeted that he's "GOING TO GO COOK UP AND BUILD THESE WALLS FOR UTOPIA. SEE YOU GUYS SOON." On top of that, Scott told DJ's to "keep checking ur mailbox" as he has "something on the way in the mail for ya."


DJs Just keep Checking ur mailboxGot something on the way in the mail for ya

Back in August, Scott celebrated the two-year anniversary, or "Astroversary,"of Astroworld with a handwritten note that concluded, "Let's keep the ride going, see you in Utopia."

When asked to confirm that Utopia was the title of his next album, Scott's friend and collaborator Chase B responded, "Oh nah, it's not. I think thats just him being Trav. Just feeling good, in the moment."In an interview with GQ published in October, La Flame was asked "Where does one go after Astroworld,"to which he responded, "You go to Utopia. Thats where you go."

Scott's latest single "Franchise" debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100, making him thefastest artist to accumulate three No. 1 debuts in the chart's history.

Stay tuned.

Read this article:

Travis Scott Appears to Hint at New Music: 'Going to Go Cook Up and Build These Walls for Utopia' - Complex

‘Utopia’ is a Pandemic Story That Looks a Lot Like Reality – The Heights

Utopia, a new series from Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn, hit Amazon Prime on Friday. The show is the furthest thing from utopic, but its title is well-suited for the satirical, vice-filled thriller. Expect the unexpected with Utopiathe plot twists and distorts seemingly harmless comic-obsessed fanboys into serious threats to humanity.

The Amazon Original is adapted from the British show of the same name that aired from 2013 to 2014. It follows a group of friends bonded together by a graphic novel series. The gang connects over the internet, where they share their conspiracy theories that the fictional novels foreshadow reality. When an original copy of the sequel, named Utopia, turns up, the group of young adult friends follow it to a Chicago comic convention. Even though they try to fight it, the friends are eventually forced to come to grips with the fact that their theories might be true. With that knowledge comes the responsibility to save the world.

The eight-episode television series is set amid a rising pandemic that affects children (what a coincidence, right?). This version features familiar namesRainn Wilson plays epidemiologist Dr. Michael Stearns, while John Cusack plays his villainous counterpart, Dr. Kevin Christie. Ashleigh LaThrop of The Handmaids Tale also appears.

Utopia is grim, especially with regard to its characters. The most central character of Utopia is Jessica Hyde (Sasha Lane), a not-quite-hero with complex motivations. Her questionable choices always boil down to her own survival. Trying to understand why she makes the decisions she does is a puzzle in and of itself. Her selfish worldview reflects the shows cynical outlook on humanity.

Many thrillers fixate on a single character who has undergone trauma of some kindthey had a lonely childhood, or skeletons in their closet, or they simply neglect their mental health. Utopia amplifies this trope by fleshing out many of its characters, further strengthening the plot. To varying degrees, each character falls into the trope of the poorly adjusted adult or the mysterious one with a dark past. Still, Utopia knows when to step back and leave some things unknownnobody is put under a microscope. Even with Jessica Hyde, interpretations are about the morality of her actions, not her. Utopia masters the balance of characterization: Although viewers are kept at a distance, they know just enough to empathize with the cast and feel the shows suspense.

Though the show is loosely connected to the coronavirus pandemic, Utopia does not claim to offer up any wisdom for the real world. The show pays more attention to how the characters drive the plot, and most of the time, they dont need to say much for a scene to have significance. The suspenseful storyline of Utopia is an escape from reality, not a fix.

Featured image courtesy of Amazon

View post:

'Utopia' is a Pandemic Story That Looks a Lot Like Reality - The Heights

"Utopia" shows the disheartening problems of pandemic TV – Salon

There are TV series that speak to their times, those that are products of their times, and shows that become casualties of them. Amazon's violent, cluttered "Utopia" is an exemplar of all these concepts at once and almost entirely by accident.

This is a series that's been in the works since 2018 and initially had David Fincher attached before being passed to "Sharp Objects" and "Gone Girl" writer Gillian Flynn, adapted from a 2013 British thriller that only lasted a season. Take note of those dates, because they're relevant here. In 2018 the very thought that a pandemic would unravel life as we know it was enough removed from our reality to nestle it in the background of puzzle-driven action drama revolving around a graphic novel with a cult fanbase.

Five years prior to that, when the U.K. original came out, the world was only a few years removed from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, a novel influenza virus that ripped across the globe, causing nearly 12,500 deaths in the United States alone. But that was a flu; infection rates subsided, and we moved on.

What we could not let go, however, was our fascination with stories containing mysteries and meanings begging to be detangled, a mass infection triggered by the end of "Lost" . . . and we still haven't stumbled upon that cure.

Now our most pressing concerns are related to, yes, a global pandemic that the current president of the United States has failed to curb or attempted to battle with any strategy whatsoever.Conspiracy theorists have infiltrated our government on the federal and local levels, and the world is praying for a vaccine while fearing that anything rushed to market is bound to either be ineffective or laced with potentially dangerous side effects.

That's also "Utopia," more or less,save for a heroine,Jessica Hyde (Sasha Lane), whose life parallels the action in a comic book with a cult following one that may be laden with clues warning that a deadly manmade pandemic is in the offing. Well, that and recurring appearances by a villain wearing the rabbit's head and a hitmen who indulge in a whole lot of torture and violence.

"Utopia" has polarized critics and many viewers, particularly those who have seen the British original and aren't enamored of Amazon Studios' upgrades. But it is particularly telling that many of the critiques mention the problem of evoking our current moment too closely and nowhere nearly as imaginatively as the moment demands.

The accidental relevance of this series wouldn't be its sole flaw in a timeline where COVID-19 never happened. "Utopia" suffers from stumbles that are all too typical among ambitious creators, primarily the urge to showcase Lane's formidable heroine and a knotty conspiracy with apocalyptic implications at the expense of story and character development.

Diving into the specifics of "Utopia" beyond the barest of descriptions would spoil the twists in its eight episodes, so I'll skip to the diagnosis:this is initially buoyed by fine performances from Ashleigh LaThrop, Dan Byrd, Jessica Rothe, and the always compelling Desmin Borges as comic book fan foursome Becky, Ian, Samantha and Wilson Wilson, respectively. Unfortunately they and Rainn Wilson's disillusioned virologyDr. Michael Stearns aresoon overpowered by Case's gruff takeover of their lives, andthe casual escalation of a body count.

Maybe these traits would be perceived as lesser sins in times past. This being 2020, a year of exhaustion, anxiety and despair, asking the average viewerto get excited about "Utopia" may be equal in appeal to, say, sitting down with someone who has narrowly escaped the California wildfires and offering to soothe them with a "Chicago Fire" marathon, or a screening of "Backdraft."

We are still figuring out how to navigate this existence, mentally and physically, and television plays a more central role in that process than ever before. It is our information source and our escape, and will increasingly be so as the weather grows colder and the political noise surrounding the election grows more piercing and dangerous.

However as I was watching the finale of "Utopia" a line of dialogue spoken by John Cusack's character Dr. Kevin Christie stuck with me: "People are driven by the need to know what happens next." Mired as we are in such a precarious era, it struck me that the downfall of series such as "Utopia" or even shows revolving around prosaic premises such as Netflix's upcoming"Social Distance" or NBC's "Connecting" is their inability to transport us to places beyond the hell we're in.

"Social Distance" is an eight-partanthology series tracing the chronology of this novel coronavirus from the onset of quarantine to the eruption of protests stemming from the murder of George Floyd. "Connecting" is a network comedy featuring an ensemble cast, and what these shows have in common with, for that matter, Freeform's "Love in the Time of Corona" and HBO's "Coastal Elites" is that they're all products of our lockdown culture.

Each is filmed using distanced cameras, creating scenes from security footage, computers and mobile devices, or approximations thereof, and basically transforming the audience into webcam spies. The thing is, these are series inviting us to watch conversations between actors conversing directly to us or to each other using web conferencing screens, as if the people watching them haven't been on those screens nearly every waking moment of their days.

"Utopia," meanwhile, is a fiction that imagines a dark, dystopic fantasy of our reality, which is already a darkdystopia, and attempts to resurrect the sort of cryptographic mystery that defined "Lost" in our memory. But if that were all that drama had going for it, the story never would have gotten its hooks into us.Instead its appeal is very simple and the missing ingredient in the "Utopia" formula, which is that we embraced it for the relationships.

This is where "Utopia" fails and, although those other shows are quite different, this is where they come up short as well. I understand, of course, that the very point of "Connecting," "Social Distance" and "Love in the Time of Corona" is to illustrate the difficulty of forging new connections and maintaining the strength of old ones at a time when we're supposed to limit the time we spend outside of our own houses and stay at least six feet apart from people we use to reflexively hug on sight.

And this brings me back to Dr. Christie's question: What would we get, as viewers and humans hungry for an uplift, if creatives stopped looking back or trying to commiserate with the audience and dared to leap ahead a few years and create a destination that isn't dark, disturbing and violent, or too much like looking like the walls of our own coop?

What if someone created a comedy or a drama based on aspiration and hope as opposed to yet another procedural or ensemble piece featuring characters yelling at one another through windows, actual or virtual?

What if, despite the fathoms-deep social divisions wrecking our conscious hours, some enterprising writer and studio can collaborate on a vision that isn't an adaptation of our flawed present or some property that's already been explored. That turns out not to be a place to escape, but a destinationat which we can dream of arriving?

Sure, it's an ideal. But it's exactly the type of show I'd happily tune in.

"Utopia" is currently streaming on Amazon. "Social Distance" premieres on Thursday, Oct.15 onNetflix. "Connecting" airsThursdays at 8 p.m.NBC, moving to 8:30pm on Oct. 29.

Go here to read the rest:

"Utopia" shows the disheartening problems of pandemic TV - Salon

Pandemic thriller Utopia on Amazon might be the perfect viewing – CNET

Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop) and Jessica Hyde (Sasha Lane) in Utopia, hitting Amazon Prime Video on Sept. 25.

Before diving into Utopia, Amazon's new conspiracy thriller series from Gone Girl's Gillian Flynn, let's get the big question out of the way: Is it better than the cult classic 2013 British series it's based on?

Short answer: No.

But at least it's not a mass appeal US remake. Flynn pens all eight episodes of the adaptation about a pandemic conspiracy, with John Cusack and Rainn Wilson providing the marquee names. Originally ordered in 2018 with David Fincher tapped to direct, the series hit pause before Amazon, with a trio of directors, made it happen -- and with the benefit of some fortuitous release timing.

Entertain your brain with the coolest news from streaming to superheroes, memes to video games.

That's as long as you're into pandemic TV. The ridiculous conspiracy, involving a bat-based virus that might have been created on purpose, will tug the occasional wry smile. There are new and reimagined characters, and the further the conspiracy unravels, the more it veers away from the original. Plus, Cusack is weirdly charismatic as the creator of a synthetic meat.

There's a lot here. But you're still better off seeking out the UK version.

Center: John Cusack as Dr. Christie.

The plot starts off the same way. Several parties are hunting down a graphic novel called Utopia that predicts future viruses. There are the torture-artist secret agents known as The Harvest, and the "fanboys" who believe the prequel to Utopia, Dystopia, predicted real-life epidemics like Eobola and MERS.

"Why do we keep feeling like it's the end of the world?"

"Because someone is ending the world!"

Caught in the middle is the mysterious Jessica Hyde (Sasha Lane), who has a role in the graphic novel and is on the run from The Harvest. "Where is Jessica Hyde?" is repeated a lot.

Ian (Dan Byrd), Wilson Wilson (Desmin Borges), Sam (Jessica Rothe) and Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop).

The giddy excitement of the "fanboys", or nerdy internet friends who study the mysteries of the manuscript, is fun to share as the epiphanies come thick and fast across the episodes. There's insurance man Ian (Dan Byrd), his crush harboring a secret illness Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop), underground bunker owner Wilson Wilson (Desmin Borges), troubled 11-year-old Grant (Javon Walton) and brand-new character, idealistic Sam (Jessica Rothe).

Their bumbling naivety is chuckle-worthy, especially in high tension scenes with agents like Arby (Christopher Denham), a tracksuit-wearing, raisin-popping, softly-spoken psychopath. While there's no infamous school shooting from the original, his eyeball torture scene remains horrendous.

While the US adaptation's violence is less extreme, the extreme characters grate. They mainly populate the second big storyline following Cusack's scientist Dr. Kevin Christie, who's accused of starting a new virus, and Rainn Wilson's meek Dr. Michael Stearns, who studies it.

It doesn't help that some characters, like Jessica Hyde, are super serious, making those like Christie's ambitious son, who oversees a media spin team with the smile of a game show host, seem even more over-the-top.

The relatable band of misfits are gradually nudged to the side, when you want them to drive the narrative. Their interactions with Jessica lack chemistry, her cutthroat decisions often receiving baffled looks.

The absurd-to-serious tone rides an electronic current from Jeff Russo's score, which at times sounds like The Social Network's. It's dark and ominous, but might have benefitted from a hit of wackiness. Hear the rooster calls and chopstick clicks texturing Cristobal Tapia de Veer's lauded score for the original.

This grittier feel finds its way into the brownish Chicago setting. The original's stunning Technicolor palette is applied to the green fields and the yellow decontamination tents, but looks strangely muted, rarely popping.

Still, the likeable gang, propulsive mystery and the flecks of dark and deadpan humor create an absorbing world. It might be visually duller than the British series and can't take any credit for the imaginative brilliance, but Amazon's Utopia isn't a write-off. Benefitting from a timely release, it grows into something different, with a few twists fans of the original won't see from a mile off.

Utopia hits Amazon Prime Video on Sept. 25.

Read more:

Pandemic thriller Utopia on Amazon might be the perfect viewing - CNET

Utopia Red Band Trailer – /FILM

Amazon is ready to take you toUtopia, a new series fromGillian Flynn, adapted from the 2013 British show of the same name. In the series, fans of a comic book discover a conspiracy within the comic is actually real, and now, a group of young fans come together to embark on a high-stakes twisted adventure to use what they uncover to save themselves, each other, and ultimately humanity. A newUtopiared band trailer gives us a blood-drenched look at the series below.

Utopia has had a strange path. The concept originated as a British series in 2013. Then, in 2018, HBO ordered an American remake with David Fincher set to direct. However, budget disputes killed the project over at HBO but it eventually found new life on Amazon. Fincher is no longer involved, butGone Girl writer Gillian Flynn, who was going to work with Fincher on the HBO version, remained on board. And now,Utopia is gearing up to arrive on Amazon Prime Video onSeptember 25, 2020.

My idea was to not only Americanize it and deal with things that I think specifically feel resonant with Americans in a lot of ways, but also to make it gritty, and dirty, and nasty, in a very realistic way, Flynn said. Whereas [Dennis Kelly] took his cue from graphic novels themselves, I took my cue more from the 70s paranoia thrillers I loved that came out after Watergate, in that era where no one trusted anyone and there was a breakdown in what society, the government, and the world was feeling like. I wanted that paranoia to feel very real and to be able to access that through each different character.

Heres the synopsis:

Utopiacenters on a group of comic fans who meet online and bond over their obsession of a seemingly fictional comic called, Utopia. Together, Ian (Dan Byrd), Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop), Samantha (Jessica Rothe), Wilson Wilson (Desmin Borges) and Grant (Javon Wanna Walton) unearth hidden meanings cloaked within the pages of Utopia, predicting threats to humanity. They realize these are not just the makings of a conspiracy; they are very real dangers coming alive right now in their world. The high-stakes adventure brings the group face-to-face with the comics famed central character, Jessica Hyde (Sasha Lane), who joins them on their mission to save the world while harboring secrets of her own.

While Im a big fan of Flynn, and I love a lot of people in this cast, Im still not sold onUtopia, even after this trailer full of bonkers violence and all sorts of other mayhem. Maybe itll surprise me.

Read more here:

Utopia Red Band Trailer - /FILM

4 Films You Need to Watch This Fall – The Atlantic

Read: David Byrnes joyful and uncomfortable reinvention of the rock concert

This tension is at the heart of American Utopia, as is Byrnes distress over our disconnected modern world. Throughout the show, he champions the joys of collaboration and communality. At one point, he notes that most of the performers (including himself) are immigrants. At another, he decries Americas low voting numbers and informs the audience members that they can register to vote on-site once the concert is over. The film builds to a cover of Janelle Mones protest song Hell You Talmbout, during which performers chant the names of Black people who were killed by police or died in their custody, including Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland; Lees camera cuts away from the theater and shows the victims loved ones holding up photographs of those they lost.

Through each beautifully choreographed song, Byrne demonstrates the thrill of watching people perform in sync. But he tempers that glee with stark reminders of how much remains broken outside of his theatrical space, and how much work remains to be doneby others and by himself. The films premiere came shortly after Byrne apologized on Twitter for a newly resurfaced clip of him appearing in blackface in a 1984 video: Like I say at the end of our Broadway show American Utopia, I need to change too and I believe I have changed since then. In an interview with Variety, he addressed the responsibility he has as an artist talking about racial justice to own up to his mistakes.If Im going to talk about this stuff, I cant talk about giving advice to other people if I cant do it myself, Byrne said.

Along with American Utopia, the most highly anticipated premiere at TIFF was Chlo Zhaos Nomadland, which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival and will be released on December 4. Zhaos previous movie, the heart-wrenching modern Western The Rider, was one of the best films of 2018 and made enough of a splash to get her a gig making a giant blockbuster for Marvel (The Eternals, due out next year). In between those projects, she quietly made Nomadland, working with its star, Frances McDormand, to adapt a nonfiction book by Jessica Bruder about older transient workers displaced by the 2008 recession and living in cars. The film is a worthy exploration of the lost American dream, focusing on communities laid to waste by an economic crisis the country has already begun to forget.

Read: The Rider was one of the best films of 2018

Nomadland was filmed with a tiny crew that moved across seven states for four months and mostly features nonactors appearing as themselves. McDormand plays Fern, a woman still mourning the Nevada company town she left behind after its Sheetrock factory closed and her husband died. Zhaos film is a requiem for Ferns former way of life and a celebration of the new existence shes found, living in her van and moving from job to job as the seasons change. The open road has long been a mythic environment for cinema, and Nomadland captures many staggering, romantic vistas on Ferns journey. But Zhao also visits mundane localesparking lots, Laundromats, an Amazon packaging factory where Fern picks up shifts at Christmas. In the classic American Western, endless possibility always lies ahead; Nomadland is a modest yet powerful portrayal of Ferns determined effort to cling to the only thing she has left: her independence.

While Nomadland renders the inherent contradictions of America visually, Regina Kings directorial debut, One Night in Miami, does so in words. Kings film, which will be released by Amazon later this year, imagines a fictional meeting between historical heavyweights: Sam Cooke (played by Leslie Odom Jr.), Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), and Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), before he was known as Muhammad Ali. Based on Kemp Powerss play of the same name, the film is set after Clays first victory over Sonny Liston, in 1964, when a celebratory hangout turns into a debate over the best way to build a better America.

Read more from the original source:

4 Films You Need to Watch This Fall - The Atlantic

The Third Day: everything you need to know about Skys new miniseries – The Guardian

Jude Law stars as Sam in Skys The Third Day

Summer 2020 has been a strange one. But the eerily weird summer that Jude Law is having in The Third Day a new Sky original drama from Utopia writer Dennis Kelly and immersive theatre company Punchdrunks artistic director, Felix Barrett could give it a run for its money. Set on the real-life island of Osea, Essex, Law plays city-dweller Sam, who finds himself stranded when the tide cuts Osea off from the mainland. As the islanders gear up for their bizarre festival, Sam begins to realise that the people of Osea are stranger and more dangerous than he first thought.

The Third Day is a unique proposition. Its comprised of three separate but interconnected stories that all take place on Osea. The first, titled Summer, is led by Law, the second, Winter, by Naomie Harris and Autumn is a bold theatrical broadcast event on Sky Arts (Saturday 3 October), orchestrated by immersive theatre company Punchdrunk that takes place between them. Barrett says: Its been a long-held ambition of mine to create a story that would begin on TV, transfer into a live experience, then fold back into TV. We wanted to break the fourth wall of television. The original plan for Autumn was an immersive theatre experience on Osea Island that viewers could attend in person, but due to Covid-19 it has been turned into a filmed, as-live broadcast.

So lets dig a little deeper into the world of The Third Day, and find out what to expect from the first part of the show: Summer.

What is it about?On the surface, The Third Day: Summer is about a man who becomes trapped on a strange island, when all he wants to do is get back to his family. But as anyone who has ever seen a Kelly show before will know, the surface is generally the least interesting part.

Really its a piece about grief: the destructive consequences of not being able to grieve properly and how people deal with loss in very different ways, former Utopia director Marc Munden says. I had this idea that our main guy would have something inside that he was searching for, that was unanswered, Kelly elaborates. If he came to this place and saw what at first seems to be a parochial idyll, he might think there were answers there. But what Sam finds on Osea offers more mind-boggling questions than answers, as we learn that neither the community, with their odd twist on Christianity, or Sam himself, are what they seem. Sams clearly an unreliable narrator in some ways, Munden says. But I wanted to take that further so that the world itself is unreliable and the audience isnt quite sure whether the world they are seeing is true or false. Its not just about him grieving or being unreliable or being a liar, its about you as the audience experiencing the world as he experiences it.

The stars of the showLaw is the star of Summer, and everyone involved is still pinching themselves that he agreed to play the part of Sam. You cant take your eyes off Jude. Hes totally compelling, Munden says. He loves being challenged. He will try anything and be pushed to extremes. He really did live it. I think this is the performance of his life.

Law was the first cast member to sign on and, according to producer Adrian Sturges: Once Jude said yes, the network said we could go after whoever we liked, which turned into an impressive cast made up of Naomie Harris, Emily Watson, Katherine Waterston, Paddy Considine and Paul Kaye. Its always a good testament to the writing when you get your first choices, says Sturges.

The real-life OseaOsea is an island in Essex, connected to the mainland via a Roman causeway, so access to the island is dependent on tides. The Third Day crew took over the whole island during filming, even living there for the duration of the shoot. The series was written with Osea in mind, so very little needed to be done in order to create the look of the show, but there were plenty of logistical challenges.

Both Marc [Munden] and I said it was the hardest shoot weve ever done, says Philippa Lowthorpe, who directs Winter, the final part in the series. It was physically gruelling, she says, but adds that Osea was vital to the look of the film. The haunting landscapes lend the drama the most incredible atmosphere and visual magic.

What to expectNo one seems able to pin The Third Day down to a particular genre. Not even Kelly quite knows how to describe the tone of the show. Its not out and out horror but there are moments when it can be, he muses. Munden settles on the broad term drama, but admits that within that, its a mystery and a thriller. You might call it folk horror, but really thats just there to wrong-foot the audience to make them think they might be about to see something like The Wicker Man. But theres nothing supernatural in the piece. Its much more esoteric and political.

The Third Day is available now on Sky

Here is the original post:

The Third Day: everything you need to know about Skys new miniseries - The Guardian

5 Beauty Trends That Ruled New York Fashion Week – Vogue

To say this has been a New York Fashion Week unlike any other would be an understatement. But proving that challenge cultivates creativity; there was no shortage of beauty inspiration despite a decidedly thin lineup.

Acknowledging the new normal in which wearing a face mask is essential, makeup artists rose to the occasion by introducing new solutions. At Zero + Maria Cornejo, makeup artist Dick Page dreamed up a colorful, easy-to-re-create eye statement to peek out above face coverings, while at Jason Wu, pro Erin Parsons flecked on faux freckles in a tawny, bulletproof pigment that wouldnt move underneath a cloth mask. To lift spirits, there were cheery spring statements too, with Anna Sui and Collina Strada painting on feel-good face flowers and Rodarte presenting fresh bloom crowns and veils. To further make the largely digital shows and presentations an escape from reality, creatives also indulged in beauty for beautys sake. Tom Ford hearkened back to the golden days of disco with iridescent washes of eyeshadow and blush la 70s supermodel Pat Cleveland, while at Wiederhoeft, makeup artist Raisa Flowers makeup vision for rising designer Jackson Wiederhoefts freaky fairy tale included retina-burning splashes on the lids and brows, as well as colored contacts.

From graphic eyeliner to be worn above face masks to fantasy hair designed to stretch the imagination, here are five beauty trends that emerged throughout the week.

Photo: Courtesy of Maybelline

Jason Wu

Quarantine inspired a renewed emphasis on skin care. In a nod to the fruits of a dedicated routine, many of the showsincluding Rodarte, Anna Sui, and Cinq Septput forth raw skin lightly enhanced with nearly imperceptible coverage and strategic highlighting. Adding a healthy dose of vitamin D to the equation was Jason Wu with makeup artist Erin Parsons administering a smattering of trompe loeil frecklesor fleckles, as she liked to call themacross the nose and cheeks. The whole idea is that we cant really go on vacation, so Jason brought the vacation to us, explained Parsons.

Photo: Courtesy of Zero + Maria Cornejo

Zero + Maria Cornejo

In the age of face masks, the eyes have it like never before. As such, it wasnt surprising to see many designers lay the drama on thick at gaze level. It was this idea of how to further accessorize, said makeup artist Dick Page of collaborating with designer Maria Cornejo on a trio of bold, painterly lid looks in white, fuchsia, and cobalt blue. Its instant glam that doesnt really take too much thought. Youre just throwing a little bit of paint on the eyes like you would a pair of cool sunglasses. Similarly bold and bright strokes of eyeliner were seen at Chromat, with a variation of aquatic ombr eye designs, as well as Batsheva and Eckhaus Latta, where abstract, brushstroke dashes accented the eyes.

Photo: Hunter Abrams

Collina Strada

Fantasy hair took many forms this season. To help bring Jackson Wiederhoefts cast of whackadoodle-doo characters to life, hair bender Sean Bennett crafted a myriad of ceiling-bound wigs including a cloudlike platinum blonde afro for model Jazzelle Zanaughtti and a neon purple hair bow-topped bouffant for dancer and artist Leslie Andrea Williams. At Collina Strada, custom Technicolor, tie-dyed hair pieces dreamed up by Tomihiro Kono were layered on as chunky extensions and billowing finger waves. Then, for the Christian Cowan and Lil Nas X collaboration, hairstylist Evanie Frausto created an array of punkish wigs with gravity-defying mohawks and braided hair sculptures.

Photo: Jackie Kursel / Courtesy of Anna Sui

Anna Sui

Sowing seeds for a flower-filled spring, vivid blooms provided a whimsical touch for many of the collections. Using the face as a canvas, Anna Sui and Collina Strada took embellishment to another level. For the former, makeup artist Pat McGrath painted watercolored daisies along the cheeks and temples, and for the latter, pro Allie Smith traced berry, lemon, and tangerine liner in large flower shapes with negative space around the eyes. For those whod rather keep their face bare, there were flower crowns at Ulla Johnson, as well as fuzzy updos and free-flowing lengths decorated with fresh flowers and wreaths at Rodarte.

Photo: Courtesy of Tom Ford

Tom Ford

A rainbow-splashed utopia sounds like a nice respite, no? At Collina Strada, there was a parade of acid-washed, extreme beauty looks, while at Wiederhoeft, makeup artist Raisa Flowers cast lids, brows, and eyes (with help from colored contacts) in candy-colored shades to help bring psychedelically reimagined fairy-tale characters to life. Then, Tom Ford took the fantasy back to the 70s, delivering full-fledged disco beauty inspired by Antonio Lopez muses Pat Cleveland and Donna Jordan, which meant iridescent blue lids, hot pinkdraped cheeks, and bright fuchsia vinyl lips, of course. Finally, to round out the joyful ruffled confections at Tomo Koizumi, eyes, lips, and cheeks were saturated in complementary shades.

Read more:

5 Beauty Trends That Ruled New York Fashion Week - Vogue

David Byrne and Spike Lee Consider the Oxymoron of "American Utopia" – Hyperallergic

From American Utopia (2020), dir. Spike Lee (all images courtesy Cinetic Media)

Its tempting to say this about any piece of media that brings even a semblance of joy during this terrible year, but David Byrnes American Utopia genuinely feels like a balm. The stage show, which ran from late 2019 to early 2020 at New Yorks Hudson Theatre, exists somewhere between a concert and a musical. Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festivals 2020 online edition, the film adaptation, directed by Spike Lee, is a fascinating deconstruction of live performance, emphasizing negative visual space and human connection over pyrotechnics.

As Byrne takes the stage, the recollection of Jonathan Demmes equally joyous 1984 Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense is plain, what with the simple stage assemblage and costuming. Its perhaps a reminder of how things have and havent changed in the time since. But while the original stage show and this film adaptation are absolutely in conversation with Stop Making Sense, Lee still makes it feel distinct. He applies his own visual stamp and a more intimate setup, especially as the show draws closer to its conclusion. He privileges Byrnes audience with unique angles afforded by the camera, getting close-ups, providing new views of the choreography via aerial shots, and generally making this a cinematic experience rather than simply a filmed show. He adds flair to Byrnes minimalist sensibilities.

For his part, Byrne is the same as he ever was humanist, good-humored and often a little self-deprecating, and most of all egalitarian. Hes the focal point of an ensemble, rather than an all-consuming presence. Hes still trying to make sense of the world through Dadaist art, world music, close friends and collaborators, and his audience. The big questions he asks about the American state of being in between the songs provide new context for everything from classics like Burning Down the House and of course Once in a Lifetime to modern collaborations like I Should Watch TV (written with Annie Clark, aka St Vincent) or a retooling of X-Press Zs house track Lazy. Some numbers are updated dissections of modern living, while others are more focused on finding joy in showmanship. Looking at people? Thats the best, Byrne says as This Must Be the Place thunders to life.

For all of American Utopias joy in revisiting these classics, it also has surprising urgency, full of calls to action, specifically around contemporary Black protest. Colin Kaepernick appears on screen as Byrne and his band take a knee and raise their fists, and one of the closing numbers is a cover of Janelle Monaes Hell You Talmbout. That protest song first came out in 2015, and lists some of the Black people killed, mostly by police, up until the point she performed it. Here its updated to include a few names from this year alone: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery. The most telling sign of Lees presence is the confrontational construction of this performance, cutting it with scenes of protests featuring people holding gaze with the viewer, carrying placards and pictures of these stolen lives, with many more names in bold red text that engulf the screen.

The term American Utopia is knowingly oxymoronic. A lot of the show is dedicated to wondering how things can be fixed, if they ever will be. But at the same time, its hard to watch Byrnes warm and humanistic performance without grinning from ear to ear. The American Utopia doesnt exist, but for a couple of hours, the possibility feels a little more hopeful. Even such temporary escapism and affirmation is more than welcome.

American Utopia is currently playing as part of the Toronto International Film Festival. It premieres on HBO October 17.

See original here:

David Byrne and Spike Lee Consider the Oxymoron of "American Utopia" - Hyperallergic

Whats on TV This Week: The Emmys, ‘The Masked Singer’ – Los Angeles Times


HBOs dark superhero drama Watchmen leads the field with 11 nominations at the socially distanced 72nd Emmy Awards. Jimmy Kimmel hosts. 5 p.m. ABC

60 Minutes takes a licking and keeps on ticking as the venerable news magazine returns for its 53rd season. 7 p.m. CBS

Old married couple: Alan and Celia (Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid) are back in Season 4 of the British rom-com Last Tango in Halifax. 8 p.m. KOCE

Her Deadly Sugar Daddy is paying the bills but it could end up costing her her life in this new thriller. With Lorynn York and Aubrey Reynolds. 8 p.m. Lifetime

Surfs up in the tsunami-themed season finale of the extreme nature series Apocalypse Earth. 9 p.m History Channel

See if a dastardly conman finally gets his comeuppance in the finale of the true-crime series Love Fraud. 9 p.m. Showtime

Theyre out of the gourds in the new series Outrageous Pumpkins hosted by How I Met Your Mothers Alyson Hannigan. 10 p.m. Food Network


The docuseries Defying Gravity: The Untold Story of Womens Gymnastics tells of the blood, toil, tears and sweat required to compete at the elite level. 9 a.m. YouTube

Your Las Vegas Raiders still sounds weird to us play their home opener against the New Orleans Saints as the new NFL Football season continues. 5 p.m. ABC, ESPN

Shes in the money: Sex and the Citys Kim Cattrall plays the tough if naive wife of a wealthy but unfaithful televangelist (Gerald McRaney) in the soapy new drama Filthy Rich. 9 p.m. Fox

A 10-year-old Aboriginal boy adept at traditional healing methods comes into conflict with local authorities in Australia in the documentary In My Blood It Runs on a new POV. 10 p.m. KOCE


The British comic and his dear old dad are all dressed up with some place to go in a fourth season of Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father. Anytime, Netflix

Walk it off! The Clippers Doc Rivers and Jill Ellis, late of the U.S. womens soccer team, are among the coaches sharing their secrets for success in the new five-part docuseries The Playbook. Anytime, Netflix

The remaining acts give it their all before a new champion is crowned on the two-night season finale of Americas Got Talent. Terry Crews hosts. 8 p.m. NBC; 9 p.m. Wed.

Frontline lays out your options for the Nov. 3 presidential election in The Choice 2020: Trump vs. Biden. 9 p.m. KOCE

Find out who made Time magazines list of the years most influential politicians, celebrities, etc. in the new special Time100. 10 p.m. ABC

One of the stars of the Harold & Kumar franchise explores issues of interest to younger voters in the new comedy-and-chat show Kal Penn Approves This Message. 10:30 p.m. Freeform


The names Holmes, Enola Holmes. Millie Bobby Brown (Strangers Things) plays super sleuth Sherlock Holmes kid sister in this adventure tale set in Victorian London. With Henry Cavill and Helena Bonham Carter. Anytime, Netflix

Kooky costumes, hidden faces: The Masked Singer is back for a fourth season. Then, find out who can and who cant carry a tune in the new series I Can See Your Voice hosted by Ken Jeong. 8 and 9 p.m. Fox

The veteran Chicano comedy trio Culture Clash tackles the ongoing protests against police brutality on a new episode of Southland Sessions. 8 p.m. KCET

Borneo is the next stop on a new episode of the nature series Islands of Wonder. 8 p.m. KOCE

The Canadian-made procedural drama Coroner ends its freshman season. Serinda Swan stars. 9 p.m. The CW

Party up in here! Katy Perry, Pink Martini and composer-conductor John Williams take it to the stage in encore performances on the season finale of In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl. 9 p.m. KCET

Letter perfect: Nova spells it out for you in the new episode A to Z: The First Alphabet. 9 p.m. KOCE

Filmmaker Alex Gibney takes a deep dive into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election in the two-part documentary Agents of Chaos. 9 p.m. HBO; concludes Thu.


Jon Favreau and celebrity chef Roy Choi serve up a second season of their star-studded culinary series The Chef Show. Anytime, Netflix

The fur will fly as professional pet groomers are put through their paces in the new competition series Haute Dog. Matt Rogers hosts. Anytime, HBO Max

Line of Dutys Stephen Graham and Game of Thrones Mark Addy investigate The Murders at White House Farm in this imported whodunit inspired by true events. Anytime, HBO Max

The special India From Above offers an aerial view of the natural and man-made wonders of that South Asian nation. 9 p.m National Geographic

The rampaging will continue until their demands are met in new episodes of the reality series Bridezillas. 10 p.m. WE


A standout writer-performer from Late Night With Seth Meyers is ready for her closeup in the new series The Amber Ruffin Show. Anytime, Peacock

Get up close and personal with Nashville Stars Coffey Anderson and his kinfolk in the new reality series Country-ish. Anytime, Netflix

Its shoe-shoppin good: Sneakerheads will not rest till theyve scored the most sought-after pair of kicks in this new comedy series. With Allen Maldonado (Black-ish) and Andrew Bachelor. Anytime, Netflix

A teen princess (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) and others of her station suit up for superhero duty in the new action fantasy Secret Society of Second-Born Royals. With Skyler Astin. Anytime, Disney+

Meanwhile, young comic-book fans are tasked with saving the world during a pandemic, no less in the new series Utopia. Rainn Wilson and John Cusack star. Anytime, Amazon Prime

Based on a book by filmmaker Errol Morris, the new true-crime series A Wilderness of Error reopens the case of Jeffrey MacDonald, the former Green Beret convicted of the shocking 1970 murders of his pregnant wife and two young daughters. 8, 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. FX

A scoop of Schubert: Host Scott Yoo profiles the 19th-century Austrian composer in a new Now Hear This on Great Performances. 9 p.m. KOCE

The long-running newsmagazine Dateline NBC also returns with new episodes. 10 p.m. NBC

A new installment of Art in the Twenty-First Century scopes out the contemporary art scene in Beijing. 10 p.m. KOCE


For the defense: Creeds Michael B. Jordan portrays attorney and activist Bryan Stevenson in the 2019 legal drama Just Mercy, based on Stevensons memoir. With Jamie Foxx and Captain Marvels Brie Larson. 8 p.m. HBO

A hotels activities director hooks up with a hunky guest in the new TV movie Falling for Look Lodge. With Clark Backo and Jonathan Keltz. 9 p.m. Hallmark Channel

Read the original here:

Whats on TV This Week: The Emmys, 'The Masked Singer' - Los Angeles Times

Netflix’s The Social Dilemma fails to tackle the real issues in tech. – Slate

Skyler Gisondo as Ben in The Social Dilemma.Netflix

Toward the end of Netflixs new documentary-drama The Social Dilemma, former Google employee Tristan Harris describes technology as simultaneous utopia and dystopia. This quote encapsulates the focus of the film: It primarily plays up well-worn dystopian narratives surrounding technology, with a sprinkling of early utopian views. Although The Social Dilemma attempts to raise awareness around important issues like design ethics and data privacy, it ends up depending on tired (and not helpful) tropes about technology as the sole cause of harm, especially to children. It also omits the very voices who have been sounding the alarm on Silicon Valley for a long time.

The film, instead, mainly centers the voices of former employees at big technology companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Many make it a point to tell us about the utopian intentions behind their involvement in the rise of these companies. For instance, Justin Rosenstein, who led the team that built the Facebook like button, says the team was motivated by a desire to spread love and positivity in the world. People within the technology industry have leaned into such techno-utopianism for decades, underplaying how maximizing profits is a major motivating factor for them. As Maria Farrell, an Irish tech writer, argued in March, these prodigal tech bros get an extremely easy ride toward redemption, and The Social Dilemma is another example of this phenomenon. Farrell also points out how they are given attention at the expense of digital rights activists who have been working tirelessly for years. This documentary, which will undoubtedly reach a global audience being on Netflix (itself a key cog within the technology industry), could have amplified such voices. It could have also given space to critical internet and media scholars like Safiya Noble, Sarah T. Roberts, and Siva Vaidhyanathan, just to name a few, who continue to write about how broader structural inequalities are reflected in and often amplified by the practices of big technology companies.

This is one of the documentarys most glaring omissions because it keeps The Social Dilemma from grappling with the roots of the problems with these companies. In a world where economic inequality continues to widen and many people are deeply skeptical of those in power, the film emphasizes how issues like political polarization and the spread of misinformation are directly caused by the design of online platforms. Certainly, the nature of recommendation algorithms that pull people into certain rabbit holes contributes to these issues. But it is not the sole reason for themand oversimplifying problems is part of how we ended up with our current digital environment.

Focusing instead on how existing inequalities intersect with technology would have opened up space for a different and more productive conversation. These inequalities actually influence the design choices that the film so heavily focuses onmore specifically, who gets to make these choices. Many of the people featured in this film express shock and say they never imagined how online platforms would be weaponized. They might have been less surprised by online hate speechor at least better equipped to respond quicklyif their companies workforces were truly diverse in both race and gender. Black women have been sounding the alarm about abusive online speech for a long time, but their words were long ignoredand the film perpetuates that problem.

Rather than a meaningful discussion on this subject, The Social Dilemma retells a dystopian narrative about technology that harks back to moral panics that have accompanied the introduction of various technologies, including books, the radio, and even the bicycle (despite what Tristan Harris says in the documentary). Social media is framed as ruining Gen Z and leading to a mental health epidemic. Although there are valid concerns about issues like excessive use and unrealistic body image expectations, years of research on how young peoples social media use affects their mental health and well-being tells a much more nuanced story. The film correlates a rise in mental health issues among teens in the U.S. with mobile social media use and makes a causal argument that ignores the role of a number of factors. As professor Sonia Livingstone, co-author of the new book Parenting for a Digital Future, points out, issues ranging from economic inequality to climate change may also contribute to young peoples anxiety and stressyet the film suggests technology alone is the problem. This narrative is further bolstered by framing technology use as an addiction. Some researchers who focus on digital well-being warn against using such labels as it pathologizes technology use. It treats frequent use of technology, even for a short period in someones life, as a disorder that possibly requires clinical intervention. This debate continues on, but the documentary only presents one side of it.

This framing of technology use as an addiction also serves to promote complete abstention as a possible solution. In fact, completely logging off social media is one of the few muddled solutions offered toward the end of the documentary. We are told that those in Silicon Valley do not let their children use any social media. Not only does this gloss over how young people can make positive social connections online, it does not offer parents any productive advice about the conversations they may have with their children on issues like media literacy and privacy protection. Again, experts who have spent years conducting research on children and digital media could have offered such suggestions. But they are absent while a dystopian narrative that lacks any nuance is uncritically presented.

Ultimately, this omission of experts and lack of nuance results in The Social Dilemma feeling like a missed opportunity. On the plus side, it informs a wide audience about issues like surveillance, persuasive design practices, and the spread of misinformation online, which may encourage them to hold big technology companies accountable. But who gets to convey this information and how it is framed are also crucial. Amplifying voices who have always had a seat at the table and continuing to ignore those who havent will not lead us any closer to resolving the dilemma the film claims to present.

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society.

See more here:

Netflix's The Social Dilemma fails to tackle the real issues in tech. - Slate

The Third Day review: Jude Laws inventive mystery drama from the team behind Utopia – NME.com

If theres one thing that film and TV history teaches us, its that strangers visiting remote communities is not a good idea. The Wicker Man, Netflixs Apostle, Midsommar there are no happy endings here. Sky-HBO co-production The Third Day, starring Jude Law and Naomie Harris, is the next big-budget project to adopt the premise and the results are mixed.

Split into three separate parts Summer (three episodes), Autumn (an immersive theatre event broadcast live from London) and Winter (three episodes) The Third Day is at the very least inventive. In the first part, Summer, Law plays bereaved husband Sam an episodic psychosis sufferer who happens upon the mysterious Osea Island during festival season. Reachable only at low tide via a causeway, this chunk of British land off the coast of Essex is populated by the likes of Paddy Considines Mr Martin and Emily Watsons foul-mouthed Mrs Martin (How c**ting lovely! she remarks during one scene), whose inn plays host to off-kilter shenanigans involving the locals. While staying there, Sam meets Jess (Fantastic Beasts Katherine Waterston) and the linebetween fantasy and reality begins to blur.

The Third Day stars Jude Law as Sam, in the midst of a nervous breakdown. Credit: Sky

In the middle of a breakdown, Sams fever-dream state is captured via intense close-ups by director Marc Munden. Aided by a cryptic script from Dennis Kelly and Cristobal Tapia de Veers disturbing score, the former-Utopia triumvirate have succeeded in crafting a haunting and colourful mystery drama that deals with weighty themes like faith and grief.

Skipping Autumn (the immersive theatre event hasnt been filmed yet),The Third Day arrives at Winter, which belongs to Naomie Harris character Helen. Driving to Osea with her two young daughters she explains that the island is a great archaeological treasure to her studious eldest the familys idyllic weekend away quickly spirals into a nightmare. Go home, believe me its for the best! a local hotelier says before shutting the door in Helens face. Does the Booking.com star rating mean nothing to these people?

Naomie Harris plays Helen, a mother who takes her children to a mysterious island off the coast of Essex. Credit: Sky

As Helen and her squabbling kids roam the freezing terrain, encountering weirdo after weirdo and the odd mutilated animal, Harris imbues Helen with an affable determination. This time we know what shes up against, so its a relief to find were in the company of someone a bit more attentive than Laws Sam. When the customs of the islanders manage to rattle our new protagonist, the atmosphere in The Third Day morphs into a low-key kind of horror la Ben Wheatleys Kill List. This is the shows best form and itll be fascinating to see which way Autumn goes when it airs in October.

Four months after it was originally scheduled to premiere COVID-19 pushed back post-production The Third Day arrives with two standout episodes (five were available for review, not including the live-streamed, mid-season Autumn and October 19s last episode). It might not blow anybodys socks off but for those who choose to stick by it, next months finale promises a mouthwatering if, likely ill-fated climax.

The Third Day premieres September 15 on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV

Read this article:

The Third Day review: Jude Laws inventive mystery drama from the team behind Utopia - NME.com

Recruiting for Utopia exhibit at Fruitlands looks to the past and the present – Worcester Telegram

HARVARD Nestled in the woods of Harvard is a message waiting to be discovered: Hope is the watchword now.

These words of Bronson Alcott flutter on a printed banner near the entrance to Fruitlands Museum. Flapping in the wind on large banners throughout the grounds are the words of other transcendentalists, too, utopians and some contemporary philosophers.

Jane Marsching, the 2020 artist-in-residence at Fruitlands Museum, is creating outdoors her interpretation of the newest exhibit indoors.

Recruiting for Utopia: Print and the Imagination, which opened Sept. 5, is an exhibit in two distinct parts. There is a historical collection and a contemporary collection of visual artifacts.

Shana Dumont Garr, curator at Fruitlands, explained the overall premise of the exhibit: To look at New England in two specific time periods: the 1840s and 2019-2020. And to explore how print and design helped express peoples worries and their desires to make the world a better place.

When we think of utopia in this way it was peoples imaginings of what was good, said Dumont Garr. Utopia has meant different things to different people.

In the1840s there were various ideologies competing for the attention of New Englanders. Since there was no internet to share memes, visual representations of complex ideas and concepts were created to spread particular beliefs.

For a little background, 1843 is the year that Bronson Alcott, educator, reformer and father of "Little Women" author Louisa May Alcott, tried unsuccessfully to establish Fruitlands, the experimental utopian community.

About that same time William Miller, a farmer turned preacher, who was born in Pittsfield, prophesied the return of Christ, the end of the world and the 1843 ascension of the true believers to heaven utopia. Miller was a charismatic speaker who gained followers across many social sectors. The Millerites were aligned with the temperance and abolitionist movements and they were encouraged to help others prepare to be worthy to ascend into heaven.

At large outdoor gatherings called tent revivals, Miller would preach to hundreds of people. To help spread the word, large-scale banners printed on linen were hung from the tent depicting timelines of real historical events, blended with scripture from the Old Testament. There were also frightening images of mythical beasts and lots of mathematical calculations. Instilling fear of an apocalypse was an important aspect of Millers proselytizing.

Miller successfully recruited many followers with his persuasive speaking and his didactic visuals. Flyers and pamphlets were printed and distributed and newspapers were sold to further promote his teachings.

The Millerites were only one of many Protestant organizations during this time of resurgent religious fervor. The Shakers in nearby Harvard believed that living a life of simplicity and perfection in all their endeavors would produce a utopia on Earth. They are known for their fine craftsmanship and innovation, but on display in this exhibit are writings devoted to their spirituality.

Shaker Sister Sarah Bates secretly documented in ink on paper her spiritual communications using detailed biblical symbols and text. It was kept secret, rolled up in a drawer, because creating two dimensional art was forbidden in the Shaker faith.

Also on display are handmade and printed ephemera from the Freemasons, the Phrenologists (practitioners of a pseudoscience who claimed they could discern a persons character from the shape of the skull), and various flyers concerned with the urgent issues of the times.

I am hoping that it will be reassuring for people to see that in 1840s New England, it wasnt just farmers who all got along and lived a simple life. There were conflicting ideas and life was just as complicated then, said Dumont Garr.

Today, even with the internet to digitally spread content, there is still a place for the printed word. Think about the signs we have all seen for the Black Lives Matter and Hate Has No Home Here movements, or Greta Thurnbergs Skolstrejk fr klimatet (School Strike for Climate). These powerful messages have spread organically with simply printed yard signs.

The contemporary part of the exhibit is an eclectic collection of printed materials, pamphlets, street signs, posters, zines and a comic book, all created within the past few years by diverse artists. These physical documents highlight issues as varied as the slave market at Faneuil Hall, saving the U.S. Postal Service, the repatriation of sensitive objects belonging to indigenous peoples, and the interface of beekeeping and environmental injustice.

This is not the singular, precious, one-of-a-kind type of artwork destined to hang on the wall of a museum, viewed only by people who have the privilege of visiting that place. These works were intended to be distributed, to convey a message and to recruit others who support the message, building a community in the process.

Paige Johnston, an art historian and co-curator for the contemporary portion of Recruiting for Utopia, explained the value of making art to be distributed. It is a very democratic art form. You can make it out of inexpensive materials, whether that is by photocopying or by hand stitching on paper you have made yourself out of old clothes. There is a level of economic and monetary accessibility.

And Marsching, the artist-in-residence, is creating banners that flutter in the breeze at Fruitlands just as the Millerite banners would have done in the mid-1800s. Marsching is a visual multidisciplinary artist, a professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a climate change activist. For her project, Utopian Press, she uses bark and acorns foraged on the grounds of Fruitlands to make the ink for the 3-by-30-foot banners hung from trees.

Her ink is steeped in a passive solar oven that she made herself. Marsching designed and built a portable backpack letterpress that can be carried out onto the trails at Fruitlands for groups to collaboratively create the banners onsite and hang them from the trees. Marschings banners visually recreate the words and ideas of the utopians.

"Recruiting for Utopia" runs through March 21, 2021. While visiting Fruitlands, do not miss the exquisite work of Boston painter Polly Thayer Starr. Also on view are some of Starrs personal items and journals.

Read the original:

Recruiting for Utopia exhibit at Fruitlands looks to the past and the present - Worcester Telegram

I never really understand genre: the writer of The Third Day on why he refuses to define his new series – The Guardian

Naomie Harris as Helen in The Third Day

Lets talk about range. Few writers can jump from hilarious female-led comedy to dark conspiracy theory drama, and then move on to a glorious Roald Dahl musical. Dennis Kelly can. Now, the writer behind Utopia and Pulling is back with The Third Day, an unclassifiable drama/mystery/horror starring Jude Law. I never really understand genre, its confusing, Kelly says, which may go some way towards explaining his eclectic CV. He is interested more in telling a good story than in what form or genre that story takes.

The Third Day is an atmospheric, disorienting tale split into three distinct but interlinked parts. Summer, led by Law; Winter, led by Naomie Harris; and Autumn, a one-off as-live theatrical broadcast on Sky Arts (Saturday 3 October), masterminded by theatre icons Punchdrunk. As the shows co-creator, Punchdrunk founder Felix Barrett had the ideal creative partner in Kelly. He was the perfect match. Because hes a theatre playwright as well, we have that common language, says Barrett.

With the brilliant Utopia, Kelly proved hes more than capable of pulling together a rich tapestry of character backstory, mystery and mythology. Viewers drove themselves mad with the repeated mantra of where is Jessica Hyde?, speculating over the villainous goals of The Network, while falling in love with morally dubious characters such as Arby and the brilliantly-named Wilson Wilson. The Third Day is set to inspire similar levels of speculation as Kelly and Barrett dig into what Kelly calls the mythology and craziness of the shows island setting, and the characters unusual religious beliefs, inspired by the weird and wonderful Gnostic Gospels, which say the world was created by the demiurge and the demiurge isnt God, its something else, something slightly evil, says Kelly.

The direction and visuals of The Third Day needed to reflect the tone of Kellys writing, so its no surprise that Kelly turned to Utopia director Marc Munden to direct the first of the three episodes. With my writing you can read it one way, and become obsessed with the darker or more dangerous elements, Kelly says. But what I wanted someone to do was think of the other stuff the more emotional stuff. Marc immediately responded to that. For Mundens part, he was in no doubt about collaborating with Kelly again. I love working with him. His writing is so unique. His craft is so honed Hes also been so prophetic. Its typical that as we finish this series, we get hit by a virus that is straight out of our last series!

Utopia fans associate Kelly with moments of shocking violence, and The Third Day will once again utilise Kellys ability to shock. It was very interesting to work on how fear and suspense can be visually imagined and [it was] an adventure to peer into the weird mind of Dennis Kelly, says director Philippa Lowthorpe, who directs Winter. Dennis has an interesting take on violence its always challenging the viewer sometimes its bloody, sometimes chilling, at others times its casual, but it always feels real.

Kelly is no shock-jock, though. Hes just as adept with comedy (albeit often dark) and childrens entertainment. Pulling, co-written by Sharon Horgan, dug into the messy, and often ugly, romantic lives of women, while he lent his pen to the multi-award-winning Matilda the Musical. He also wrote a stage adaptation of Pinocchio for the National Theatre. His fondness for comedy even Utopia was hilarious in places is what grounds his work, and stops the darkness from becoming too grim and painful to watch.

Kellys writing always sits right on the cutting edge, and often paves the way for similarly challenging work to follow. This has the unfortunate side effect of meaning that in the past Kelly has tended to be the canary in the mines, testing the waters with work that is a few years ahead of what many commissioners are comfortable with. Utopia was unjustly cancelled by Channel 4 after only two seasons, something that you cant imagine happening in todays era of dark, prestige TV populated with fascinating anti-heroes. Luckily, the TV landscape has finally caught up to his sensibilities.

Kellys reluctance to abide by the rules of genre presents TV commissioners and PR teams with a pickle: how to sell something that doesnt fit neatly into a particular box? But that is also Kellys strength as a writer viewers never know if hes about to veer sharply into comedy, terror or tragedy. Recently the huge success of shows such as I May Destroy You and Years and Years have proved what Kelly has always known: that a show doesnt need to adhere to a certain genre for viewers to latch on to it. Utopia is now finding a second life as a US remake, overseen by Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn, and The Third Day is fully embracing Kellys approach to genre, keeping viewers on their toes until the bitter end. Which is exactly where Kelly likes them.

The Third Day is available now on Sky

Read the original:

I never really understand genre: the writer of The Third Day on why he refuses to define his new series - The Guardian

Highlights From a Surreal, Remote Toronto International Film Festival – The Ringer

Thank you for leaving your homes, David Byrne tells the adoring crowd of New Yorkers whove showed up for his Broadway show American Utopia, a line that instantly transforms Spike Lees concert movie into a period piece. In a year when live music and theater-going are on the ropes, Lees film version of Byrnes combination rock-show-slash-performance-art-hootenannyshot in late 2019 and slated for broadcast this fall on HBOvibrates with wistful nostalgia. As the opening night selection of a film festival whose attendees mostly experienced it via their laptops or living-room flatscreens, American Utopia is savvy, but also a bit sad. Its vibrant, winning showmanship cant help but feel bittersweet.

Typically, the Toronto International Film Festival is a hive of industry and film-criticism activity; as a resident of the city whos covered TIFF for the past 20 years, Ive gotten used to late August and everything after as an epicenter of business, pleasure, and everything in between. Last year, I introduced my TIFF Ringer coverage by talking about how, nearly 50 years into its history, the organization was gamblingand mostly winningon trying to be all things to all people: a corporately-backed, public-facing celebration bringing together arthouse, grindhouse, and experimental fare under the sign of pop cultural diversity, all while still showing allegiance to the mainstream. Since the 90s, TIFFs desire to act as a launching pad for the Oscars has affected its in-house programming and media perception in equal measure.

In a normal year, the question in a piece like this would be which Toronto premieres had the look of movies that could go the distance on the awards circuit, or maybe which ones flying under the radar were worth seeking out. In 2020, the more pressing concern, on the ground and online, was whether or not there would even be a TIFF, or whether there should be, and if so, what would it look like, and why.

I havent had to leave my house to cover TIFF this year, although I could if I wanted to: The festival is holding a series of in-person screenings at its downtown headquarters and at drive-ins located around the city. But because the festivals entire programwith a couple of exceptions that Ill get to in a momenthas been available to critics via a smoothly functional digital cinema, it felt best to stay inside. (A note: With the exception of Tenet, the only movie Ive seen in public since February was a local drive-in screening of David Cronenbergs seminal sex-and-car-wrecks thriller Crash, which also happens to be the best depiction ever of Torontos concrete overpasses and automotive culture; imagine watching Jaws in a dinghy in Marthas Vineyard.)

To say that this overall setup has had its share of hiccups is an understatement. In the past few weeks, TIFF has come under fire on Twitter for problems ranging from its policy of geoblocking screenings to newly limited media accreditation to an edictsince reversedthat mask-wearing would be optional inside its theaters. In addition, the reduction in programming from over 200 movies to 50 has led to diminished excitementand expectationsabout the festivals impact and artistic mandate. In 2019, TIFF hosted the coming-out party (complete with Kevin Garnett) for Uncut Gems and facilitated heated debates about Joker; this year, with distributors unsure what to do with their wares (even more so after the seeming catastrophe of Tenets theatrical release) and Netflix withholding potential heavy hitters like David Finchers Mank from the festival circuit altogether, its become that much harder to capture a collective public imagination thatin another understatementhas other things on its mind.

As distraction tools go, American Utopia will do nicely. A spiritual sequel to 1984s epochal concert film Stop Making Sensea masterpiece of collaborative music-and-moviemaking directed by Jonathan Demme when he was truly feeling himselfAmerican Utopia finds ex-Talking Heads frontman Byrne in puckish, playful artiste mode, presiding over a troupe of identically suited singers and musicians whose choreographed moves and harmonies are captured by Lee with more cinematic dynamism than the recent film version of Hamilton. A comparison between the two productions is instructive: Where Lin-Manuel Mirandas Tony Awardwinning musical plays now as a relic of the Obama era, American Utopia, from its slyly ironic title on down, has been devised as a dispatch from Trumpland, with Byrne positioning himself as a figure of gentle, principled resistance. An alternate title could be Start Making Sensewalking onstage alone in the first sequence, Byrne tenderly cradles a replica of a human brain and marvels at the neurological miracle of conscious thought. Here is an area that needs attention, he sings, fingering the ersatz cerebellum. Here is a connection with the other side.

For those on the same side of Byrnes intellectual playfulness and progressive politics, American Utopia will seem like its reaching out; for anybody else, its overt, unapologetic appeals to liberal tolerancemost explicitly on the single Everybodys Coming to My House, with its message of inclusion and acceptancewill be just so much preaching to the choir. The matchup between Byrne and Lee is compelling insofar as theyre both masterful at inviting audiences to contemplate ideological issues. Its telling that Lee forgoes the aggressive alienation effects of a movie like Da 5 Bloods in order to serve his stars more benign vision. If American Utopia is a bit uneven and draggy toward the end, its because Lees direction, for all its skill, cant artificially elevate the source material. Its also telling that most of the best songs here are reprises from Stop Making Sense; write stuff as good as Once in a Lifetime and Burning Down the House and youll never live it down, even if youre a genius.

American Utopias greatest virtue is its open-heartedness, which is also, interestingly enough, its greatest flaw: While Byrne and Co. can be forgiven for not anticipating or integrating the precise psychic torment of COVID-19 into their guided tour of contemporary fears and anxieties, theres a cloying sense that the showand the filmis an attempt to put a happy face on an anguished moment. This is also a sticking point with TIFFs consensus critical hit Nomadland, Chlo Zhaos much-anticipatedand mostly impressivefollow-up to the acclaimed millennial Western The Rider, a mix of verit frontier mythology that marked the emergence of a beguiling new filmmaking talent. In The Rider, Zhao profiled a self-styled, 21st-century cowboy struggling, literally and figuratively, to get back in the saddle after a debilitating accident; the film was a work of fiction cast with real people (including taciturn star Brady Jandreau), serving simultaneously as a snapshot of the modern rodeo circuit and a model of a collaborative artistic process in which the storyteller takes her cues from her subjects.

Nomadland is also filled with non-actorsa charismatic gallery of itinerant Americans crisscrossing the Midwest in mobile homes, picking up seasonal work at resorts and warehouses before moving on to the next outpost. Theres material here for a rich, probing documentary about the relationship between rugged individualism and the comforts of community, as well as a critique of the social and economic conditions that leador forcepeople to get on the road. Zhaos journalistic curiosity and facility for location shooting (the lunar landscapes here are mostly in Nevada) are genuine strengths in this context. But theres another major figure in Nomadland whose presence supersedes Zhaos skillfully self-effacing direction: Frances McDormand, whose 60ish widow Fern gets foregrounded to the point that the movie feels like a star vehicle.

To clarify, this is not a bad thing: McDormand might be the best American actress of her eraand potentially on her way to a third Academy Award for her sterling work here. Shuffling purposefully on a bum knee through Zhaos gorgeous widescreen frames, Fern is a perpetual motion machine whose combination of gregarious friendliness and unorthodox awkwardness registers as real and lived-in; her desire to go it alone after the death of her husband (and the vaporization of their savings) evinces a strong will even while she struggles with the obscure, day-to-day logistics of living out of a van. But as good as McDormand is, shes also too iconic to ever disappear into the role, and while her recognizability doesnt keep Nomadland from hittings its marks as an absorbing realist drama, its hard to fully reconcile her presence with the people she bounces off of in a series of ambling vignettes. That goes double for David Strathairn, an excellent actor whose casting as a potential love interest additionally compromises the believability of the proceedings.

The bigger issue with Nomadland might be how benign it is. In her admirable attempt to rebut Trump-era stereotypes about American life and character, she ends up draining away some of the tension and live-wire emotion that could have made the movie extraordinary. At its heart, Nomadland is a road movie, but too many scenes feel stuck in neutralsubtle and delicate to the point of paralysis. It may not be necessary to compare an ascendant auteur like Zhao to a master like Kelly Reichardt, but even with its contemporary dateline, Nomadland lacks the urgencyand effective, hectoring despairof First Cow, which looks more and more like a fraught years most significant American film.

I would have liked to include thoughts on a few other titles that should join Nomadland on the short list of TIFF entries that could gain traction in whatever ends up comprising 2020s Oscar race, but the festival did not make them available to critics. Whether the exclusion of Francis Lees starry same-sex romance Ammonite (starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan) or Halle Berrys directorial debut Bruised from the digital cinema was done at the behest of distributors or as an extra caution against piracy is hard to say for sure, but the movies absence ends up propagating a feeling of imbalance in which some entriesi.e., ones with big stars and actual box office prospectsare deemed more valuable than the exemplars of national, ethnic, and stylistic diversity being showcased further on down the virtual bill.

With this in mindand noting in passing that neither of the two biggish-ticket movies by actors-turned-directors, Viggo Mortensens semi-autobiographical Falling and Regina Kings fact-based drama One Night in Miami, are strong enough to write about at lengthIll end by praising a movie thats not necessarily coming to a cinema (or streaming site) near you anytime soon, but which represents the sense of discovery thats kept me coming back to TIFF for half of my life. Shot in Budapest by the emerging Hungarian writer-director Lili Horvat, the ominously monikered Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time initially evokes Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Arriving for a bridge-side rendezvous with a lover shed met in the United States, Mrta (the mesmerizing Natasa Stork) is bewildered and disturbed to learn that he doesnt remember her. The man doesnt seem to be lying, and as he speaks, Mrtas relationship to reality splinters on impact; as he hurries off to work, she faints dead away.

One way to look at Horvats bizarre and challenging feature is as a story that unfolds in the dazed, semiconscious aftermath of Mrtas swoon. Plenty of movies get described as dreamlike, but Preparations has an uncanny, subconscious logic to ita menacing, immersive sensation of drift from scene to scene and mystery to mystery. The vagaries of the human brain are on display: to Byrnes Hamlet pose in American Utopia, we can add scenes of exposed craniums, gorily clinical operating-room footage that doubles down on the theme of inner worlds being exposed. Mrta and her not-boyfriend Jnos (Viktor Bod) are both doctors specializing in brain surgery, and the characters mutual expertise in the synaptic functions of others is juxtaposed against their uncertainty in each others presence; a scene in which Mrta stalks Jnos down the street (shades of Vertigo) before their physical movements inexplicably sync together transfers their disorientation onto the audience. There are movies that are confusing because their makers dont know what theyre doing, and ones that are confusing because they doPreparations belongs proudly in the second category. Long after my memories of this socially-distanced, WiFi-dependent TIFF have evaporated, Horvats exquisite enigmas will still be on my mind.

Adam Nayman is a film critic, teacher, and author based in Toronto; his book The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together is available now from Abrams.

Read the rest here:

Highlights From a Surreal, Remote Toronto International Film Festival - The Ringer

ICYMI: The week’s top news in the arts – ArtsHub


Our most-read stories this week were:


Delivered virtually over four days, the Know My Name Conference celebrates women (cis and trans) as artists, activists, researchers, intellectuals and mentors, now and into the future. Foregrounding diverse voices and with First Nations perspectives embedded across the program, the event will bring together leading and emerging Australian and international voices from arts and academia.

Presented by National Gallery of Australia from Tue 10Fri 13 November. Registrations essential.

AOC Initiative Scholarship Panelists. Image supplied.

To qualify for the AOC Initiative, applicants must identify as Bla(c)k, Indigenous or as People of Colour; be pursuing a career in musical theatre; be aged between 17 and 30 at the time of submission; be an Australian citizen or resident; not have previously secured a leading or supporting role in a mainstage musical theatre production, and not be engaged in or scheduled for performance-related work in a leading or supporting role at the time of submission.

Donations are being raised via GoFundMe with 100% of the prize money being awarded to the six finalists. So far, the AOC has raised over $10,000 with the winner receiving 50% of the donations; the runner up receiving 20% of the donations and the final four receiving 7.5% of the donations each. All donations support a step forward in the dialogue of inclusivity and social awareness.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has released new dates and funding for the UK/Australia Season 2021-2022.

The Season is a joint initiative by the British Council and the Australian Governments Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to strengthen and build cultural connections. Australia-based arts organisations and individuals are invited to submit project proposals for inclusion in the UK/Australia Season 2021-22.

The application deadline for Australian applications to present work in the UK has been extended. The new closing date is Monday 5 October 2pm AEST. More information relating to the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program (ACDGP)for the Season is now available on the DFAT website.

Australian individuals and organisations can apply for grants of up to $60,000 AUD. A reminder that organisations are also eligible to bid for up to $40,000 AUD as part of the UK/Australia Season Grant.

This will be the first time the Australian Government and the British Council have collaborated on a reciprocal Season, which will take place from August 2021 to March 2022.

DFAT recently hosted a webinar for Australia-based arts organisations and individuals looking to find out more about the Season. The panel included representatives from the Australian High Commission in the UK, DFAT and British Council Australia, who shared key information around the Season concept, funding opportunities and eligibility criteria. There was also an extensive Q&A session for live participants. Listen on Youtube.

Utopia Art Centre is a community-led initiative. The artists, with the help of Urapuntja Aboriginal Corporation (UAC) have lobbied, saved and put their own resources into getting started. Two years ago, UAC approached Desart for support and direction in finally establishing an art centre.

Were all really excited for the artists and their community. People might think that a region like Utopia has had lots of art services and an art centre set up for years, but it hasnt; the artists have fared for themselves, making this a really important project, said Philip Watkins, CEO of Desart.

With over 100 artists in the region, there is strong demand for access to the benefits of an Aboriginal owned and managed enterprise. The Utopia artists have long seen the success and services a strong art centre brings to other communities and have long advocated for such a model for their homelands.

The nationwide search for the Utopia Art Centres foundation Manager has started. Recruitment is led by Desart, with a competitive package for the right person. The new Manager will be crucial to the start-up of Utopia Art Centre, in equal parts exciting and problem-solving.

Learn more about the position. Applications close Monday 21 September 2020.


On the eve of wrapping up this weekend, Parrtjima has announced 2021 dates off back of this years success. Parrtjima - A Festival in Light will return to Australias Red Centre and Alice Springs from 9-18 April 2021.

Parrtjima is the only event of its kind in the world, celebrating Aboriginal arts, culture and storytelling through extraordinary light, art and sound installations.


The City of Ballarat has created what appears to be a world first a 1300 hotline where residents can dial in to express their emotions and have those feelings transformed into a specially composed piece of music.

1300 ROAR is a project of the Creative City Strategy of the City of Ballarat and has been developed as part of the Citys ongoing commitment to supporting the arts and culture sector, as well as integrating creativity into the Citys response to recovery from the pandemic.

Mayor, Cr Ben Taylor said: We understand that our community needs to have an avenue to voice their emotions whether they are feeling frustration, sadness, grief, hope or joy. The 1300 ROAR project gives everyone an outlet to express their emotions in a healthy and productive way.

Residents will be able to call the hotline on 1300 728 760 from now until mid-October. The service also has the capacity to connect residents to Lifeline.

Residents will be able to dial an answering machine and have three minutes to voice their feelings. Everyones submission is anonymous. The files are not listened to instead they are compressed into a single file. The total compressed files are supplied to a local digital sound engineer and composer to craft a soundscape or a piece of music designed to lift spirits and encapsulate this important time.

Ballarat has proven to be ahead of the curve in both managing community wellbeing and injecting much-needed funds into the vulnerable creative sector during lockdown times. This lockdown is no different, added Taylor.

Queensland Symphony Under the Stars 2019. Image supplied.

Symphony Under the Stars is set for 24 and 25 September, when Queensland Symphony Orchestra will return to Gladstone for the eighth consecutive year. For the first time, two concerts will be held in Gladstones picturesque Marina on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 September 2020 at 7pm.

The spectacular event is part of the Gladstone Enrichment through Music (GEM) initiative. Fifty-nine musicians will take the trip north of Gladstone for the two performances.

The program features a movie music repertoire, with works from blockbusters such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, E.T., and Cinema Paradiso under the baton of conductor Dane Lam.

While the event is free, bookings are essential, and must be made via Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centres website.

arTour and Flipside Circusare rolling their first large-scale arts and entertainment tour since COVID-19 hit.

arTour Producer Laura Bonner said they were excited to once again hit the road to bring arts and entertainment to regional and remote Queensland. This trailblazing tour with Flipside Circus is a positive indicator of Queenslands post-COVID recovery and a hopeful sign of more regional tours and performances to come, said Bonner.

arTour has teamed up with Flipside Circus, Queenslands largest youth arts company, to present their community youth engagement program from 12 September to 16 November. They have tailored a program of youth workshops to present a unique two-day training residency in 10 western Queensland communities.

Eugene Choi, Rainbow Chan, Marcus Whale will present a new song cycle inspired by Wong Kar-Wai's In the Mood for Love. Photo: Daniel Boud

The Sydney Opera House has commissioned a new work by Sydney artists Rainbow Chan, Eugene Choi and Marcus Whale to be presented as part of its free weekly digital program,From Our House to Yours.

In the Mood, A Love Letter to Wong Kar-Wai and Hong Kongwill feature a theatrical set, 60s style costumes, and sax-drenched renditions of the films romantic soundtrack. New music by Chinese-Australian artists Rainbow Chan and Marcus Whale against a backdrop of narration by Eugene Choi will present an audiovisual journey that guides the audience through a heartbreaking cycle of longing, intimacy and forbidden love.

The performance will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wais landmark film In the Mood for Love, with a new song cycle performed on the Joan Sutherland Theatre stage with visuals evoking Wongs iconic romance through the lens of 2020.

The event will be livestreamed at 9pm AEST on Saturday 26 September and will be available to watch on demand thereafter. Free to watch live online


Award winning artist Michael Zavros will have his first Sydney exhibition in more than a decade, with a new body of work, A Guy Like Me, to be presented at Sullivan+Strumpf Sydney October 15 to November 14.

Melbourne Art Fair has announced the cancellation of the 2021 edition. With ongoing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, both in Australia and overseas, Melbourne Art Foundation has made the choice to focus on delivering an exceptional art fair to mark the start of the Australasian cultural season in 2022 from 17-20 February at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Stage 4 is a new online gallery launched 20 September, and exhibiting work created during the COVID-19 pandemic by Australian artists.Exhibited works will be rotated every two weeks. Artists will be able to sell their works through a connected online Shopify store, currently under development.

Stage 4 is currently taking submissions of painting, drawing, digital art, dance, performance, spoken word, and written works. Work must be created after 1 March. Stage 4 was created by Ronan MacEwan, a digital communications specialist for contemporary art galleries and organisations, based in Hobart.

The team at Sydney Contemporary have been busy creating a bespoke online platform that is more than just an online viewing room.Sydney Contemporary presents 2020features over 450new artworks from Australasia's leading galleries, created by contemporaryartists from around the globe. Sydney Contemporary presents 2020will launch on1st Octoberand will run until the end of the month, with new works added weekly.The new digital initiative showcases 450+ new artworks by more than 380 artists, created during - and in response to 2020.

Imaginary Territories - A Feminist Surrealist Visual Art Exhibition features new works by five accomplished Western Australian artists. Presented by Dark Swan Exhibitions for PS Art Space, Fremantle, it runs from 17 October to 14 November.

The works include film projection, sound, installation, photomedia, and visual art by Jo Darbyshire, Lucille Martin, Rebecca Patterson (33 POETS), Dr Toni Wilkinson, and Dr Kelsey Ashe (pictured top), who is also the curator.

Explaining the inspiration behind the exhibition, Ashe said: In an era of environmental/world crisis and political divisiveness, to conceive new realities has become critically important.The exhibition explores the concept of a "territory" as a domain of the inner world a representation that expresses an "internal truth". Through this Surrealist lens, the artists territories are simultaneously real and imagined, explored into being; a place where both conscious and subconscious realities are envisioned.

Kawita Vatanajyankur becomes a traditional beam scale in The Scale of Justice, holding baskets which fill up with luscious green vegetables, as her balance and composure are increasingly tested.

Part of the artists Mechanized series, in which Vatanajyankur acts as a moving part of a machine, she transforms herself into food production equipment in performance videos that restage everyday processes.

A Horsham Regional Art Gallery digital exhibition touring with NETS Victoria. Curated by Olivia Poloni.

Jonny Niesche,Public Intimacy, 2020. Photo credit: Kate Collingwood.

oOh!media has launched a campaign exclusive to Melbourne, showcasing works from contemporary commercial gallery STATION across its street furniture and rail sites. As Melbournes lockdown continues, the campaign highlights meaningful art that reflects on the current conditions in Victoria, reaching the citys commuters and essential workers at multiple points throughout the day.

Artworks created for the campaign focus on COVID, the artists interpretations of emotions felt during lockdown, and some of the possibilities and positives to come out of Victorias isolation.

Neil Ackland, Chief Content Marketing and Creative Officer at oOh!, said the campaign was a small gesture to help Melburnians through difficult times.

The campaign features works from Adam Lee, Dane Lovett, David Griggs, Jason Phu, Jonny Niesche, and Nell, and will run throughout September.

When COVID 19 forced the cancellation of Design Eye Creative paper on skins live gala event, Burnie Arts Council made an instant decision to shift to a digital format.

Design Eye Creative paper on skin connects Burnies papermaking heritage to a community of Australian and international artists. Their challenge is to design a wearable garment made from at least 80% paper. Filming took place in Burnie over a ten-day period in late June. The film features 31 works from 7 countries and is free online.

Boroondara Arts final exhibition for 2020 is A Family Album. Through painting, photography, textiles and video works, the featured artists illustrate the myriad experiences that bring families together and pull them apart, creating a collage of contemporary Australian communities.

The exhibiting artists include: Donna Bailey, Julie Dowling, Hannah Gartside, Pia Johnson, Hoang Tran Nguyen and Selina Ou. Showing Saturday 31 October Sunday 13 December 2020 at Town Hall Gallery and online.

More arts news you may have missed.

See the rest here:

ICYMI: The week's top news in the arts - ArtsHub

The Housewife Who Was a Spy – The New York Times

AGENT SONYAMoscows Most Daring Wartime SpyBy Ben Macintyre

We have at last, in Ben Macintyres Agent Sonya, the tale of a fully fleshed-out female spy. Not a femme fatale with a tiny pistol in her purse, Sonya was a spy who loved her kids and was racked by guilt for neglecting them, who had serious babysitter problems, a woman whose heart was broken by Mr. Wrong a woman very much like the rest of us. Except not quite. Macintyre, the author of numerous books on spies and espionage, has found a real-life heroine worthy of his gifts as John le Carrs nonfiction counterpart.

Le Carr, however, could not have invented Ursula Kuczynski, a.k.a. Agent Sonya. For this panoramic account of espionage from Weimar Germany through the Cold War is, above all, a womans story. Macintyre draws on Sonyas own journals, which capture the stressful balancing act of spymaster, mother and lover of several men during the most dangerous decades of the 20th century. Like many supremely successful women, Sonya benefited from men underestimating her.

Her journey began in the lawless streets of Berlin in the 1920s, as Communists and Nazis brawled and the Weimar Republic unraveled. A blow from a policemans rubber truncheon during her first street demonstration set the 16-year-old on the road to revolution. Although born to a prosperous, secular Jewish family from Berlins bourgeois Zehlendorf district, she signed up with the Communists, who seemed to be the only ones prepared to shed blood to fight the Nazis. And once she was seduced by their promise of a workers utopia, Sonya never swerved from the cause.

[ Read an excerpt from Agent Sonya. ]

From Shanghai, where Sonya was caught up in the struggle between Chiang Kai-sheks Nationalists and Mao Zedongs Communists, to Japanese-occupied Manchuria, to the placid Cotswold hamlet where she spent part of the war, Sonya managed to elude German, British and American secret services. It boggles the mind how a woman with so many domestic responsibilities a husband and two children could find time for spy drops and transmitting coded messages. But Sonya was the consummate multitasker, now cooking dinner, now cooking up explosives to blow up railways. Domesticity was the perfect cover.

The rest is here:

The Housewife Who Was a Spy - The New York Times

Silicon Valley’s ‘Fatal Flaw’… And How to Avoid It – DailyWealth

If you lived in a reasonably large city in 2018, you witnessed an invasion.

Unlicensed, unregulated electric scooters flooded cities across the country, starting with the tech utopia of Silicon Valley.

Oftentimes, people in dense cities only have to make a short trip less than a mile or so to run an errand, meet someone, or get something else done. From the perspective of getting around a city, grabbing a scooter for a quick, cheap ride made sense.

But all of the competing scooter companies like Bird, Lime, Scoot, Spin, and Jump forgot about one thing in their business plans... People tend to be jerks.

If you've ever wondered how scooter companies left scooters on the street without losing them, the answer is that they didn't. The scooters got smashed, stolen, and damaged at an amazing rate.

Lots of folks who objected to the scooters even destroyed them out of spite. The Instagram account @BirdGraveyard features scooters thrown off parking garages, lit on fire with gasoline, toppled over like dominos, or hurled into the ocean.

As you can imagine, this was a major problem for the companies. But it isn't unique to scooters...

This problem runs rampant in many disruptive technology companies. And as I'll show today, if you want to invest successfully in the tech sector, you need to watch out for this fatal flaw...

All of these scooter companies aside from Uber Technologies' (UBER) scooter division are private, venture-funded startups, so they don't share full data about their internal finances. But here's the best we can piece together and we're generalizing across the industry...

Scooter rides are cheap. It can cost something like $1 to unlock a scooter and another $0.15 per minute of a trip. Bird reported last year that it earned an average of $4.27 per ride.

The typical scooter got somewhere between three and four rides per day, so revenue would be about $15 per day.

At a cost of around $550, a scooter needs to ride for 37 days before it pays back its cost.

But scooters don't last even that long. Some datasets show that the average scooter lasts just 28 days before it dies (or is killed).

In other words, buy a scooter for $550, rent it for a total of $420 in revenue, and then start over again.

And that's before the costs of credit-card fees that facilitate the trip (which are high on small transactions), along with paying people to charge and relocate scooters, marketing, and general administration.

Renting out scooters as the business stood just didn't make sense. This is called "unit economics." How much does it cost you to produce and sell one unit... and how much revenue does that earn you?

If the unit economics come back negative, you're going to have a hard time making a successful business. It's the basic building block of making money.

Bird, as of mid-2019, was burning $100 million per quarter. But venture capitalists were giving it money to continue. As the old joke goes, "Sure, we lose money on every sale. But we make it up in volume!"

The thinking was that making some changes could flip the unit economics to positive. If Bird made its own scooters for a better price, controlled its costs, and beat out the competition so that it could raise prices, maybe it could do well.

This sort of thinking pervades the modern economy. Lose money now, and somehow make it later.

This thinking stems from a few things. First, historically low interest rates mean that these businesses can find the capital injections to keep them from running out of money.

Second, Silicon Valley has been taken in by the concept of "blitzscaling." It goes like this... Spend massively, get big, shut out the competition, and then worry about profitability.

Take the food-delivery industry, for example. Business has been booming during the pandemic... But a lot of companies lose more money the more customers they have.

Food delivery apps like Grubhub (GRUB), Postmates, and DoorDash all follow the same model. They charge restaurants a lot, they charge customers a lot, and they don't pay drivers very much. No one seems to come out happy in the deal.

And still, they lose money on every delivery.

Many of these companies have big marketing costs, too. The cost of finding a new customer counts in your unit economics...

For instance, as of July, meal-kit delivery service Blue Apron (APRN) charged about $60 per order and reported gross margins of 38%. This means that after paying for food and delivery, it earned $23 per order. To get a single new customer, we've seen estimates that say Blue Apron pays anywhere from $94 to $460.

That means to turn a profit, it needs customers to renew for anywhere from four months to 20 months. Currently, customers tend to stick around for just a little over four months.

While Blue Apron was a startup darling, the public markets haven't given it much credit since its initial public offering...

We know that everyone loves big technology opportunities the disruptive stocks that will change how our future works. And the companies that put scooters on the streets, deliver food to our front doors, and get us talking about something new... we love them, too.

Technology will be an even bigger part of our lives from here. And a few maybe a small few of these companies will turn into big, profitable enterprises.

But we don't have to play that game.

We can make money in the ever-growing technology sector by investing in companies with positive unit economics... and avoid the guessing game of which unprofitable companies will fix their fatal flaw in time.

Good investing,

Dr. David Eifrig

Editor's note: Doc says this could be the best moment in more than a decade to start using his favorite strategy. That's because when chaos is spiking on Wall Street, the instant cash payouts you can get from this type of trading will spike higher too... And it could help you collect thousands of dollars in extra income each month. Learn the details here.

Further Reading

Major shifts in technology come with hot startups promising to change the world. They're the kinds of companies that are only after growth, with no long-term business model. And they can be a terrible trap for novice investors... Read more here: The 'Hot IPO Trap' Is Back.

Tech-related initial public offerings have made headlines more than a few times in recent memory. But most of these companies don't reach the dominance you might expect. And that's why you're better off avoiding them altogether... Get the full story here.


Todays company is hitting new highs as it provides broadband Internet

As the pandemic lingers, many Americans have switched from working in offices to working at home. And as the fall begins, a lot of kids are learning virtually instead of showing up to class. This new virtual environment means that demand for fast Internet has exploded. And todays company is meeting that demand

Charter Communications (CHTR) is a $125 billion provider of broadband, video, mobile, and voice services under its Spectrum brand. According to Barrons, its the No. 2 cable provider in the U.S. after Comcast (CMCSA). And the remote work environment has only increased demand for its services Last quarter, Charters residential and Internet customers rose by 850,000, up from 258,000 over the same quarter last year. And its revenue grew 3.1% year over year.

As you can see, CHTR shares are in an uptrend. Theyre up roughly 45% over the past year, recently hitting an all-time high. And as the pandemic drives further need for Charters services, this companys success should continue

View post:

Silicon Valley's 'Fatal Flaw'... And How to Avoid It - DailyWealth

Bill and Ted 3: Here’s what you need to know – Metro.co.uk

Keanue Reeves and Alex Winter are back for a new Bill and Ted journey (Picture: Rex)

No way?! Yes way! After long 30 years, those bodacious dudes Mr William S Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) and his best friend Ted Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) are finally back in cinemas. As Bill And Ted Face The Music is released,, heres Larushka Ivan-Zadehs refresher course on all you need to know about the cult sci-fi comedy franchise.

1983Bill and Ted are conceived in an improv workshop by UCLA students Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson. One day, we decided to do a couple of guys who knew nothing about history, talking about history Solomon told Cinemafantastique, while Teds father kept coming up to ask them to turn their music down.There was a third guy, called Bob, but Bob dropped out.

1984Solomon and Matheson write the first script, by hand, in just four days in a coffee shop. Originally called Bill & Teds Time Van, it saw two nice but dim teenagers borrow a van (later judged a bit too close to Back To The Futures DeLorean) and somehow end up in Nazi Germany where they get up to high jinks with Adolf Hitler (later switched to Napoleon as being less problematic).

1987Though Bill and Ted were originally conceived as weedy 14-year-olds, the rather older and cooler Alex Winter (fresh off The Lost Boys) and Keanu Reeves (in his breakthrough role) and are cast and the film comes in to time and budget ($8.5m). A most egregious disaster occurs when the distributor files for bankruptcy. However Bill and Ted are saved from the direct-to-DVD dustbin by a small video company called Nelson Entertainment, who snap the movie up for a song and make millions.

1989Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure is released! [Cue air guitar riff!] It sees two loveable metal heads in danger of flunking most heinously (Ted) out of their Californian high school unless they can score A+ final history report. Given they only know Julius Caesar as the salad dressing dude, failure seems assured. That means Ted will be sent to a military academy and their atrocious rock group, Wyld Stallyns, will be disbanded.

Enter Rufus (the late George Carlin) and his time-travelling phone booth from the year 2688, who tells Bill and Ted that that their philosophy and music will eventually inspire new utopia, but only if Wyld Stallyns stays together.The goofy pair Ping-Pong through time, collecting historical personages like Socrates (pronounced so crates) and Joan of Arc to ace their project and ensure world peace.

1990Excellent Adventure is such a hit, it spawns a TV cartoon series, an entire youth slang lexicon and a breakfast cereal which Alex Winter cheerfully admits was disgusting.

1991Bill& Teds Bogus Journey is released! [Cue air guitar riff!] This bonkers movie sequel adventure cast a reluctant Joss Ackland (who later said he regretted doing it) as a baddie from the future, who dispatches evil robot replicants of Bill and Ted back to the past to kill our heroes. Events take a surreal turn as our heroes challenge Death (William Sadler) to a game of Twister, find the meaning of life in a Poison lyric, finally learn to actually play their guitars and both produce beards and babies. They sign off to us with Be excellent to each other and party on.

1991Bill and Ted is spun-off into a videogame, a live action TV series and a comic book. In a case of life imitating art, Keanu Reeves forms an ill-received garage band called Dogstar. Reeves also makes Point Break which, followed up by Speed and The Matrix trilogy, transforms him into one of the biggest stars on the planet. Making Bill and Ted 3 is no longer top of his To Do list.

2010A sad Keanu meme, of Reeves looking sad, circulates online. As if to cheer him up, a first draft of Bill and Ted 3 is created. Hollywood, however, doesnt want it. Alex Winter directs the kids TV cartoon series Ben 10, then turns his hand to feature documentaries.

2018The script is still locked in bogus development hell. The studios want to reboot the franchise with a younger cast, but writer Ed Solomon tells Digital Spy that We love these characters, theyve been with us for our whole lives and we wanted to visit them again as middle-aged men. We thought it would be really fun, and funny, and sweet.

2020Bill & Ted Face The Music is released! [cue air guitar riff!] It sees a now middle-aged and married (not to each other) Bill and Ted settled in the suburbs, but yet to fulfil their rock and roll destiny. With time ticking, they must write the best song ever to save life as we know it. This time theyre helped by their own teenage daughters (Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine). Released in the UK this Friday, it has enjoyed most excellent reviews in the US, with a 81% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. A Bill & Ted 4 is already being rumoured. Catch you later, Bill and Ted!

Kid Cudi as himselfThe US rapper shows another side of himself (as himself) as the movies go-to expert regarding epistemological reality and quantum looping.

Holland Taylor as The Great LeaderThe Emmy-winning TV veteran (Two And A Half Men, Hollywood) camps it up in a glittery cape as the most powerful person in the universe.

Kristen Schaal as KellyIn a tribute to the late George Carlin, who played Bill and Teds kindly guide, Rufus, Schaals character is named after his daughter, Kelly Carlin.

Brigette Lundy-Paine as Wilhelmina Billie LoganA most excellent turn as Little Bill (ie the daughter of Keanu Reeves character) should prove a breakout role for this non-binary rising star.

Samara Weaving as Theodora Thea PrestonShe may portray Bills daughter but the real life niece of Hugo Elrond Weaving looks more like Margot Robbies cousin, dont you think?

Bill & Ted Face The Music is out now.

MORE: Keanu Reeves claims Alex Winter almost died while filming for Bill and Ted 3 in a muscular bodysuit

MORE: Bill & Ted Face The Music reviews are out is it an excellent adventure or just bogus?

See original here:

Bill and Ted 3: Here's what you need to know - Metro.co.uk