Onion Leaks A Trove Of Trump Documents

The New Yorker reports: ‘The staff of the Onion, a satirical online newspaper that’s been a reliable antidote to reality for nearly three decades, was not thrilled by the prospect of a Trump Presidency. The paper’s longtime writer Chad Nackers told me in March that the thought of having to frequently satirize Trump and the bit players in his Administration for four years—or more—filled many of the publication’s staffers with “comedic dread.” The Read more »

Is This The New Netrebko?

Rupert Christiansen says: ‘If the success of La Traviata hangs on the soprano singing the central role of Violetta, then Glyndebourne hits the jackpot with this revival of Verdi’s most popular opera. The young Russian Kristina Mkhitaryan, groomed by the Bolshoi, has a smooth olive-tinted Slavic timbre not dissimilar to that of her compatriot Anna Netrebko. Slender and beautiful in physique, she handles her voice with disciplined technique – no shrieking or wobbling – and a degree of musical imagination that bodes well for her future.’ No doubt non-Russians will never learn how to pronounce her last name. That’s okay: divas only need one — in this case, “La Kristina.”

AI Project Creates New Musical Sounds

A fascinating report from one of Google’s many Artificial Intelligence project: Jesse Engel is playing an instrument that’s somewhere between a clavichord and a Hammond organ — 18th-century classical crossed with 20th-century rhythm and blues. Then he drags a marker across his laptop screen. Suddenly, the instrument is somewhere else between a clavichord and a Hammond. Before, it was, say, 15 percent clavichord. Now it’s closer to 75 percent. Then he drags the marker back and forth as quickly Read more »

An Academic Analysis Of Ozu’s Farts

Yasujiro Ozu is one of the truly great 20th-century film directors; his “Tokyo Story” never fails to make me weep. I’ve never seen his 1959 work “Good Morning,” but David Bordwell’s serious analysis of its many farting scenes had me laughing. I wonder what my friend Dee Sushi would think.

“Baywatch”: Who Cares About Critics?

I don’t care what anyone says about the Baywatch movie: what better cheeseball way to kick off the summer? THR says the movie ‘strains for a vulgarity that never comes remotely close to being funny. Unless, that is, you find the idea of Zac Efron manipulating a dead man’s genitals hysterical.’ I do — so sue me!

Rihanna & Lupita In Buddy Movie

After a dramatic negotiation at the Cannes Film Festival, Netflix has nabbed a project pairing Grammy winner Rihanna with Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, in a concept that began as a Twitter sensation. Ava DuVernay (Selma) will direct, and Issa Rae (Insecure) is in talks to write the screenplay.

The Genius Of Chinua Achebe

Kwame Anthony Appiah writes: ‘The genius of Chinua Achebe, like all genius, escapes precise analysis. If we could explain it fully, we could reproduce it, and it is of the nature of genius to be irreproducible. Still, there has been no shortage of attempts to explain his literary achievement, an achievement that starts with the fact that Things Fall Apart (1958), the first of the novels in his “African trilogy” defined a Read more »