Attacks On YouTube’s Anti-Piracy Plan

“YouTube, owned by Google Inc., plans to introduce technology to help media companies identify pirated videos uploaded by users. But the tools are currently being offered as part of broader negotiations on licensing deals, they said. The move contrasts with YouTube’s biggest rival, News Corp.’s, popular Internet social network, MySpace, which said Monday it would offer its own version of copyright protection services for free.”

Smiley On Sex And (Dubious) Standards

Sure, Jane Smiley thought a lot about sex as she was writing her new novel, but the more she wrote about it, the less it had any shock value for her. “Then, just as the book was about to be published, it was declared by no less than Mr. John Updike (in a review in the New Yorker) to ‘set a new mark for explicitness in a work of non-pornographic intent.’ What was I doing?”

The Marriage Problem

“Quite a dilemma. A man needs to feel intellectually superior to a woman to express his virility. But a woman can’t find sexual fulfillment with an intellectual man. So what’s an educated woman to do? Even if she finds an educated, high-achieving man secure enough to accept her as an equal, he’ll be too uptight to satisfy her.”

David Mamet In Hollywood

“Detached from reality as it may at times seem, Mamet’s contrarian, matter-of-fact assurance that everything will be OK, that art will find a way to flourish, is a refreshing alternative, anyway, to the hand-wringing, punctuated by apocalyptic pronouncements, that’s so in vogue these days. If the rest of Hollywood appears to be in full-on crisis mode, frantically backpedaling as its audience shifts their preferred viewing environment to their living rooms, their preferred format to the swiftly released DVD, their preferred context to the fast-forward-enhanced home entertainment center, Mamet has been too contentedly busy to read the memo.”

LA Hopes For Staying A Wicked Long Time

Los Angeles is not known for long theatre runs. But “Wicked” plans to stay a while. “Two years may sound like a tall order for a city in which theater people must ever grapple with the overweening presence of the film and television industry. What’s more, because few open-ended commercial engagements have done well here in recent decades, L.A. is sometimes touted as a tough town for sit-downs. Yet insiders predict success.”

Forsythe’s Guernica

“There will always be those for whom the roles of citizen and artist are mutually exclusive. In American dance, politically engaged works have generally been regarded warily.” William Forsythe has created a new anti-war piece: ‘Forsythe’s Guernica,’ one critic has called it. “But Mr. Forsythe, one of ballet’s most influential choreographers, prefers to see it as, simply, ‘an act of citizenship’.”

The Private Museum Biz

“In recent years, a growing number of private collectors have been opening all manner of exhibition sites — from casual warehouse spaces to full-fledged museums — to show off their holdings and assert their aesthetic views, often subsidized by enviable tax benefits. The trend has been hastened by an enormous flow of disposable income and an insatiable public interest in art (not to mention keeping up with the Joneses).”

Mexico’s Swank Movie Palaces

“Once government-controlled and mocked for their decrepit conditions, Mexico’s movie houses have blossomed since deregulation in the mid-1990s. Competition has brought tens of millions of dollars in fresh investment. The swankiest VIP salons are among the best appointed anywhere. Multiplexes are sprouting throughout the country.”