Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired
Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired

This and other gems are what one will hear when delving into the digital medium of podcasts.  Alec Baldwin elegantly articulated the line above during a conversation with David Letterman, and it made me giggle out loud, much to the amusement/alarm of my fellow subway riders.  These days I have a dreadful commute from Brooklyn to a production company in Newark, and there are only so many New Yorker magazines that one can read while navigating three separate trains over the course of an hour and a half each way (while barefoot in the snow uphill?  No?  Well, it’s almost that bad).  To make the trip more bearable, I’ve started loading podcasts onto my smart phone, and now the ride is actually enjoyable.  Read More

Actors Taylor Schilling and Uzo Aduba, Netflix

Actors Taylor Schilling and Uzo Aduba, Netflix

Orange is the New Black is a Netflix original series about a waspy young woman serving time in a federal prison.  Specially crafted for binge viewing, each episode deliciously slips into the next, and yet creator Jenji Kohan never steps too far into the realm of the absurd as to be unbelievable.  Firmly rooted in reality, the show is inspired by Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same title about year in a minimum security prison. Read More

(Pussy Riot/Live Journal)

(Pussy Riot/Live Journal)

Pussy Riot is a female punk rock political collective based in Moscow known for their provocative guerrilla performances in well known public spaces.  In February of 2012, they staged a demonstration to protest the union of church and state on the altar of the Russian orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior, for which they were arrested and held for 6 months without bail during a trial that many considered a sham.  No one was hurt during the demonstration, and the actual performance was shut down by security within 40 sec.  And yet the three young women, Nadia Tolokno, Masha Alyokhina and Katia Samutsevich, on trial were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” and sentenced to two years each in a labor camp. 

Much has been covered in the press both inside and outside of Russia.  Governments of the European Union as well as the United States have called the sentencing disproportionate.  Amnesty International has labeled the women “Prisoners of Consciousness.”  Public figures from Aung San Suu Kyi to Madonna have championed Pussy Riot’s commitment to freedom of expression.  The directors of the documentaryPussy Riot: A Punk Prayer,”  Mike Lerner and Maksim Pozdorovkin have put together a film from court footage and interviews with the family in this story about about the group and the case.  It premieres on HBO tonight at 9pm (June 10).

The Beauty of Nureyev at the de Young Museum

Rudolf Nureyev rehearses for "Marguerite and Armand" at Covent Garden in Britain in 1963. Photo: Michael Peto, The University Of Dundee The Pet / SF

Rudolf Nureyev rehearses for “Marguerite and Armand” at Covent Garden in Britain in 1963. Photo: Michael Peto, The University Of Dundee The Pet / SF

When I was a kid growing up in the 70s, there were few things more magical than when my parents woke me up late at night for something they didn’t want me to miss: a lunar eclipse, a fire truck screaming down the street, or Rudolf Nureyev dancing on PBS.  Through the gauzy veil of memory, I can still picture this man leaping impossibly high and landing with such elegance and joy that I could hardly get back to sleep.  And so it is fitting that I recently accompanied my parents to the de Young Museum exhibit, Rudolf Nureyev: A Life in Dance, in San Francisco.

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girls1alt 2

As the Girls’ Season 2 premiere approaches, I feel the need to announce to the world that I love this little show.  I don’t know why I feel so protective of a series that is doing quite well.  To be critical, I’ve found the episodes are sometimes uneven, and the characters are mostly a homogenous mix of privileged white kids.  I don’t know the creator, Lena Dunham, personally, and this is not a show I’ve worked on, nor is it even in my genre. And yet… Read More

Impossible Conversations, Undeniable Influence: Schiaparelli & Prada at the MET

Exhibition catalogue, 2012, Metropolitan Museum of Art

I recently attended the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Spring 2012 Costume Institute exhibition, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, a beautiful collection that examines the work and influences of two iconic designers.  “Invincible female self-possession is a central theme of the joint retrospective,” so of course, I loved it.   Read More

Diego Rivera Murals at MoMA

Diego Rivera. Agrarian Leader Zapata. 1931. The Museum of Modern Art. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund, New York City

This weekend I finally went to the Museum of Modern Art to check out the murals of Diego Rivera.

The exhibition includes “portable murals” that Rivera painted in 1931 for his first show at MoMA, early drawings that mark the evolution of these works, as well as the large scale sketches that guided his transfer of the images to the frescos.  Inspired by his experience in New York City, Rivera went on to paint three more portable murals highlighting the city’s economic disparity during the Great Depression (see his mural Frozen Assets below). Read More