The AT&T Performing Arts Center announced last year the box office/information center would open in May 2013. Well, open it will, right on time this coming Monday. The structure was a point of contention way back in 2009 when the center first opened. Critics cited the lack of any features in the then-new AT&T PAC that could facilitate pedestrian engagement and park life in a multi-million development that was billed, in part, as a neighborhood development and urban revitalization project. Well, the information center, which will include a Pearl Cup coffee shop, will now hopefully be part of the solution, generating some activity outside of performance and food truck times. Here’s the full release.
It’s April in Dallas, which means a bevy of cultural activities are upon us. Mayor Mike Rawlings has taken notice. Tomorrow at City Hall he will proclaim April 7-14 Dallas Arts Week.
Cuellar has big shoes to fill. Lill brought to the position years of experience in city government. Cuellar’s background includes journalism, with stints locally at KERA, Pegasus News, and WFAA, and in public relations.
National Endowment of the Arts funding flowing into North Texas will go towards the commissioning of a new hip-hop-infused theatrical production, a symphonic piece memorializing John F. Kennedy, a dance inspired by the Dia de Los Muertos, and five other new works of art.
Five of Dallas’ major performing arts organizations have announced a new collaboration that will seek to maximize operational efficiencies by combining key organizational functions.
You remember how former WFAA movie critic Gary Cogill gave up his television gig to become a movie producer, right? Well now Cogill’s Lascaux Films has announced a star-studded project.
Dale Chihuly dazzles the Arboretum with glass blown sculptures and special effects lighting. And we have tickets for you.
Tonight I’ll be participating in the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture‘s monthly movie discussion event, “Speaking of Movies.”
The Dallas International Film Festival has its annual The Art of Film fundraising event coming up on November 16, and this year’s honoree will be
Iceman, I mean, Jim Morrison, I mean, Val Kilmer. Now those of you who are wondering why Val, why now? Well, Kilmer has been scouting space in Dallas to perform his one man show, Citizen Twain. I wonder which event was the chicken or the egg. For now, here’s Kilmer on the the show:
I got to a place in my career where I wasn’t getting scripts. I was getting sort of action stuff with “Batman” and “The Saint,” and it’s easy then to secure your position as only that if you do two or three more. I don’t think I ever secured my position as a star by Hollywood’s standards. . . .
I want to tell stories. And I’m very lucky, I got enough success – until I kept buying my neighbor’s ranches in New Mexico, but that’s another part of my odd bunch of movies in the past five years. I was just paying rent. I decided I’m going to sacrifice the integrity of my career for the integrity of this land for my kids. It was from here to Malibu – that was the size of it. 6 miles. So I got a little carried away there [laughs]! And now I’m back.
On a personal level, because I spent so many years trying to keep it and ultimately not being able to, I have a lot of kinship with Twain, who lost his home. I don’t think I lost everything. I wasn’t ruined, I can still get a job, I got to keep what feels like a patio, but it’s 140 acres. It’s not nothing. It’s pretty great. A lovely view.
Today, that old and trusty conversation about the Dallas Arts District-as-neighborhood will get some airtime again on KERA’s Think. Krys Boyd will chat with outgoing Arts District Executive Director Veletta Lill, as well as Mayor Mike Rawlings and district 13 council member Ann Margolin, who also heads the Dallas City Council’s Arts, Culture and Libraries Committee.
The third annual Arts District celebration “Art In October” kicks off this weekend. Here’s a rundown on some of the main events:
Over on Glasstire, Caroline Koebel offers a great reading of one of my favorite films, and what could be called the greatest film ever made by a guy from Dallas. Nope, not Bottle Rocket, though that movie could fall into both categories as well. I’m talking about David Holzman’s Diary, which received a screening inAustin back on September 4. From the piece:
A narrative (in the form of an enacted diary) that interlopes into nonfiction and experimental discourses, David Holzman’s Diary comprises a treatise of sorts on (the nature of) cinema. By injecting pockets of critical reflection into the “straight” unfettered self-made story of one young man’s life during wartime, McBride troubles conventional narrative’s requisite “suspension of disbelief” while permitting the viewer to lose herself to the “real” of the film if only to continually return.
Check out Koebel’s piece, and then if you’ve never scene L.M. Kit Carson’s film, go rent it. It’s at Premiere Video.
Just got word of another film added to the lineup of the silver anniversary edition of the Dallas Video Festival. Christopher Kenneally’s documentary Side by Side brings together an all-star cast of filmmakers — David Lynch, Danny Boyle, James Cameron, David Fincher, George Lucas, Richard Linklater, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderberg, Robert Rodriguez, Lena Durham, and on and on — to discuss the current state of the medium.
The Dallas Morning News‘ Chris Vognar has the intriguing backstory behind this week’s big movie release, Lawless, a outlaw drama staring a collection of fantastic actors like Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman. The movie was based on the book The Wettest County in the World, by University of Texas at Dallas professor Matt Bondurant. Bondurant grew up in Franklin County, Va., which became famous for bootlegging during prohibition. And as a young boy, Bondurant knew there was something not right about the brass knuckles hanging in his grandfather’s house:
“I was old enough to know what they were,” University of Texas at Dallas assistant professor Matt Bondurant says of the brass knuckles he spied at his granddad’s house in Franklin County, Va. “I was scared to death of them, but I would pull a chair up and I would reach up and feel them.”
And over on Newsweek, we hear a little more in a piece Bondurant wrote for the news mag:
We were all aware that my grandfather used to run liquor when he was young, but these were things that were never discussed in Franklin County, Va. . . .
We all just assumed that Grandpa Jack’s trade was small and general. So when my father unearthed a series of newspaper articles about a shooting at Maggodee Creek Bridge in 1930, we were quite shocked. In these articles my grandfather and his brothers Forrest and Howard, “The Bondurant Boys,” were described as a notorious group with a dangerous reputation. My grandfather was still alive then, and when my dad confronted him about the shooting he merely lifted his shirt to show the bullet hole. That was it. I was living across the country at the time, and didn’t have a chance to question him further. He died the next year at 91 years old.
A $25 thousand grant was awarded to Shakespeare by the National Endowment for the Arts to help fund “The Macbeth Project,” a new program that strives to expose underserved children to Shakespeare:
We’re still measuring the seismic impact of the departure of a number of artist board members from the artist-founded Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
Last week we wondered: once Sarah Jaffe serenades the new City Performance Hall to life, who is going to use the new venue? Now we know (kind of). The city has released information on a number of scheduled performances slotted for the hall’s first weekend, adding that the mix “reflects the kind of programming diversity the Hall expects to showcase throughout the year.”
In addition to the already announced musical performances (Jaffe, plus triple bill late show including The Relatives, Pleasant Grove, and Seryn), groups like Dallas Children’s Theater, Cara Mia, Junior Players, Dance Council of North Texas, the Indian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Shakespeare Dallas, the Orchestra of New Spain, Lone Star Wind Orchestra and the Dallas Chamber Symphony will perform. There will also be performances by Mariachi Quetzal; the Dallas Jazz Collective; Mitotiliztli Yaoyollohtli, an Aztec dance performance, among others. Here’s the full weekend schedule, which includes no shortage of free events.
Hopefully by now you have made it over to Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth to see the Lucian Freud retrospective. If you want a little background about how the exhibition — which will only be visiting one U.S. venue, Fort Worth — came together, check out this piece about the Modern’s chief curator Michael Auping’s visits with the artist during his final days.
If you want to dig deeper, Tyler Green’s Modern Arts Notes podcast this weeks brings in Auping and Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Sebastian Smee to talk about Freud, his work and legacy. You can listen in right here.
Writing about the Sydney Biennale, Christopher Allen decides to call “Balderdash” on art speak, particular art lingo at the service of over-blowing shows that don’t deserve their own evasive art-PR spin:
The press release is evasive, couched in vacuous language overseasoned with superlatives: the show “connects absolutely local issues, the most intimate meanings of place and time, with great currents of art and thought”. No details about what these issues or currents may be, of course; and yet this, apparently, amounts to a “groundbreaking premise”. . . .
Still more is revealed in de Zegher’s long essay surveying the shape of the whole exhibition and its sub-themes; or at least the same ideas, of connection rather than disconnection, are rehearsed again and again in prose of almost fantastic verbosity. For all the assertions that a radically new model is being presented, we find ourselves wading through the familiar pseudo-theoretical discursive swamp known as artspeak.
Allen’s dealing with art we may never see (unless you’re planning that summer getaway down under). But his skepticism is necessary and should be employed often.
Critics perform two vital functions in the “cultural ecosystem,” writes Johann Hari in GQ. The first is consumer advice, helping us discover new books, movies, art, theater, etc. But this role, I would argue, is being eroded by the plentiful and increasingly accessible avid amateurs, who are more than willing to offer up suggestions about what to see and who to read (and gratis, at that). That makes the second role of the critic all the more important:
But critics have a deeper role still. When something new and startling comes along, it often baffles us, and we are tempted to drop it, pained, for easier cultural lifting. A great critic can help us to figure out what it going on, and to appreciate it in a richer way. When I saw Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life, I was sure I had seen something extraordinary, but I felt I had barely begun to understand it. It was reading the body of criticism by terrific writers, such as Dana Stevens and Peter Bradshaw that led me deeper in. As film critic Pauline Kael put it: “We read critics for the perceptions, for what they tell us that we didn’t fully grasp when we saw the work.”
Pictured: Pauline Kael
I thought I’d share some thoughts about the Nantucket Film Festival in so far as it relates to Dallas. What the hell does Dallas have to do with Nantucket, you ask? Well, nothing, honestly. But stick with me:
Dallas artists Scott Gleeson and Dane Larsen have received a Warhol Grant for their public art project, Las Manos Negras (The Black Hands), a multi-faceted piece that seeks to shine a light on the explotation of laborers in Dallas-Fort Worth, while empowering workers and building bridges between the exploited and the exploiters.
The 11th annual fest, which will kick off on July 12, will include four North American premieres.
Yesterday, a strange question began circulating through the Facebook pages of a number of local artists and arts supporters: “Have you seen Frankie Garcia III?”
Garcia, an artist represented by downtown’s Rising Gallery, apparently has not been seen by friends or his gallery since May 31, the night before a show opened at Rising Gallery that he was helping to install. One comment on Facebook alledges that Garcia was dropped off in front of Rising’s Jackson St. location but never made it inside the building. His family has been in contact with friends and the gallery, and a cousin says the family has filed a missing persons report with the Dallas Police Department.
Let’s hope that Garcia has just decided to check out for a little while and get some work done, but this doesn’t sound like the artist, who is something of a Facebook gadfly. So, if you see or hear anything about Garcia’s whereabouts, contact his gallery: 214-559-4158.
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