Friday, July 19, 2013

Giacomo Puccini, "Madama Butterfly" (Greek National Opera)

Greek National Opera
July 18, 2013

Open-air rehearsal of Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly on the pedestrian street of Dionysiou Areopagitou, outside the premises of Meropeio Foundation, adjacent to the south slope of the Acropolis. "Madama Butterfly" will stage at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus on July 27, 28, 30 & 31, 2013.

The initiative was part of the GNO's new open-door policy, which aims at educating the residents, passers-by and visitors of the city in the complex process that is creating a grand opera production. The rehearsal ran for one hour, allowing the public on Dionysiou Areopagitou the unique opportunity to enjoy the melodies of Puccini, to hear the conductor directing his musicians and soloists, and also to experience the magical and electrifying atmosphere of a large orchestra preparing an emblematic piece of the opera repertory.

Giacomo Puccini, Madama Butterfly

Conductor: Myron Michailidis

Soloists:

  • Cio-Cio San: Cellia Costea
  • B.F. Pinkerton: Luciano Ganci
  • Sharpless: Dionyssis Sourbis
  • Suzuki: Ines Zikou
  • Bonzo: Tassos Apostolou

with the Orchestra of the Greek National Opera

















Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Game Theory: Jane Austen Had It First

Michael Chwe
by Jennifer Schuessler

New York Times

April 22, 2013

It’s not every day that someone stumbles upon a major new strategic thinker during family movie night. But that’s what happened to Michael Chwe, an associate professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, when he sat down with his children some eight years ago to watch Clueless, the 1995 romantic comedy based on Jane Austen’s Emma.

Mr. Chwe (pronounced CHEH), the author of papers like “Farsighted Coalitional Stability” and “Anonymous Procedures for Condorcet’s Model: Robustness, Nonmonotonicity and Optimality,” had never cracked Emma or Pride and Prejudice. But on screen, he saw glimmers of a strategic intelligence that would make Henry Kissinger blush.

“This movie was all about manipulation,” Mr. Chwe, a practitioner of the hard-nosed science of game theory, said recently by telephone. “I had always been taught that game theory was a mathematical thing. But when you think about it, people have been thinking about strategic action for a long time.”

Mr. Chwe set to doing his English homework, and now his assignment is in. Jane Austen, Game Theorist, just published by Princeton University Press, is more than the larky scholarly equivalent of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In 230 diagram-heavy pages, Mr. Chwe argues that Austen isn’t merely fodder for game-theoretical analysis, but an unacknowledged founder of the discipline itself: a kind of Empire-waisted version of the mathematician and cold war thinker John von Neumann, ruthlessly breaking down the stratagems of 18th-century social warfare.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Charles Dickens

by George Orwell

Inside the Whale and Other Essays
London: Victor Gollancz, 1940


Dickens is one of those writers who are well worth stealing. Even the burial of his body in Westminster Abbey was a species of theft, if you come to think of it.

When Chesterton wrote his introductions to the Everyman Edition of Dickens's works, it seemed quite natural to him to credit Dickens with his own highly individual brand of medievalism, and more recently a Marxist writer, Mr. T. A. Jackson, has made spirited efforts to turn Dickens into a blood-thirsty revolutionary. The Marxist claims him as ‘almost’ a Marxist, the Catholic claims him as ‘almost’ a Catholic, and both claim him as a champion of the proletariat (or ‘the poor’, as Chesterton would have put it). On the other hand, Nadezhda Krupskaya, in her little book on Lenin, relates that towards the end of his life Lenin went to see a dramatized version of The Cricket on the Hearth, and found Dickens's ‘middle-class sentimentality’ so intolerable that he walked out in the middle of a scene.

Taking ‘middle-class’ to mean what Krupskaya might be expected to mean by it, this was probably a truer judgement than those of Chesterton and Jackson. But it is worth noticing that the dislike of Dickens implied in this remark is something unusual. Plenty of people have found him unreadable, but very few seem to have felt any hostility towards the general spirit of his work. Some years later Mr. Bechhofer Roberts published a full-length attack on Dickens in the form of a novel (This Side Idolatry), but it was a merely personal attack, concerned for the most part with Dickens's treatment of his wife. It dealt with incidents which not one in a thousand of Dickens's readers would ever hear about, and which no more invalidates his work than the second-best bed invalidates Hamlet. All that the book really demonstrated was that a writer's literary personality has little or nothing to do with his private character. It is quite possible that in private life Dickens was just the kind of insensitive egoist that Mr. Bechhofer Roberts makes him appear. But in his published work there is implied a personality quite different from this, a personality which has won him far more friends than enemies. It might well have been otherwise, for even if Dickens was a bourgeois, he was certainly a subversive writer, a radical, one might truthfully say a rebel. Everyone who has read widely in his work has felt this. Gissing, for instance, the best of the writers on Dickens, was anything but a radical himself, and he disapproved of this strain in Dickens and wished it were not there, but it never occurred to him to deny it. In Oliver Twist, Hard Times, Bleak House, Little Dorrit, Dickens attacked English institutions with a ferocity that has never since been approached. Yet he managed to do it without making himself hated, and, more than this, the very people he attacked have swallowed him so completely that he has become a national institution himself. In its attitude towards Dickens the English public has always been a little like the elephant which feels a blow with a walking-stick as a delightful tickling. Before I was ten years old I was having Dickens ladled down my throat by schoolmasters in whom even at that age I could see a strong resemblance to Mr. Creakle, and one knows without needing to be told that lawyers delight in Sergeant Buzfuz and that Little Dorrit is a favourite in the Home Office. Dickens seems to have succeeded in attacking everybody and antagonizing nobody. Naturally this makes one wonder whether after all there was something unreal in his attack upon society. Where exactly does he stand, socially, morally, and politically? As usual, one can define his position more easily if one starts by deciding what he was not.

In the first place he was not, as Messrs. Chesterton and Jackson seem to imply, a ‘proletarian’ writer. To begin with, he does not write about the proletariat, in which he merely resembles the overwhelming majority of novelists, past and present. If you look for the working classes in fiction, and especially English fiction, all you find is a hole. This statement needs qualifying, perhaps. For reasons that are easy enough to see, the agricultural labourer (in England a proletarian) gets a fairly good showing in fiction, and a great deal has been written about criminals, derelicts and, more recently, the working-class intelligentsia. But the ordinary town proletariat, the people who make the wheels go round, have always been ignored by novelists. When they do find their way between the covers of a book, it is nearly always as objects of pity or as comic relief. The central action of Dickens's stories almost invariably takes place in middle-class surroundings. If one examines his novels in detail one finds that his real subject-matter is the London commercial bourgeoisie and their hangers-on — lawyers, clerks, tradesmen, innkeepers, small craftsmen, and servants. He has no portrait of an agricultural worker, and only one (Stephen Blackpool in Hard Times) of an industrial worker. The Plornishes in Little Dorrit are probably his best picture of a working-class family — the Peggottys, for instance, hardly belong to the working class — but on the whole he is not successful with this type of character. If you ask any ordinary reader which of Dickens's proletarian characters he can remember, the three he is almost certain to mention are Bill Sykes, Sam Weller, and Mrs. Gamp. A burglar, a valet, and a drunken midwife — not exactly a representative cross-section of the English working class.

Secondly, in the ordinarily accepted sense of the word, Dickens is not a ‘revolutionary’ writer. But his position here needs some defining.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

‘Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective’ at the National Gallery

Washington Post
October 12, 2012

Roy Lichtenstein. The painter’s name is linked with his signature comic-book images of women, their thoughts rising in text bubbles above tentacles of tousled hair, mounds of tears leaking from their eyes. In 1993, a blockbuster Lichtenstein retrospective at the Guggenheim, some 200 pieces strong, sealed the painter’s reputation as a prime instigator of Pop art. This week, another major Lichtenstein show (“Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective”) arrives at the National Gallery, fresh from the Art Institute of Chicago where it opened earlier this year, with a slightly different take. In the 15,000 square feet that the National Gallery has devoted to the exhibit, the comic-book women from the 1960s occupy exactly one room.

Lichtenstein (1923-1997) was so prolific that there are a lot of ways to slice and dice his output. (It’s notable how relatively little overlap there is between the Guggenheim show and the 135 works exhibited at the National Gallery.) His signature style, of course, remains constant from the early 1960s, when he began exploring mass-media conventions of rendering three-dimensional objects, with three-color printing and screens of Benday dots. He started out with images taken from phone books and newspaper ads and comic books — a golf ball, a spray can, Mickey Mouse — and over the years broadened his range of recognizable cultural icons to include canonical works of art history: Matisse still lifes, Picasso nudes, Chinese landscapes. All were part of an ongoing exploration of how objects are rendered in two dimensions, and how images become iconic or meaningless, or both, when processed through a mass-market filter. And most resorted at least in places to the trademark dots.

But the dots were less depersonalizing than you might initially think. One frequent misapprehension about Pop art, and Lichtenstein’s work, is that because the painter adopted the language of mechanical reproduction, his works are essentially mass-producible themselves. I certainly espoused this view after seeing the 1990s retrospective.

The National Gallery show, however, in going beyond the stereotypical image of Lichtenstein, shows that the painter was in many ways a traditionalist: His paintings are old-fashioned representations in paint, on canvas, with a physicality that can’t fully be communicated in reproductions. Even the dots have a presence (as a catalogue essay by Harry Cooper, the National Gallery’s contemporary art curator, illuminates). The first three works you see as you enter the show emphasize this physicality, from the painterly surface of the ceiling in “Artist’s Studio ‘Look Mickey’ ” (1973) to the textured, slightly scored silver panel in “Entablature” (1975) to the vivid corporeality of “Galatea,” (1990) a three-dimensional sculpture cutting the artist’s signature sensuous black lines through the gallery air.

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More info

"Look Mickey" (1961)
"Brushstroke with Spatter" (1966)
"Nude with Bust" (1995)
"The Ring (Engagement)" (1962)
"Hot Dog with Mustard" (1963)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

National Gallery’s ‘Serial Portrait’ show reveals more than faces

Nikki S. Lee, "The Hip Hop Project (2)" (2001)
Washington Post
September 29, 2012

One senses mortality throughout “The Serial Portrait: Photograph and Identity in the Last One Hundred Years.” The National Gallery of Art exhibition traces a practice mostly peculiar to photography: the creation of multiple images of the same person, often self-portraits, tracing changes in identity that occur naturally over time or through manipulation of self-expression. In the first room of the show, male photographers focus on the female form, often their wives or paramours, producing visual essays that inevitably track the effects of aging. In later rooms, the serial photography project grows more experimental, more a question of identity, manipulations of gender and class. But death is always around the corner.

Nicholas Nixon’s “The Brown Sisters” dominates an entire wall, and, although full of life, the work leaves one with a shudder. An ongoing project, this collection of 37 prints documents the photographer’s wife and her three sisters in photographs made each year since 1975. Displayed in a grid of four rows, the photographs offer without comment what seems a miracle: a sustained communion among four sisters over almost four decades. But the lowest row, only seven photographs long, is terrifying. Will it be completed? When will this group of four be a group of three, then two, then one? What is the end of this project?

There’s only one end, and it’s a certitude, of course. The Nixon series, presented with three missing photographs on the lowest row, projects death into the present, into the midst of life, reminding one of Roland Barthes’s observation: “Whether or not the subject is already dead, every photograph is this catastrophe.”

As you prepare to leave the exhibit, death returns in the form of an image that seems to be a giant reproduction of Robert Mapplethorpe’s last self-portrait, made a year before the photographer’s death from complications arising from AIDS in 1989.

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Nicholas Nixon, "The Brown Sisters" (1975)
Gillian Wearing, "Me as Mapplethorpe" (2009)
Alfred Stieglitz, “Georgia O’Keeffe” (1918)
Milton Rogovin, "Samuel P. 'Pee Wee' West (Lower West Side series)" (1974)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Expressionist Ecstasy: Remembering 20th Century Art's Color Revolution

Spiegel
September 28, 2012

The Folkwang Museum is hosting a show of work that juxtaposes French Fauvism with similar movements across Europe. Politically, the Continent might have been deeply divided in the early 20th century, but the exhibition in Essen provides ample evidence that its artists had much in common.


A new exhibition in Germany pays tribute to modern artists who revolutionized the use of color.

The show marks the first time the Folkwang Museum in Essen has focused on Fauvism and exploring its impact on subsequent art movements, such as German and Russian Expressionism.

The Fauves ("wild beasts") were named by critic Louis Vauxcelles, who was impressed by the revolutionary use of color and vivid brushstrokes on display in a 1905 exhibition of work by Henri Matisse and André Derain.

Led by Matisse, the Fauvists' work marked a break with Impressionism and more traditional approaches to painting, emphasizing painterly qualities and strong color over representational or realistic values.

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Das Museum Folkwang in Essen

André Derain (1905)
Erich Henkel (1910)
Franz Marc (1910)
Henri Matisse (1907)
Max Pechstein (1907)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Dark Side: Exhibition Peers into Romanticism's Realm of Evil

Spiegel
September 27, 2012

A new exhibition in Frankfurt focuses on the dark side of the Romantic movement. Works from artists including Dalí, Goya and Munch examine themes of good and evil, sanity and madness and suffering and lust. Just the thing for the long winter evenings.


As autumn's dusky mantle begins to settle over Germany, the doors to a fitting new exhibition that explores the gloomy side of the Romantic movement have creaked open in Frankfurt.

Visitors to the city's Städel Museum are taken to a strange twilight world with the nightmarish visions, Satanic rites and somber death scenes featured in "Dark Romanticism: From Goya to Max Ernst," which opened on Wednesday.

"The art works speak of loneliness and melancholy, passion and death, of the fascination with horror and the irrationality of dreams," the museum says in a statement.

Some 240 works from more than 70 artists comprise the show, encompassing some 150 years of fascination with mysticism and the supernatural. The paintings, sculptures, photographs and films were created by prominent artists such as Francisco de Goya, William Blake, Caspar David Friedrich, Johann Heinrich Fuseli, Edvard Munch, René Magritte, Hans Bellmer, Salvador Dalí, and Max Ernst. While some come from the Städel's own halls, others are on loan from internationally recognized collections like the Musée d'Orsay and Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Museo del Prado in Madrid and the Art Institute of Chicago.

The exhibition categorizes the works both chronologically and geographically with an aim toward linking various interpretations of Romanticism, the post-Enlightenment movement that began sweeping across Europe by the end of the 18th century and continued its influence long after.

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Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie

Salvador Dalí
Füssli (1790)
"Frankenstein" (1931) directed by James Whale
"Faust" (1926) directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau
Goya (1797-8)
Ernst Ferdinand Oehme (1828)
Carlos Schwabe (1907)
Edvard Munch (1916-8)
René Magritte (1945)
Franz von Stuck (1893)
Caspar David Friedrich (1821-2)
Paul Hippolyte Delaroche (1845-6)
Samuel Colman (1836-8)
William Blake (1803-5)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Berlin's Culture War: Debate Pits Modern Art against Old Masters

Spiegel
September 14, 2012

All summer long, a heated debate has simmered in Berlin over the future of its world-famous collection of Old Masters paintings. The city wants to move the Gemäldegalerie to make room for a modern art museum that would rival MOMA. Critics say it will cause at least half of one of Europe's most important art collections to be put in storage for years.


It may have a few glaring omissions in its collection -- there is, for example, not a single Leonardo da Vinci -- but Berlin's Gemäldegalerie can still hold its own against the best of Europe's classical collections. Any talk of moving or splitting the works quickly stirs up passions in the German capital.

The Feuilletons, or culture pages, of Germany's newspapers have been brimming with a heated debate this summer over the future of the Old Masters. Following a wave of public outcry from prominent intellectuals, the city is reconsidering plans to move its 3,000-strong Gemäldegalerie collection out of its current home near Potsdamer Platz.

Spanning five centuries and including important European works by Vermeer, Brueghel, Caravaggio and Hans Holbein the Younger, the Gemäldegalerie collection of paintings was to be moved to a much smaller space on the city's Museuminsel, or Museum Island, to make way for a new museum of 20th-century art, including works from the private collection of German billionaire industrialist Heiner Pietzsch and his wife Ulla.

Earlier this week, the Prussian Cultural Foundation, which operates many of the city's top museums and is in charge of the proposed move, announced the commission of a feasibility study to weigh various alternatives. "Against the background of the controversial debate, it is a question on the one hand of developing an appropriate opportunity for exhibiting the Old Masters and on the other, of doing justice to the Nationalgalerie's 20th-century collection and the inclusion of the Pietzsch collection." The foundation is still standing behind its position to move the collection, but the study could slow or possibly end those plans.

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Caravaggio, Armor als Sieger

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde

Tate Britain: Exhibition
12 September 2012 - 13 January 2013

Combining rebellion, beauty, scientific precision and imaginative grandeur, the Pre-Raphaelites constitute Britain’s first modern art movement. This exhibition brings together over 150 works in different media, including painting, sculpture, photography and the applied arts, revealing the Pre-Raphaelites to be advanced in their approach to every genre. Led by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) rebelled against the art establishment of the mid-nineteenth century, taking inspiration from early Renaissance painting.

The exhibition establishes the PRB as an early example of the avant-garde: painters who self-consciously overturned orthodoxy and established a new benchmark for modern painting and design. It will include many famous Pre-Raphaelite works, and will also re-introduce some rarely seen masterpieces including Ford Madox Brown’s polemical Work 1852–65 and the 1858 wardrobe designed by Philip Webb and painted by Edward Burne-Jones on the theme of The Prioress’s Tale.

You’ll also see John Everett Millais’s first painting ‘en plein air’ entitled: Ferdinand Lured by Ariel 1849-50 and the politically charged: A Huguenot, on St Bartholomew’s Day, refusing to shield himself from danger by wearing the Roman Catholic Badge 1851-2.

The exhibition shows that the Pre-Raphaelite environment was widely encompassing in its reach across the fine and decorative arts, in response to a fast-changing religious and political backdrop, and in its relationship to women practitioners.


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Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Beloved ('The Bride') 1865-6

Sir John Everett Millais, Bt
Ophelia 1851-2

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Lady Lilith 1866–8

Henry Wallis
Chatterton 1856

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Coloring a Classic, Just as Faulkner Hoped

by Brooke Allen

Wall Street Journal

August 10, 2012

William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury (1929) is one of the monuments of High Modernism—America's answer to James Joyce's Ulysses (1922). As such, it is almost by definition "difficult": obscure, allusive, discontinuous. This tale of the dissolution of a once-aristocratic Southern family, the Compsons, is related in turn by each of the three Compson brothers—the idiot Benjy, the suicidal Quentin and the vengeful Jason—and lastly, in a final chapter, by the novel's omniscient narrator. Each of the four sections presents its own challenges, but the first one, Benjy's, is famously complex, for Benjy has no sense of time. Present, past and future are all one to him, and he slips almost unnoticeably among them.

Benjy's monologue is one of the great tours de force of stream-of-consciousness writing, on a level with those of Molly Bloom in Ulysses and Lily Briscoe in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse (1927). The critics of Faulkner's era were not all charmed: Howard Rockey, for one, reviewing The Sound and the Fury in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1929, complained that the book might drive its readers "to apply for admission to the nearest insane asylum." Countless high-school and college students since then have agreed. Even Faulkner himself was not sure that the Benjy section really worked. "I did not try deliberately to make it obscure," he claimed in an introduction to the novel written in 1933 (though not published until 1972). His objective, he wrote, was "a continuous whole, since the thought transference is subjective; i.e., in Ben's mind and not in the reader's eye."

Faulkner spent a good deal of time tinkering with the first section's format, punctuation (or lack thereof), and typefaces in order to achieve the effects he sought while still making it possible for the reader to follow the narrative and construct from it a coherent whole. The solution he came up with was to indicate a change in time levels with the judicious use of italics: "I purposely used italics for both actual scenes and remembered scenes for the reason," he wrote to his agent, Ben Wasson, "not to indicate the different dates of happenings, but merely to permit the reader to anticipate a thought-transference, letting the recollection postulate its own date." But he acknowledged that the solution was still not quite satisfactory. "If I could only get it printed the way it ought," he complained, "with different color types for the different times in Benjy's section recording the flow of events for him, it would make it simpler, probably. I don't reckon, though, it'll ever be printed that way, and this'll have to be the best, with the italics indicating the changes of events."

This wistful fantasy has long posed a challenge to scholars and editors. As early as 1932, Faulkner's publisher, Bennett Cerf, proposed a limited edition of the novel with the Benjy section printed in colors, and the novelist provided him with a copy that he had marked up in three colors for the purpose. The Depression put an end to this expensive venture, and the color-coded copy vanished. The Internet has enabled would-be editors to present their own versions, and so far at least two such versions have appeared online, though due to copyright issues they are no longer accessible.

Now the Folio Society has tried its hand at the project, commissioning two eminent Faulknerians, Stephen M. Ross and Noel Polk, to produce a colorized version of Benjy's monologue as part of a deluxe edition of The Sound and the Fury, which includes an entire second volume with an extensive glossary and commentary. There is also a bookmark for the reader's convenience showing the color code for the various time levels in the Benjy section—14 of them, according to Messrs. Ross and Polk. The whole has been produced with the Folio Society's customary luxury paper and binding, and the edition is limited to 1,480 numbered copies for sale only to members of the society. (It is quite easy to join, at foliosociety.com.)

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The Sound and the Fury

By William Faulkner
Folio Society, 313 pages, $345

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Marvin Hamlisch in Song

New York Times
August 7, 2012

Marvin Hamlisch, the award-winning composer who died on Monday at 68, had a career that spanned film, television, theater and recorded music.

Click on the link below to see trailers and excerpts from some of the films and musicals featuring his music.

More

His Official Site

New York Times' Obituary

and rare footage from a scene from A Chorus Line performed at the 1976 Tony Awards!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ruling on Artistic Authenticity: The Market vs. the Law

New York Times
August 5, 2012

Federal District Court Judge Paul G. Gardephe’s résumé includes many impressive accomplishments but not an art history degree. Nonetheless he has been asked to answer a question on which even pre-eminent art experts cannot agree: Are three reputed masterworks of Modernism genuine or fake.

Judge Gardephe’s situation is not unique. Although there are no statistics on whether such cases are increasing, lawyers agree that as art prices rise, so does the temptation to turn to the courts to settle disputes over authenticity. One result is that judges and juries with no background in art can frequently be asked to arbitrate among experts who have devoted their lives to parsing a brush stroke.

The three art cases on Judge Gardephe’s docket in Manhattan were brought by patrons of the now-defunct Knoedler & Company who charge that the Upper East Side gallery and its former president Ann Freedman duped them into spending millions of dollars on forgeries.

The judge’s rulings may ultimately rely more on the intricacies of contract law than on determinations of authenticity. But the defendants and plaintiffs are busily assembling impressive rosters of artistic and forensic experts who hope to convince the judge that the works — purportedly by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko — are clearly originals or obvious fakes.

Of course judges and juries routinely decide between competing experts. As Ronald D. Spencer, an art law specialist, put it, “A judge will rule on medical malpractice even if he doesn’t know how to take out a gallstone.” When it comes to questions of authenticity, however, lawyers note that the courts and the art world weigh evidence differently.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

The 2012 Sight & Sound Directors’ Top Ten

British Film Institute
August 2, 2012

The 10 Greatest Films of All Time, as chosen by 358 directors including Woody Allen, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Quentin Tarantino, the Dardenne brothers, Terence Davies, Guillermo del Toro, Martin Scorsese, Olivier Assayas, Michael Mann, Guy Maddin, Francis Ford Coppola, Mike Leigh, Aki Kaurismäki...

1. Tokyo Story

Ozu Yasujirô, 1953 (48 votes; pictured above)

Subtle and sensitive, Tokyo Story lets the viewer experience the tensions and demands that modern life makes on people – here family members—Adoor Gopalakrishnan


2. 2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick, 1968 (42 votes)

This is the film I’ve seen more than any other in my life. 40 times or more. My life altered when I discovered it when I was about 7 in Buenos Aires. It was my first hallucinogenic experience, my great artistic turning-point and also the moment when my mother finally explained what a foetus was and how I came into the world. Without this film I would never have become a director—Gaspar Noé


2. Citizen Kane

Orson Welles, 1941 (42 votes)

Welles’s feat of imagination in Citizen Kane remains dazzling and inspiring. Cinema aspiring to great art, political import – and delivered with unabashed showmanship. The fervour of the work is as excited and electric as ever. The thriller plot never disappoints—Kenneth Branagh

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