Friday, October 10, 2008

Current Events, Two

Government and corporate figures (finance ministers, bankers) met in Washington on Friday, October 10, 2008, to pool ideas and resources, from different countries, in responding to the international financial industry crisis, which seems to be threatening capitalism itself. It has been reported by the New York Times and others that meeting participants are from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. (The U.S. president issued a statement to encourage public faith.) The stock market remains unstable.

The European Meeting of Cultural Journals, which first gathered in 1983, was held in Paris days ago, from September 26 through 29th, the twenty-first such meeting, with more than one-hundred editors, writers, and thinkers, from throughout Europe attending; and they discussed languages, and the dominance of English, the effect of the internet and its regional uses, and the relation to the Arab and Islamic world, according to Eurozine, October 3, 2008.

Louisiana state senator Derrick Shepherd pled guilty to conspiracy to launder money, before a federal judge; and resigned his office, according to the Associated Press (New York Times, online October 10, 2008).

There was much small town talk this week about Louisiana policemen who shot a man in the midst of stabbing his girlfriend, who was also his first cousin.

The Clash’s Live at Shea Stadium was released in early October; and was reviewed October 10 for the online magazine Pop Matters by Michael Keefe, who calls the live recording pure rock ‘n’ roll. (Other articles for the internet magazine include Woody Allen and Sarah Palin as subjects, including discussion of Allen’s cinematic repression of his personal Asian connection and consideration of Palin as a secretly nurtured candidate.)

Roberta Smith’s New York Times review of Elizabeth Peyton’s “Live Forever” exhibit in Manhattan's New Museum on Prince Street, the article "The Personal and the Painterly,” appearing online October 9, gives an overview of Peyton’s career with a commentary on the new exhibit: “Ms. Peyton emerged in the early 1990s; with painters like John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage, she helped open the floodgates to the painterly, outsiderish, illustrational, art-smart figurative styles that by now has become a crowded genre. Her portraits have been correctly seen as indebted to David Hockney, Alex Katz and Andy Warhol. Lovingly rendered and relatively unprotected by irony or size, they have also frequently been dismissed with the put-down du jour. They’re pretty. They’re slight. They’re celebrity besotted. They’re paintings. They sell. All this is true to some degree, but hardly the whole or most interesting part of the story, which ‘Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton’ is at pains to tell as completely as possible.” Smith also states, “By fits and starts, this exhibition reveals the complicated fusion of the personal, the painterly and the Conceptual that informs Ms. Peyton’s work. Each image is a point on entwined strands of artistic or emotional growth, memorializing a relationship, acknowledging an inspiration or exposing an aspect of ambition. This implies an overriding narrative, which is unusual for an exhibition nearly devoid of text labels and unaccompanied by a meet-the-artist introductory video.”

In Louisiana, the city of Lafayette’s Festivals Acadiens et Creoles, October 10 through 12, involves crafts, folk culture, food, and music.

The “Shackles of Memory” exhibit, tracing the enslavement of Africans and their transportation to and life in Louisiana, opens in St.Martinville, Louisiana, in the town’s small African-American museum, near the Bayou Teche bridge.

The horror movie Quarantine opens today. It has not been screened yet for critics, apparently—usually the worst of signs. (Body of Lies and The Express, also opening today, seemed to have received mixed to bad reviews.) The preview short (the trailer) for Quarantine, appearing on television, seemed effective; and made me curious. I’m also curious about some other films—among them, Appaloosa, Ballast, and Rachel Getting Married.

This weekend’s Massachusetts Poetry Festival, in the town of Lowell, is an opportunity to celebrate an important but often marginal art.

Tennessee Williams’s play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is being peformed October 18 through 21 at Teche Theater for the Performing Arts, in Franklin, Louisiana. Williams, a playwright and poet, was a first rate talent; and it was a talent perceptible to most, as it explored southern situations and timeless themes of the quest for honesty and love, and the effects of family and tradition, desire and loathing, hope and pain, money and status.

The film digest Greencine Daily refers to a report that David Cronenberg may direct Denzel Washington in a future film.