Letters on Arts and Culture
Making “fun of the people higher on the totem pole”
By David Walsh, 2 July 2020
Reiner may not be a name known by many under a certain age, but his influence and impact on American comedy and performance in the postwar period was considerable.
By Nick Barrickman, 1 July 2020
The latest season is the final one in the series about the lives and difficult circumstances of a group of teenagers at fictional Liberty High School.
By Verena Nees, 25 June 2020
On closer inspection, the German government’s aid package proves to be a sham and a step towards neutering and strangling a diverse cultural landscape.
By Clare Hurley, 27 May 2020
Some 95 percent of the world’s museums are currently closed, and more than 11,000 institutions may remain closed after the pandemic recedes.
By David Walsh, 20 May 2020
Farrow has been the golden boy of the American media since the publication of his supposed exposé of Harvey Weinstein in the New Yorker magazine in October 2017.
By Erik Schreiber, 15 May 2020
The new album, which resonates during our time of quarantine, reflects the singer’s personal growth, as well as the regressive influences of her Hollywood-celebrity environment.
By Fred Mazelis, 29 April 2020
Freelance and younger musicians are especially hard hit by cancellations and shutdowns.
By Clare Hurley, 29 April 2020
Ninety-five percent of arts workers in the US have lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic, with 62 percent now unemployed, according to a recently published survey by Americans for the Arts.
By Lee Parsons, 18 April 2020
Set late in the 24th century, Star Trek: Picard concluded its 10-episode season in March to generally favourable reviews, if a mixed reception from the faithful.
By Shannon Jones, 15 April 2020
Orchestras, opera companies, museums and other cultural institutions face severe revenue strains due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are responding with major cuts.
Leading orchestras and musicians move to free online performances in response to the coronavirus pandemic
By Clara Weiss, 17 March 2020
Some of the most important cultural achievements of humanity, previously locked behind paywalls or limited to local audiences, are now available to virtually everyone in the world who has access to the Internet.
13 March 2020
The WSWS has received a letter from writer and director Andrew Birkin in response to its review, posted on March 11, of Speer Goes to Hollywood .
By Sandy English, 3 March 2020
The novel American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, which describes the plight of refugees in Mexico, has come under attack primarily because its author is not Latina.
National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood—How the US military and CIA go about their propaganda operations
By Charles Bogle, 27 February 2020
The book, by Matthew Alford and Tom Secker, presents extensive evidence that US government departments and agencies use multiple means to manipulate content and even block production of Hollywood films.
By David Walsh, 11 February 2020
Parasite deserved to win the most serious awards, being markedly superior to every other film up for consideration. Bong’s effort is a complex, troubling work.
By Kevin Reed, 14 January 2020
Peart, the hard-driving drummer and lyricist of the Canadian progressive rock band Rush, died on January 7 at the age of 67.
By Joanne Laurier, 29 November 2019
The Report is a film dramatization of the events surrounding the US Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into and writing of a report on pervasive CIA torture under the Bush administration.
Modern-day philistinism and reaction: the New York Times considers “canceling” French painter Paul Gauguin
By David Walsh, 25 November 2019
The Times published an article November 18 with a headline that posed the question, “Is It Time Gauguin Got Canceled?”
By Thomas Scripps, 18 November 2019
Greed offers a sharp and often funny critique of the impact on society of rule by a criminal financial oligarchy and deserves a wide audience.
By Dmitri Church, 30 September 2019
The one-year contract signed last week accedes to management’s demands to cut the symphony’s summer season, while doing nothing to guarantee salaries.
By Joanne Laurier, 31 July 2019
Tarantino’s latest film reimagines 1969 Los Angeles and the disintegration of the traditional studio system.
By Sybille Fuchs, 26 July 2019
The exhibition at the Brücke Museum represents a welcome change in favour of art appreciation based on a critical examination of contemporary history.
By David Walsh and Fred Mazelis, 9 July 2019
In the interests of honesty, “Race-fixated upper middle class continues its campaign for positions and money” ought to have been the headline of an opinion piece published by the New York Times July 5.
Marching Song, play co-written by Orson Welles about abolitionist John Brown, to be published after 85 years
By David Walsh, 2 July 2019
Todd Tarbox has edited the play and Rowman & Littlefield will publish it in August. This is a significant cultural event. Marching Song is an important historical drama.
By David Walsh, 2 July 2019
David Walsh spoke recently with Todd Tarbox, who has edited and overseen the publication of Marching Song, a play co-written by Orson Welles in 1932 about the abolitionist John Brown.
San Francisco School Board votes to destroy left-wing murals they claim are “racist” and “white supremacist”
By Toby Reese, 28 June 2019
On Tuesday evening, the San Francisco Unified School Board voted unanimously to destroy or cover over the historic 1936 “Life of George Washington Murals” at a district high school. The vote is a reactionary decision that marks a new stage in the censorship drive that began last December.
”We can’t erase history to suit people’s feelings”
By Evan Blake and Alex Gonzalez, 28 June 2019
Numerous residents spoke out against the destruction of art and the need to contextualize the murals for a younger audience.
By Kevin Reed, 17 June 2019
The recent exposure of Universal Music Group's concealment of the loss of a huge trove of postwar popular music reveals the corruption of the corporate elite, as well as the compliance of news media.
By George Marlowe, 26 April 2019
As part of his final act on behalf of the city’s financial elite, outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel has offered to intervene to end the nearly two-month strike by Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) musicians
Some films from the 2019 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 1
By David Walsh, 26 April 2019
Paper Flags, Tehran: City of Love and Belmonte—three films from France, Iran and Uruguay, respectively—were screened at the recent San Francisco film festival.
By David Walsh, 22 March 2019
Kevin Tsujihara, one of the American film industry’s most powerful executives, resigned March 18 after texts were made public indicating he had promised to promote an actress’ career in exchange for sex.
By Pani Wijesiriwardane and Gamini Karunatileka, 24 July 2018
Our basic objective was to examine Peries’s general contribution to Sri Lankan cinema and how he came to be known as its father.
By Fred Mazelis, 23 April 2016
Copland’s jazz-influenced Piano Concerto deserves a higher profile in the orchestral repertoire.
Stephen Parker’s Bertolt Brecht. A Literary Life—a welcome biography that raises big historical issues
By Sybille Fuchs, 18 April 2016
One of the most talented and influential playwrights of the 20th century, Brecht adapted to Stalinism, with pernicious consequences for his career and work.
On sexual harassment policy
By David Walsh, 30 March 2016
A report by the American Association of University Professors points to the reactionary role of the sexual harassment industry on university campuses.
San Diego Latino Film Festival 2016—Part 2
The human cost of the drug war in Mexico and a drama from Venezuela: Retratos de una búsqueda and Dauna. Lo que lleva el río
By Kevin Martinez and Toby Reese, 30 March 2016
The San Diego festival showcased films and documentaries from throughout the Spanish-speaking world, including Cuba, Spain, Mexico, South and Central America.
By David Walsh, 7 April 2015
Rolling Stone magazine commissioned Steve Coll, dean of the Columbia School of Journalism, and two colleagues, to investigate the writing and publication of “A Rape on Campus.”
By Fred Mazelis and Tom Mackaman, 20 January 2015
Most attention has been focused on the relationship between Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson, but far deeper questions must be explored, including the significance of the mass movement against Jim Crow segregation, its political limitations and its fate.
By Jeff Lusanne, 16 January 2015
Artists from around the world have contributed 26 comics depicting the criminality and brutality of World War I.
By Wolfgang Weber, 19 June 2014
The Cranes Are Flying was a great success in East and West Germany, as it was in the Soviet Union.
17 December 2013
A selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.
28 February 2013
A selection of letters in response to “The 2013 Academy Awards: Mediocrities by and large, and at their worst.”
25 February 2013
A reader notes the comments of certain South American critics, part of a global phenomenon, in praise of Quentin Tarantino and Kathryn Bigelow.
10 February 2000
Just saw The Green Mile. My wife and I would have never seen it had it not been for some friends who recommended it. We said, "OK, let's see it. We can't have an intelligent conversation without actually seeing it." Well, the film confirmed our worst expectations. It is without doubt one of the most disgustingly self-satisfied and stupid movies we have seen (though better, in our opinion, than Amistad). We had refrained from reading your review of it so as not to taint our perceptions. As it is, I just read it this morning and, though it was one of your most brutal pans, you were too, too kind!
6 September 1999
2 September 1999
While I agree that attempts to read a larger social statement into this film will inevitably fail, I feel that MJ's comment does not do Eyes Wide Shut justice. Much of the film's success has to do with Kubrick's understanding of the craft of powerful visual storytelling. The long shots, especially in the scenes between Cruise and Kidman, cement our belief in the characters and subsequently in what is occurring. This may be seen as purely technical virtuosity and thus cover for lack of a compelling story-line but I don't believe that's the case here.
21 August 1999
4 August 1999
The following is a letter from a WSWS reader in response to the July 9 article "Music of life—Buena Vista Social Club " and a reply by Fred Mazelis, for the WSWS editorial board.
10 July 1999
To the editor:
25 June 1999
To the editor:
2 June 1999
To the Editor:
25 February 1998
David Walsh’s review of Titanic generated a large number of letters as well as the following exchange.
25 February 1998
The WSWS has received dozens of letters on its review of the move Titanic. Here we publish some of the recent ones.