JASCHA HEIFETZ: GODS FIDDLER A Film by Peter Rosen (Kultur DVD)
Its been a good few months for Jascha Heifetz fans. Sony has released a 103-CD collection certified by Guinness World Records as the largest box set ever devoted to a single classical player (affordably priced at less than $3 per disc). And Peter Rosen has made a feature-length documentary film, to be released on DVD this month, about the wunderkind of wunderkinds from Vilna who for many still represents the apex of violin perfection.
From the movies title alone, it sounds like a standard-issue classical music hagiography – but this film is more interesting than that. Of course, there are the requisite interviews with famous violinists searching for superlatives to describe the thrill of his playing, and old anecdotes are dusted off to bring color to the story of his phenomenal rise.
Since its inception in 1984, Cirque du Soleil has taken its intoxicating mix of acrobatics and theatrics around the world. The Montreal-based troupe has staged tent shows in every major North American city, traveled Europe and Asia, and built permanent shows all-time marvels like O and Kà in Las Vegas, Orlando, Tokyo and Macao. This week, with the official premiere of its new show Zarkana, Cirque finally found its ideal home: New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
The Art Deco cavern-cathedral, designed by Edward Durrell Stone and decorated by Donald Deskey for its opening in 1932, is a wonder even when it’s empty. But fill its 144-foot-wide stage with 70 elastic performers and a panoply of oversize theatrical and video effects and pack the Music Hall’s 6,000 seats with gaping visitors and you have the perfect union of site and spectacle.
“Transformers” robots have lost some of their money-making power but delivered the biggest opening weekend domestically so far this year.
Distributor Paramount Pictures said Sunday that “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” took in $97.4 million domestically in its first weekend. That beat the $90.2 million debut of Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”
But the domestic haul for the sci-fi sequel was down from the $109 million first weekend for 2009′s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
Since opening Tuesday night, the new “Transformers” pulled in $162 million domestically through Sunday, a drop from $200.1 million for “Revenge of the Fallen” in its first five days.
Paramount estimates “Dark of the Moon” will hit $180.9 million domestically by the end of the long Fourth of July weekend Monday.
“Dark of the Moon” added $210 million overseas, giving the movie a worldwide total of $372 million through Sunday.
The movie broke the three-day Fourth of July weekend record for domestic revenue previously held by 2004′s “Spider-Man 2″ at $88.2 million.
Icelandic singer Bjork opened her world tour on Thursday by unveiling a series of quirky multi-media designs inspired by award-winning naturalist David Attenborough.
The pop star performed the first date of her Biophilia trek at the Campfield Market Hall in Manchester, England, as part of the Manchester International Festival.
The concert saw Bjork show off an array of stunning features, including a 24-piece female choir and nature-themed art installations, inspired by wildlife documentary-maker Attenborough.
The visuals included footage of zombie snails, and film of huge worms feasting on a seal carcass at the bottom of the Antarctic, which were displayed as Bjork sang tracks from her new album.
Beyonce made a group of children very happy this week when she made a surprise appearance at Harlem Target and even joined them for a special performance.
According to CBS New York, over 150 kids from various youth groups gathered at the store to learn some of Beyonce’s signature dance moves with help from her backup dancers. A group of kids was on stage performing a routine to B’s ‘Countdown’ when the singer herself appeared to join in on the fun.
With squeals of delight and looks of “OMG!” on their faces, the kids kept dancing in their once-in-a-lifetime performance while Beyonce herself got in the groove.
“It was amazing. I didn’t even know she was behind me,” Symone Huggins, 15, said. Read more…