Culture & the Arts

Natasha has a voracious appetite for particular styles of music, film, and cultural phenomenon.

“Weekend Of A Champion”: Roman Polanski’s Elegant Bromance (The Awl)

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars had long been the only documentary from my infancy that I can imagine watching over and over again, or even at all. I like my early 70s laced with enigma, androgyny and ambiguity and tightly packaged in flamboyant space frocks. The thought of a non-fictional account of the Monaco Grand Prix shot two months after I was born hardly registers a yawn. I don’t give a lick about the leisure class in couture leisure suits slurping vintage champagne and snorting copious amounts of coke as tiny cars whirl around in a circle spewing bravado in a contest of testosterone on overdrive. Sure, there’s the sex and drugs that permeates both worlds, but only Roman Polanski can infuse Formula 1 with the same ferocity as a rock ’n’ roll suicide and reveal the dark beauty in what’s become a mainstream spectator sport. (Read Full Article)

We’re All Blackstars And Society Is Doomed: What David Bowie’s Death Means For All Of Us (Magnetic Magazine)

I’ve read them all. None of the obituaries succeed. There is too much to say and too little space. Besides, in his ultimate subversion, David Bowie wrote his own. Early on during my tenure at AP, I’d asked a superior editor if I could contribute to Bowie’s death “preparedness,” and was denied. I never asked again. I was so hurt at being shut down. Sure, I am as biased as they come, but I challenge anyone to find a rival then and now in the mainstream media who knows (and cares) more about the endless well of Bowie’s far-reaching breakthroughs in myriad forms of art. To call him a rock star is to call me a fan. I lose all humility when it comes to the prowess of my idol worship. (Read Full Article)

The “Lazarus” Effect: What We Pay for Artists’ Work After We Love & Lose Them The financial limits of even super-fandom (The Billfold)

Full confessional disclaimer: I am an unapologetic David Bowie worshipper. My mantra to fill the gaping hole of Bowie’s death is borrowed from Bowie influencer Bertolt Brecht: “Don’t be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.” But even I have learned that it’s not worth going broke to demonstrate my devotion. I’ve found some solace in the global group mourning that manifests on Facebook feeds and tributes, small and massive, across the world. And thanks to the diligence and devotion of my playwright husband Mike, I saw the spectacularly strange “Lazarus” at New York Theatre Workshop last Friday. Mike gifted me tickets as a Christmas present, not knowing how profound and enduring an experience it would become in the wake of massive and shocking loss. (Read Full Article)