Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Outside Mag – "Denmark Took a Mountain of Trash and Made a Ski Hill"
"...Amager Bakke, or CopenHill, as it’s been dubbed, is a 462,848-square-foot waste-to-energy plant—which just happens to have a ski slope on its roof—rising like a glittering aluminum iceberg from the flat plains of a semi-industrial section of Amager (pronounced, inexplicably, “am-ah”), an island that comprises part of the city of Copenhagen.
Standing at the 279-foot summit of what is now one of the city’s tallest structures presents a surreal spectacle: skiers whooshing down a vast carpet of green Neveplast, a synthetic “dry skiing” surface from Italy, amid a staggering panorama that’s dominated by the smokestacks of nearby biomass plants and, behind them, the gloomy, fog-shrouded expanse of the North Sea, dotted with massive wind turbines. Like the writer Don DeLillo’s “postmodern sunsets,” it’s at once inspiringly beautiful and vaguely apocalyptic.
CopenHill, which, along with the plant below, is owned by Amager Resource Center (ARC), offers more than skiing. You can simply hike to the summit on the marked trail for the best view in Copenhagen, stopping to admire the wild strawberries growing on landscaped sections to one side of the slope (where a fox was recently spied). You can also run that path up (there’s already a Strava segment). If you’ve any gas left, there are CrossFit bars at the top. “Last weekend we had a race with 450 people dressed as Santa Claus,” Cecilie Nielsen, CopenHill’s head of customer relations, tells me. “It was awesome.”
Come spring, one of the world’s tallest climbing walls, a twisting and weaving ascent, will open on a corner of the building, which will eventually be laced with green as the structure’s built-in aluminum window boxes begin to bloom. And, lest they forget why they are there, climbers, as they traverse along the holds, will get occasional views into the plant itself, where soaring apses support the huge and complex workings that turn Danish garbage into Danish heat and electricity.
That a cutting-edge waste-to-energy facility now also boasts the best skiing in Denmark—call it the powder plant—is thanks to native son Bjarke Ingels, one of the world’s best-known architects and an espouser of a way of thinking he’s called “sustainable hedonism,” a near oxymoronic philosophy that dares to ask the question: Can saving the world be fun?
The idea of a hill loomed, by necessity, early in the project. The engineers, Ingels says, had dictated a basic envelope for the building, based on the machinery inside. “It was this kind of tiered series of blocks that got taller,” he says, like an ascending stereo-equalizer display. “The diagram was already mountainesque.”
Initially, BIG added “the simplest kind of sloping roof,” adorned with a rooftop park. But he felt they were “staying in the realm of cosmetics,” like “putting lipstick on a pig.” He wondered if they could do something more transformative. On a site visit, Ingels noticed the nearby Copenhagen Cable Park, which whizzes wakeboarders around the harbor via overhead wires. “It just became so clear: the skiers had already arrived, but only in the summer.”
That part of Copenhagen wasn’t hurting for open space, but what it lacked—what the entire country lacked—was an enticing ski hill. “You have to drive four hours to Isaberg, in Sweden,” he says. “And Isaberg is not a very large mountain. The main slope is only a 150-meter [492-foot] drop. So it dawned on us that we could actually do two-thirds of a real mountain ski slope.” It seemed far-fetched at first. They talked to a ski-resort operator. They talked to Team Denmark, an elite-sports organization. No one told them it couldn’t be done, if only because no one had done it. “We started getting an understanding that we couldn’t actually shoot the idea down.”
Not that it was easy. As Jesper Boye Anderson, a designer at BIG, had told me in the firm’s Brooklyn offices: “You don’t open the code books and then look how to do a ski slope on top of a waste-burning plant.”"
Previously on Bjarke Ingles:
Architect Bjarke Ingels (2011)
New Business Story (2012)
Two World Trade by Bjarke Ingels (2015)
Each Apartment Has Its Own Pool (2016)
The Bjarke Ingels Group Plans for the Oakland Athletics (2018)
The Globe and Mail – "It’s time we treat Alex Ovechkin as an NHL all-time great"
"As you read this, Alex Ovechkin has just scored his 700th NHL goal.
That puts him in the same career postal code as Brett Hull and Phil Esposito.
If he lasts another couple of years – which he will because, as Ovechkin has told us, “Russian machine never breaks” – he’ll be up there with Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky.
But Ovechkin is already the greatest goal scorer in hockey history.
When Gretzky was netting 70, 80, 90 goals a season, about eight goals were scored in the average NHL game. That rate had fallen to fewer than six when Ovechkin began his run.
In retrospect, it feels as though about half of Gretzky’s goals were scored on some skinny, flailing idiot who’d come 10 feet out of his net trying to cut down the angle and then fell over. And as you may recall, he had a fair bit of help as well.
Ovechkin has spent large chunks of his career cutting his own trail through the NHL. He came in during the tail end of the Dead Puck Era. He’s faced bigger, faster goalies, all of whom are now equipped like they work as tackling dummies for attack dogs. The defenders have been super-sized as well.
Most tellingly, none of Ovechkin’s brightest contemporaries are anywhere near him. Sidney Crosby is closest – and he’s 250 goals behind.
Had he played in Gretzky’s era, on a team such as the mid-eighties’ Oilers, just imagine the numbers Ovechkin might’ve put up. A thousand goals, easy. Maybe a lot more.
Ovechkin hasn’t been misunderstood or underappreciated, but he has been overanalyzed. As observers, we’ve spent a great deal of his career trying to figure out what he represents."
The Atlantic – "The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake"
By David Brooks
"When we discuss the problems confronting the country, we don’t talk about family enough. It feels too judgmental. Too uncomfortable. Maybe even too religious. But the blunt fact is that the nuclear family has been crumbling in slow motion for decades, and many of our other problems—with education, mental health, addiction, the quality of the labor force—stem from that crumbling. We’ve left behind the nuclear-family paradigm of 1955. For most people it’s not coming back. Americans are hungering to live in extended and forged families, in ways that are new and ancient at the same time. This is a significant opportunity, a chance to thicken and broaden family relationships, a chance to allow more adults and children to live and grow under the loving gaze of a dozen pairs of eyes, and be caught, when they fall, by a dozen pairs of arms. For decades we have been eating at smaller and smaller tables, with fewer and fewer kin.
It’s time to find ways to bring back the big tables."
Vida Americana: Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945
February 17 - May 17, 2020
New York Times - "How Mexico’s Muralists Lit a Fire Under U.S. Artists"
"From floated proposal to finished product, “Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945” at the Whitney Museum of American Art represents a decade of hard thought and labor, and the effort has paid off. The show is stupendous, and complicated, and lands right on time. Just by existing it accomplishes three vital things. It reshapes a stretch of art history to give credit where credit is due. It suggests that the Whitney is, at last, en route to fully embracing “American Art.” And it offers yet another argument for why the build-the-wall mania that has obsessed this country for the past three-plus years just has to go. Judging by the story told here, we should be actively inviting our southern neighbor northward to enrich our cultural soil.
That story, a hemispheric one, begins in Mexico in the 1920s. After 10 years of civil war and revolution, that country’s new constitutional government turned to art to invent and broadcast a unifying national self-image, one that emphasized both its deep roots in indigenous, pre-Hispanic culture and the heroisms of its recent revolutionary struggles.
The chosen medium for the message was mural painting — monumental, accessible, anti-elitist, in the public domain. And three very differently gifted practitioners quickly came to dominate the field: Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros: “Los Tres Grandes” — “the three great ones” — as they came to be known among admirers."
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Quartz - "The age of the vertically shot blockbuster is upon us"
Russian director Timur Bekmambetov is "developing “the first vertical format blockbuster,” according to Deadline. Based on the true story of a Soviet fighter pilot who led an escape out of a Nazi concentration camp in World War II, the film, titled V2. Escape From Hell, will be shot and released entirely in vertical mode, rather than in the traditional horizontal format moviegoers are accustomed to.
Though designed to be watched on phones, the film will also be shown in theaters in 2021. It’s unclear exactly what that will look like on movie screens: Either the film will be projected exactly as it was shot (resulting in two large black bars on either side of the picture) or it will be reformatted to fit the big screen."
The Verge - "QUIBI VERSUS THE WORLD: Can Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman change everything about video on your phone?"
"Jeffrey Katzenberg insists that his new video-streaming service Quibi isn’t competing against Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, or any of the other streaming services that have launched or are launching soon. You’ve got it all wrong. You’re not even asking the right questions.
“We don’t think we’re in the streaming wars,” Katzenberg, the former boss of Walt Disney Studios and founder of DreamWorks, tells The Verge in a closed-door meeting the day before the company’s grand reveal at a CES keynote. “They’re all battling for this,” he says as he thrusts his arm toward a TV in the room. “We’re going for this,” he says, gesturing toward his phone. “Don’t tell them!”
Katzenberg and Quibi CEO Meg Whitman, who is best known as the CEO of HP and eBay, are publicly announcing Quibi at CES — but not quite unveiling it — after having raised $1 billion on the promise of a roster of Hollywood stars and supposedly revolutionary video-streaming technology that delivers portrait and landscape video at the same time. Everything on Quibi is designed for viewing on a phone, on the go, in 10 minutes or less. These chunks of video are called “quick bites” — hence, “Quibi.”
When Quibi arrives on April 6th of this year, it’ll cost $5 a month for an ad-supported version or $8 a month for an ad-free experience. Katzenberg and Whitman formulated this idea nearly two years ago and have been relentlessly signing up the biggest names in Hollywood to be a part of it."
Variety - "Tinder’s Apocalyptic ‘Swipe Night’ Interactive Dating Show Sets Release DateTinder’s Apocalyptic ‘Swipe Night’ Interactive Dating Show Sets Release Date"
"Tinder next month will bow its first original entertainment content — “Swipe Night,” an interactive adventure series in which viewers are forced to make dating choices on humanity’s last night on Earth.
Variety previously reported details of the location-based social network/dating app service’s foray into original content, which recently wrapped production in Mexico City and was directed by Karena Evans, who has helmed numerous music videos for rapper Drake including “In My Feelings” and “Nice For What.” The project had a budget of over $5 million and the six-episode series has a total runtime of more than two hours, Variety reported.
The first episode of “Swipe Night” will premiere Sunday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. local time in the U.S. Subsequent installments will be released weekly on Sundays and will only be available for 6 hours (from 6 p.m. to midnight local time). The show’s title is a play on “swipe right,” the Tinder action for indicating you’re attracted to someone based on their profile.
Why is Tinder launching choose-your-own-adventure-style thriller about the end of the world? The company explained that by presenting a “shared content experience,” it wants to provide an icebreaker for Tinder members to connect with each other. "
CNN - "Game over for HQ Trivia"
"It's over for HQ Trivia.
The company behind the once-popular live mobile trivia game is shutting down, CNN Business has learned. HQ will part ways with 25 full-time employees.
When HQ launched in 2017, its first game HQ Trivia quickly attracted millions of people across the world who stopped whatever they were doing twice a day to play the game on their smartphones. The company was profiled by The New York Times and its original host Scott Rogowsky became a household name, appearing on programs like NBC's "Today" show.
But over the next year, the game's popularity faded and its parent company was hit with a series of setbacks. The company grappled with internal turmoil, including the death of HQ cofounder Colin Kroll, who died in December 2018 from a drug overdose.
CEO Rus Yusupov said in a company-wide email on Friday that "lead investors are no longer willing to fund the company, and so effective today, HQ will cease operations and move to dissolution." In the email, which was obtained by CNN Business, Yusupov also disclosed that the company had hired a banker "to help find additional investors and partners to support the expansion of the company." He said the company had "received an offer from an established business" and was expected to close the deal on Saturday, but the potential acquisition fell through."
No date yet on ST4.
Some of the Netflix original movies announced for 2020 via Netflix Film's Twitter on 1/3/20:
MANK: From director David Fincher (THE SOCIAL NETWORK, ZODIAC, GONE GIRL, FIGHT CLUB), the story centers around the writing of CITIZEN KANE. Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Charles Dance, and Lily Collins star.
REBECCA: Director Ben Wheatley's adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel (adapted by Hitchcock in 1940) follows a newly-married young woman (Lily James) who finds herself battling the shadow of her husband's (Armie Hammer) dead first wife, the mysterious Rebecca.
THE OLD GUARD: From director Gina Prince-Bythewood (LOVE & BASKETBALL), Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne lead a covert group of immortal mercenaries who must fight to keep their team together when they discover the existence of a new immortal and their extraordinary abilities are exposed.
HILLBILLY ELEGY: Amy Adams, Glenn Close, and Gabriel Basso star in director Ron Howard's adaptation of J.D. Vance's memoir of the same name, a modern exploration of the American Dream about three generations of an Appalachian family.
DA 5 BLOODS: The latest Spike Lee joint follows four African American vets who return to Vietnam, searching for the remains of their fallen squad leader and the promise of buried treasure. Chadwick Boseman, Paul Walter Hauser, Norm Lewis, Delroy Lindo, and Jonathan Majors star.
EUROVISION: When aspiring musicians Lars (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) are given the opportunity of a lifetime to represent their country at the world’s biggest song competition, they finally have a chance to prove that any dream is a dream worth fighting for.
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS: A road trip becomes a twisted mix of palpable tension, psychological frailty, and sheer terror in the latest from Charlie Kaufman (BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, ADAPTATION, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), starring Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley, Toni Collette, and David Thewlis.
THE LAST THING HE WANTED: In this Joan Didion adaptation from Dee Rees (MUDBOUND), a veteran D.C. journalist (Anne Hathaway) loses the thread of her own story when a guilt-propelled errand for her father thrusts her from byline to unwitting subject in the very story she’s trying to break.
A FALL FROM GRACE: In this thriller from Tyler Perry (MADEA'S FAMILY REUNION), Grace (Crystal Fox), a disheartened woman restored by a new romance, discovers her relationship is full of secrets, and her vulnerable side quickly turns violent. Phylicia Rashad, Bresha Webb, Cicely Tyson also star.
TIGERTAIL: This film from writer/director Alan Yang (MASTER OF NONE) tells the story of a Taiwanese factory worker who leaves his homeland to seek opportunity in America, where he struggles to find connection while balancing family & newfound responsibilities.
SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL: Mark Wahlberg reteams with director Peter Berg (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (Movie)) to play an ex-cop, Spenser, who moves in with Hawk (Winston Duke), an aspiring MMA fighter with his own rap sheet. Between gym rounds, the duo’s taunts turn to trust, and they team up to solve a double homicide.
THE PROM: Ryan Murphy (THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON, THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE) directs this story of a lesbian teenager who's banned from attending the big dance with her girlfriend. The injustice prompts a cast of Broadway eccentrics to descend on the small Indiana town to fight back. Meryl Streep, James Corden & Nicole Kidman star.
OUT OF THE FIRE: Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is a fearless black market mercenary with nothing left to lose when his skills are solicited to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord. Action-packed, edge-of-your-seat thriller directed by Sam Hargrave.
TMZ - "EMILIO ESTEVEZBACK ON THE ICE ...'Mighty Ducks' Reboot!!!"
"Filming is already underway for the 10-episode TV series, which Disney says is set in present-day Minnesota and features the Mighty Ducks as an ultra-competitive, powerhouse youth hockey program.
Emilio's gonna reprise his role as Coach Bombay and guide a ragtag group of misfits as they discover the joys of playing for the love of the game. In other words, it's pretty much the same plot as the 1990s trilogy."
People - "See the First Look Photos of Emilio Estevez as Coach Bombay in Mighty Ducks Reboot"
"On Thursday, Disney+ announced the 57-year-old actor will be reprising his role of coach Gordon Bombay — which he played in The Mighty Ducks film franchise — in the upcoming TV series based on the sports trilogy."
June 25, 2021
Written and Directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War of the Planet of the Apes)
Robert Pattinson as Batman
Zoë Kravitz as Catwomn
Paul Dano as The Riddler
Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon
Andy Serkis as Alfred
Colin Farrell as Penguin
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
July 24, 2020
Written & Directed by Wes Anderson
Starring Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Steve Park, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson