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David Porter » Entries tagged with "Leonard Cohen"

Hotels in the Arts: Special Places in Film, Music and Literature

Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” and The Eagles’ “Hotel California” are not the only hotels, real and imagined, that have played a major part in great arts. Hotel businesses market themselves on historical events or people, celebrity connections, geographical/movie locations to develop customer bases. Lucy Komisar, in The Travel Lady said: “no longer just places to sleep and shower, hotels are now environments for experience.” She reckoned in Paris, for example, the left bank Bel Ami (utilising Guy de Maupassant’s 1885 novel) and for art links, the right bank Hilton Arc de Triomphe, should be visited. Such boutique hotels sit alongside guest houses, inns, pubs, clubs and restaurants the world over, exploiting all connections to boost trade. Hotels in Literature Hotels are perfect settings for creativity. Hedwig Baum’s novel Grand Hotel (1929; movie 1932) was set … Read entire article »

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Creating Great Arts in Hard Economic Times

Tough periods for the arts and practitioners can be inspirational, producing original and challenging work; but is it necessary to suffer for the arts? As recession haunts the early 21st Century, and budgets are cut to tackle government debt and borrowing, people ask: What is the role of the arts in hard times? How do they help people deal with both social problems/crises and their own private fears? Writing in the UK’s Daily Telegraph, 23 October, 2010, Mark Hudson wondered: ‘Is austerity the mother of creativity?’ As a writer himself, he described the difficulty of earning a living writing, particularly in the UK, but said that financial pressure can act as creative spur when people are forced to be inventive to survive. The same may be true of arts organisations, theatres, dance studios, … Read entire article »

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Musicians of the 1960s: 21st Century Relevance and Respect

Many of those singer-songwriters, performers who used talents to launch careers four decades ago, can still speak with weighty voices to today’s youngsters. Jack Madani’s Pop and Rock Music in the 60s: A Brief History gave a concise account of the main artists, the movers and shakers who led up to the explosion of 60s’ music. Starting with the roots of rock and roll, before the decade began, right up to the early 70s, when the dream began to unravel. Many stars who shone, particularly in the late 60s, are no longer around for whatever reason. Their brightness has dimmed. Death took Janis Joplin, Jimmi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and John Lennon, for example. Who knows what they would have achieved musically if they had lived? Others are still doing gig circuits, … Read entire article »

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