Metamorphosis: A Deliciously Tasty Vengeful Feast

Titian: Diana and Callisto (1556-59)

Titian: Diana and Actaeon (1556-59)

Titian: The Death of Actaeon (1556-59)

Metamorphosis: A Deliciously Tasty Vengeful Feast

The National Gallery in London has acquired three of Titian’s paintings based on Ovid’s myth of Diana and Actaeon: Diana and Actaeon, Diana and Callisto and The Death of Actaeon. As recounted by Ovid in Metamorphoses, the hunter Actaeon, chancing upon the chaste Diana bathing naked with her nymphs, is transformed by the vengeful moon goddess into a stag, who is then killed by his own hounds.

One of the works commissioned to celebrate this exhibition, Metamorphosis: Titian 2012, is a beautiful and mystical short film that provides a contemporary retelling of Titian’s Diana and Actaeon. Metamorphosis was directed by the talented writer-director duo, Tell No One, also known as Luke White and Remi Weekes. Instead of the bath scene that Titian depicts, the story unfolds at a countryside estate. The film does a tremendous interpretation of the original myth and painting; at times the film’s visual effects are so stunning they could be paintings themselves.

Metamorphosis: A Deliciously Tasty Vengeful Feast

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Screen Mode)

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Paul Simon Takes Us Back: Under African Skies

Paul Simon Takes Us Back: Under African Skies

Under African Skies is a brilliant, must-see documentary by the renowned filmmaker Joe Berlinger, which was created on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the release of Paul Simon’s seminal album Graceland. The documentary won the 2012 SXSW Audience Award in the 24 Beats per Second Category and is the only music film to win an Audience Award. Berlinger intertwines both sides of a complex story as Simon returns to South Africa for a reunion concert with the original Graceland musicians, which unearths the turbulent birth of the album.

Paul Simon’s historic Graceland album sold millions of copies and united cultures, yet it also ended up dividing world opinion on the boundaries of art, politics and business. Despite its huge success as a popular fusion of American and African musical styles, Graceland spawned intense political debate. Simon was accused of breaking the United Nations’ cultural boycott of South Africa, which was designed to end apartheid.

While the album went on to be widely celebrated for its revolutionary mix of musical styles and for bringing the extraordinary gifts of under-exposed South African musicians to the forefront, many of the questions Graceland raised in 1986 remain. What is the role of the artist when society is in upheaval? Who does music belong to? Whose rules, if any, should artists play by? Do cultural collaborations matter? And what will be the legacy of Graceland’s indelible songs in a world that has since been politically, and musically, transformed?

Read more about Under African Skies in The New York Times here.

Paul Simon Takes Us Back: Under African Skies

Paul Simon: The Story of Graceland

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