Notes on Directing

Understanding that the art of directing is the art of getting the best out of people, veterans Hauser and Reich have subtitled their Notes on Directing "130 Lessons in Leadership from the Director's Chair." Some of my favorites: Introduce bad news with "and" not "but." That is, "The costume looks great, and when you keep your hat up, we can see your gorgeous face." Anger is always preceded by pain. "When an actor jumps to angry choices, look back together for the moment when the hurt occurs because that is what is more important -- and more interesting." Every Object Tells (quoting Romulus Linney): "Everything on the set should be used up, burned up, blown up, destroyed, or otherwise completely chemically altered over the course of the story or else it didn't belong there to begin with." And one that could be a mantra for every overburdened parent: Assume that everyone is in a permanent state of catatonic terror. "This will help you approach the impossible state of infinite patience and benevolence that actors and others expect of you." Full of clear-headed advice, this slender volume communicates more than a shelf of self-help books. What words speak more directly to human drama -- whether on the stage or in the bedroom -- than #65 and #70: Never, NEVER bully... and Please, PLEASE be decisive?

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.