David Hockney in the now

7 minutes

Reviving the Roost

6 minutes

Throat singing in Kangirsuk

3 minutes

Mary Beard: women and power

5 minutes

Julian Barbour: what is time?

8 minutes

How a focus on the present moment has given David Hockney many lives

David Hockney is one of the most celebrated UK-born artists of the 20th century, and the painter, photographer and designer has hardly slowed down in the 21st. Directed by the acclaimed UK documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, David Hockney In the Now (in six minutes) expeditiously traverses the artists’s form, content and decades-spanning career. Along the way, the short covers how a Brit could become ‘the painter of Southern California’, and how Hockney’s inclination towards reinvention and adaptation have helped him remain a remarkably relevant cultural figure well into his 70s.

Director: Lucy Walker

Producer: Erin Wright

Dancefloor politics – who’s in and who’s out at one of Edmonton’s oldest gay bars?

A year after reaching the legal drinking age, and before transitioning to female later on, the Canadian writer and filmmaker Vivek Shraya summoned the courage to enter the Roost, the most popular gay bar in her hometown of Edmonton. But while she found excitement within the Roost’s walls, the sense of community that she’d hoped awaited her was missing – or, at least, it was all much more complicated than she had anticipated. Even in this gay sanctuary, divisions of queerness and race, and in-groups and out-groups, created hierarchies of oppression that left her riddled with self-doubt. But then she went to Toronto, where each group had its own bar, and realised she had overlooked something important about the Roost. Set to pulsing music and neon-inspired animation, Shraya’s short film Reviving the Roost is a paean to a now-shuttered Edmonton institution, in all its sweaty, imperfect glory.

Director: Vivek Shraya

Producer: Justine Pimlott

Animator: Tim Singleton

Inuit throat singing is half performance, half game, and wholly mesmerising

In traditional katajjaq, also known as Inuit throat singing, two women stand face to face and perform a duet that doubles as something of a musical battle. Chanting in rhythm, they attempt to outlast one another, each waiting for any crack in the pace of her opponent – whether in the form of loss of breath, fatigue or laughter. In this short from the Canada-based First Nations film initiative Wapikoni Mobile, Eva Kaukai and Manon Chamberland, two throat singers from the remote Inuit village of Kangirsuk in northern Québec, face off in a friendly katajjaq duel. With sweeping imagery of the duo’s Arctic home, the short, which screened at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, is a transfixing melding of music and landscape.

Directors: Eva Kaukai, Manon Chamberland

Producer: Manon Barbeau

Website: Wapikoni Mobile

Why Medusa lives on – Mary Beard on the persistent legacy of Ancient Greek misogyny

‘To be men, they have to learn to silence women. I don’t think we’ve entirely got over that.’

From philosophy and politics to literature and art, the Western world has inherited much from Ancient Greece. But one disturbing cultural legacy is the enduring view of women as lesser beings who should shut up and stay out of the public intellectual sphere. Our social media is rife with examples of this persistent misogyny, which casts vocal women as stupid, shrill or some combination of the two. As the classicist Mary Beard of the University of Cambridge argues, nearly every leading female politician has been at some point depicted as Medusa – that beautiful woman of Ancient Greek myth who was transformed into a hideous beast as punishment for her own rape. In this video, commissioned by the Getty Museum on the occasion of Beard receiving their 2019 Getty Medal for contributions to the arts, she elaborates on the telling similarities between Ancient Greek depictions of women and those in our own times.

Director: Matthew Miller

Producers: Ways & Means, Christopher Broyles

From sky charts to atomic clocks, time is a mysterious story that humans keep inventing

The standardisation and accuracy of human timekeeping has improved by leaps and bounds over the millennia – from tracing the stars, to the invention of timepieces, to the atomic ‘clocks’ of today. But for all our efforts, the concept of time, including whether it’s little more than an illusion of human psychology, remains deeply puzzling. In this interview with Robert Lawrence Kuhn for the PBS series Closer to Truth, the independent British physicist Julian Barbour endeavours to distinguish between our experience of time and its scientific underpinnings, including what has and hasn’t changed about our conception of time since we first looked to the skies to measure it.

Video by Closer to Truth

How a focus on the present moment has given David Hockney many lives

David Hockney is one of the most celebrated UK-born artists of the 20th century, and the painter, photographer and designer has hardly slowed down in the 21st. Directed by the acclaimed UK documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, David Hockney In the Now (in six minutes) expeditiously traverses the artists’s form, content and decades-spanning career. Along the way, the short covers how a Brit could become ‘the painter of Southern California’, and how Hockney’s inclination towards reinvention and adaptation have helped him remain a remarkably relevant cultural figure well into his 70s.

Director: Lucy Walker

Producer: Erin Wright

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Essay/
The ancient world
Rules or citizens?

Ancient Athenian and Greek practices afford us insights into how and why to maintain real accountability in public life

Melissa Lane

Essay/
Virtues and vices
Modesty means more, not less

True modesty is not to be timid or meek but a way of being in the world that means you don’t get in the way of your life

Nicolas Bommarito