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    What Directors Love About Nicole Kidman

    As the actress receives a life achievement award from the American Film Institute this week, five filmmakers discuss what makes her work so singular.“We come to this place for magic,” Nicole Kidman says in the well-known AMC Theaters preshow advertisement. And who could better welcome back audiences to experience movies on the big screen than an acclaimed artist who’s illuminated stories across all genres?Kidman has starred in daring art house projects (“Dogville,” “Birth”), awards-friendly dramas (“Cold Mountain,” “Rabbit Hole”), big-budget crowd-pleasers (“Aquaman,” “Paddington”) and everything in between.On Saturday, the Australian American Oscar-winning actress will receive the life achievement award from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. At 56, Kidman is among the youngest honorees.But what qualities have kept Kidman consistently in demand for the past three decades?The Australian director Jane Campion said via email that “her fierce curiosity has helped her take an audience inside some gnarly women.” The American filmmaker Karyn Kusama described her as a “channeler of inchoate energy,” and explained that when this “coalesces into something visceral for her character, you almost feel the molecules in the air shift around her.”Five directors who have worked with Kidman, including Campion and Kusama, discussed what makes the performer an irreplaceable, shape-shifting talent.Baz Luhrmann‘Moulin Rouge!’ (2001), ‘Australia’ (2008)As Satine in “Moulin Rouge!”20th Century FoxWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    ‘Tortured Poets’ Has Shifted the Taylor Swift Debate. Let’s Discuss.

    The superstar’s 11th album is a 31-song excavation of her recent relationships that is not universally loved. Our pop team dissects its sound, themes and reception.BEN SISARIO Hey, have you guys seen my antique typewriter? I think I left it at someone’s apartment. I swear, I’m so absent-minded …JON PARELES I’m not sure you want to be associated with that typewriter’s owner, Ben. He doesn’t come off too well on “The Tortured Poets Department”; by the end, he’s been reduced to “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived.”SISARIO Over the years, I’ve trained myself to view Taylor Swift’s work through the eyes of her fans — that’s crucial for understanding Swift, whose connection with her listeners is at the root of her success, and it’s also become part of the art itself. The question is not just what is Swift saying, but what is she telling her fans, and how will they respond to it? And for my first few times listening to “Tortured Poets,” it seemed crystal clear to me that this album would rally fans intensely. This is an epic of romantic martyrdom, a cry of revenge greased by tears of rage. She’s pushing Swifties’ buttons, and I could imagine stadiums on every continent screaming in unison: “I love you, it’s ruining my life!”The sound, too, seems perfectly calibrated. Over much of the last decade, Swift has kept parallel musical paths: moody electro-pop with Jack Antonoff, and raw, delicate indie-folk with Aaron Dessner. She split the difference here, engaging both producers, and I think Swifties vote yes.PARELES It’s not just one Taylor Swift, though. It’s at least two: the world-conquering billionaire superstar who has stadiums chanting “More!” and the vulnerable girlfriend whose heart explodes when a guy teasingly slips a ring on her ring finger. It’s also the Swift who can’t help gathering writerly details for her next song, and the Swift who’s very deliberately planting autobiographical clues and Easter eggs for the fans to find. The tension between Swift as a shrewd, workaholic cultural colossus and Swift the 34-year-old woman seeking a worthy, committed partner — and, she suggests, marriage and family — is stronger than ever on this album, and makes it a real jumble of agendas.Some lyrics seem to be pushing back against the opinions of Swift’s judgmental fans.Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York TimesWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    8 Songs From the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024

    Listen to soon-to-be inductees Cher, Foreigner, A Tribe Called Quest and more.Cher.Mario Anzuoni/ReutersDear listeners,On Sunday night, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2024 inductees. And while I find this year’s class a tad less exciting than last year’s, there are still quite a few names I was pleased to see: A Tribe Called Quest, Kool & the Gang, Ozzy Osbourne, Mary J. Blige and the artist who would have been at the top of my ballot, if I were a Rock Hall voter: Cher.*In recent years, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has been in something of a transitional period, as it expands its definition of “rock & roll” to include country legends (last year’s inductees included Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson) and hip-hop stars (like Eminem in 2022, and Missy Elliott, who in 2023 became the first-ever female rapper inducted). Last September, the Rock Hall co-founder Jann Wenner made headlines for all the wrong reasons when he espoused sexist and racist comments in a New York Times Magazine interview; shortly after, he was removed from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s board.The Billboard writer Andrew Unterberger took stock of all this in an astute column about this year’s inductees, which he believes strike a balance between the hall’s more old-fashioned view of rock and a fresher, wider definition that is less beholden to tradition. Artists like Tribe, Cher and Blige are in step with the institution’s drift toward becoming “a less hemmed-in, genre-specific institution,” but the presence of acts like Foreigner, Peter Frampton and the Dave Matthews Band also suggest that “there are still plenty of voters primarily concerned with rock representation.”All of this variety, though, means that this year’s inductees make for a thrillingly eclectic playlist. Check it out below, featuring some recognizable hits, a few rollicking live cuts and in my humble opinion, a very underrated Cher single.Allllll aboard!,Lindsay*Last month, the hosts of the excellent podcast “Who Cares About the Rock Hall?” had me on to discuss why I believe Cher belongs in the pantheon, as well as my obsession with the outrageous cover of her 1979 album “Take Me Home.”We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Kathleen Hanna Reveals the Story of Her Life in ‘Rebel Girl’

    The first draft of Kathleen Hanna’s memoir, “Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk,” was 600 pages long. As she worked to cut the manuscript, Hanna found herself excising page after page of male violence. “It’s pretty sad, if you read the book, because there’s still a lot in there,” she told me. “I had a joke with my editor about it.” Like, she’d already removed a rape and a kidnapping and a guy who threw a wine glass at her head! “What more do you want from me?”Hanna is super funny. When she takes the stage as the frontwoman of Bikini Kill, Le Tigre or the Julie Ruin, she plays a kind of punk trickster, shifting her voice to resemble a bratty Valley Girl, a demonic cheerleader, an obnoxious male fan. She is always subverting femininity and disarming bad guys with her spiky and irreverent lyrics. But when it came time to write her life story, she realized that she could not playfully twist away from her past.“I keep trying to make my rapes funny, but I have to stop doing that because they aren’t,” she writes in the book, which comes out on May 14.Kathleen Hanna at home with her dog, Terry. While writing her memoir, she was diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder.OK McCausland for The New York Times“Rebel Girl” documents Hanna’s long career as an underground artist and musician, and its striking intersections with the mainstream. In the 1990s, she helped instigate the riot grrrl movement, calling girls to the front of punk venues and setting off a D.I.Y. feminist ethos that was later assimilated into a girl-power marketing trend. She was a friend of Kurt Cobain’s who scrawled the phrase “Kurt smells like Teen Spirit” on his bedroom wall, inspiring the anthem that exploded into a global phenomenon.Nineties nostalgia applies an appealingly gritty filter to that era’s underground rock scene, but it could be punishing for those who stood in opposition to its white male standard. Hanna has sometimes worried that if she put it all out there, she would be disbelieved. “I’ve been told by men: Oh, you’re just the kind of woman these things happen to, as if I have some sort of smell I’m emanating,” she said. “But I knew that other women would understand.”We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell on How ‘Anyone but You’ Beat the Rom-Com Odds

    Here are their takeaways after the film, debuting on Netflix, went from box office miss to runaway hit.As Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell promoted their romantic comedy, “Anyone but You,” last year, life appeared to be imitating art: The co-stars posed cheek to cheek while sightseeing in Australia. Powell dipped a gleeful Sweeney in his arms. Sweeney cast longing gazes up at Powell on red carpets. The pair flirted and giggled in interviews.When Powell and his long-term girlfriend broke up, and Sweeney remained engaged to her fiancé, Jonathan Davino (an executive producer of “Anyone but You”), rumors of an illicit offscreen relationship between the two actors took hold.The speculation played out, the stars said, exactly as they intended.“The two things that you have to sell a rom-com are fun and chemistry. Sydney and I have a ton of fun together, and we have a ton of effortless chemistry,” Powell said in an interview. “That’s people wanting what’s on the screen off the screen, and sometimes you just have to lean into it a bit — and it worked wonderfully. Sydney is very smart.”Sweeney, who is also an executive producer through her Fifty-Fifty Films company, said she was intimately involved with the marketing strategy on the Columbia Pictures film, including, perhaps, fanning those headline-generating flames.“I was on every call. I was in text group chats. I was probably keeping everybody over at Sony marketing and distribution awake at night because I couldn’t stop with ideas,” she said. “I wanted to make sure that we were actively having a conversation with the audience as we were promoting this film, because at the end of the day, they’re the ones who created the entire narrative.”The R-rated romance follows Bea (Sweeney) and Ben (Powell), who share a night that ends badly and are then thrust together at a destination wedding in Australia, where Ben’s friend and Bea’s sister are getting married. The film is based loosely on Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” and is full of bawdy zingers, grand gestures and sun-dappled scenery.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Peter Gordon, Music’s Mr. Adjacent, Is Starting His Own Record Label

    Peter Gordon, who studied with Terry Riley, has always made music that is surprising but accessible. Now he’s starting his own record label.For 45 years, Peter Gordon has held onto a reel-to-reel tape of a show he performed in 1979 at the Mudd Club in New York City with a trio called the Blue Horn File. Gordon, the violinist Laurie Anderson and the percussionist David Van Tieghem — a group of new music all-stars — did a short set with the playful and unshackled feel of cartoon music. It was one of only three shows the Blue Horn File played.Gordon, a saxophonist, composer and bandleader who has been a mainstay of downtown music for decades, has recorded for several different labels. But he decided to take a different path with these tapes: This week, he is releasing “The Blue Horn File at Mudd Club” as one of the first titles on Adjacent Records, his new digital-only label.“It eliminates the middleman,” he said. “With record companies, people second guess at every point what’s going to work or not work. It’s really about setting up artistic freedom, from creation to distribution.”In the course of his restless, mutable career, Gordon, 72, has written all kinds of music, from classical pieces for solo piano or chamber orchestra to dance scores and experimental operas. But he also has used his classical background to write disco-kissed rock music for the long-running group he formed in 1977, Love of Life Orchestra.He isn’t as well-known as some of the people he’s worked with, like Anderson, the novelist Kathy Acker, the choreographer Bill T. Jones, the singular cellist Arthur Russell, or David Byrne; or the people he’s studied with, including the founding Minimalists Terry Riley and Pauline Oliveros, with whom he played in a klezmer band. “But he’s known by the right people,” said Tim Burgess, frontman of the Charlatans U.K. and another of Gordon’s many collaborators.Gordon is Mr. Adjacent: “Adjacent” is more than the name of his label, it’s a description of his music, which sits in a distinct Venn diagram of influences, including jazz, classical and rock, often with R&B at the center. The one constant is a kind of populist experimentation: He makes music that’s surprising but also accessible.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Kamasi Washington Wants to Remain Unstoppable

    Before Kamasi Washington unveiled his breakthrough opus, he admits, he second-guessed it.“The Epic” (2015) was a major moment, not just for the Los Angeles saxophonist and composer, but for jazz at large. Arriving on the heels of Kendrick Lamar’s seismic “To Pimp a Butterfly” — an album featuring contributions from Washington and his tight-knit hometown coterie — it contained nearly three hours’ worth of surging, spiritually charged music, spearheaded by Washington’s roaring tenor sax. Despite its daunting scope and operatic grandeur, it resonated broadly, serving as a gateway to jazz and the thriving scene orbiting Washington’s label at the time, Brainfeeder.But in the long interval between its recording — most of which took place in 2011 — and its release, Washington toyed with the idea of trimming it down to make it more palatable. “I had so much time, sitting on it for a good little minute, so I made edited versions,” he said with a sheepish laugh during a recent video interview from his Inglewood, Calif. home, sporting a black-and-gold striped knit hat and a flowing, floral-embroidered shirt. But, inspired in part by the boldness of “To Pimp a Butterfly,” and the way it further challenged Lamar’s audience following the rapper’s 2012 multiplatinum hit “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City,” he decided to honor his original vision, keeping “The Epic” epic.“I’m just going to let it be what it is,” he recalled thinking at the time. “And I’m cool with whatever that does.”Washington onstage in 2022. The saxophonist and his close collaborators have helped bring a thrilling West Coast jazz scene into the spotlight.Nina Westervelt for The New York TimesIn the years since “The Epic,” that principle has continued to serve Washington well. His new album out May 3, “Fearless Movement,” includes high-profile guest spots from George Clinton, who sings on the woozy, grinding “Get Lit,” and André 3000, who contributes blissed-out flute textures to the relaxed jazz-funk excursion “Dream State.”Overall, it finds Washington, 43, adhering to his longstanding vision, presenting sprawling, eclectic tracks — 12 in just shy of 90 minutes — that refute any notion of jazz as a cloistered musical zone and showcase the chemistry of his core musical crew, a decades-strong friend group that started taking shape in early childhood.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Taylor Swift Has Given Fans a Lot. Is It Finally Too Much?

    Swift has been inescapable over the last year. With the release of “The Tortured Poets Department,” her latest (very long) album, some seem to finally be feeling fatigued.Four new studio albums. Four rerecorded albums, too. A $1 billion oxygen-sucking world tour with a concert movie to match. And, of course, one very high-profile relationship that spilled over into the Super Bowl.For some, the constant deluge that has peaked in the past year is starting to add up to a new (and previously unthinkable) feeling: Taylor Swift fatigue.And it is a feeling that has only solidified online in the days following the release of “The Tortured Poets Department,” which morphed from a 16-song album into a 31-song, two-hour epic just hours after its release.Many critics (including The New York Times’s own) have suggested that the album was overstuffed — simply not her best. And critiques of the music have now opened a sliver of space for a wider round of complaint unlike any Swift has faced over her prolific and world-conquering recent run.“It’s almost like if you produce too much… too fast… in a brazen attempt to completely saturate and dominate a market rather than having something important or even halfway interesting to say… the art suffers!” Chris Murphy, a staff writer at Vanity Fair, posted on X.Which is not to say nobody listened to the album; far from it. Spotify said “Poets,” which was released on Friday, became the most-streamed album in a single day with more than 300 million streams.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More