the definitive daily cultural column curated by stefan boublil.

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  • theaptPORTFOLIO

    theaptSHOWS

    January 7, 2013

    i can’t think of a better way to sum up the way i strive to live my life than with those two little words. they are powerful, useful and, couple with discipline, the only way i know of to conquer fear. and to have garnered an eloquent supporter in ice-t doesn’t hurt. so fuck it, have a fantastic week!

    December 11, 2012

    on 12.10.12, we were invited to the ziegfeld theater to get the first glimpse of the musical that i have been waiting for since i was 11 years old. in september 1980, i was there, on the wooden plank seating of the sports arena that played the first-ever version of the show, slated to run for 2 months and no more. as the show ended and tears ran down my cheeks for reasons i did not, at the time, altogether grasp, i knew i did not quite understand everything i had just seen. rather i knew how i felt and let my imagination take over from there. last night, i realized that what i had imagined then, director tom hooper, show creators alain boublil and claude-michel schönberg and the cast and crew of this literally showstopping fim, put on the screen for me to see.

    September 6, 2012

    while you and i were sleeping late this morning due to having been over-excited at bill clinton‘s speech last night, other people were making things. people like theaptPEEP peter freudling who spends his time at ars electronica futurelab experimenting with life’s apparent passion for technology in a way electric sheep can only dream of. (yes, extra points for references.) so it was with this incredible display of ingenuity at the klangwolke celebration held last week where peter and his gang rigged 50 quadrocopters to grid the night sky. the result speaks for itself and is just amazing.

    June 11, 2012

    paths of glory, lolita and dr. strangelove (leaving aside killer’s kiss, the killing and spartacus which he did not consider his or any good) but he had still already acquired an air of mystery. especially as the rumors were starting to fly that he was now collaborating on something with arthur c. clarke. that is when physicist and new yorker reporter (because of course) jeremy bernstein came in and engaged the soon-to-be-legend in a 77-minute interview, an event that would go from rare occurrence to inexistent as the director’s career progressed and the man retreated. a must-listen for fans of both film and human nature… (via open culture)

    February 6, 2012

    as you know, i don’t often get personal in this here broadcast so please forgive the indulgence this one time and try to understand why i did it. first time going down a slippery mountain with waxed planks of wood on their feet for the kids. first time in 19 years for gina. first time in 23 years for me. it’s a goddamn miracle we’re alive…

    ok, and a little bonus…

    oh, and what the hell…

    that is all.

    November 14, 2011

    A CONVERSATION ABOUT GENIUS AND PARENTHOOD… WITH CHRIS WELLES FEDER

    i am french, (big surprise!) and came to new york city in 1989 to go to nyu film school. that is where i first laid eyes on the work of orson welles… like many before me and many after, i was struck by the films’ vision but, perhaps even more-so, by the man behind it. later, i grew to understand those kinds of multi-faceted geniuses such as mozart, eames or jobs as part of an exclusive club of those who, indeed, push the human race forward.

    as my career took me in different directions, i studied orson’s storytelling and flair for drama in everything i did. in the past 10 years, as the founder of a creative agency in nyc, i have been in the position to breathe some culture into an industry, that of design, that sorely needs it, and so we started to make short films. specifically lately, i have been interested in having conversations with people, not merely film interviews but actually talk. it has always seemed strange to me that talk shows in general only ever engage guests about what they may be promoting at the time, usually mere “vehicles” for the invited to distribute a piece of information that will usually be to his or her fiduciary advantage and i am rarely interested in hearing yet another talking point about how “it was an honor to work with brett ratner” or “a privilege to have nicki minaj guest on this track. what i have always wanted to hear were the meandering paths that spontaneous, if prepared, conversations between two human beings can take and being a fly on that wall. so imagine my excitement when the opportunity to meet orson welles’ first daughter chris presented itself at the release of her memoir in my father’s shadow: a daughter remembers orson welles (in stock!)

    actually, don’t imagine it, just press play…

    September 30, 2011

    “being a dreamer, to me, I guess, means to be able to look beyond society and the barriers that have been pushed down your throat by religion, or government, or money; to ask questions, to want more for yourself and your fellow man.”

    those are the words of one artist named justin tellian, who is setting up up photo shoot tomorrow, saturday september 30th 2011, in flushing meadows corona park in queens and planning to remind all of us that we are not mere followers of ideas but creators of them too! the plan, as you can see on today’s theaptCOVER, is to set ourselves up in front of something that is greater than ourselves, to give us a goal, something to reach for and then, reach for it. simply, precisely, actively. and the best part? YOU’RE INVITED TOO! after mexico (above,) berlin, tokyo and johannesburg, it’s your chance to help new york city happen!

    just follow these directions, show up at 1pm, all dressed in white, with as many people as you can and be part of an amazing project put together by theaptSUPERfriends at trust art! and of course, stay for the dance party immediately following the shoot. so go, be a part of something important, and tell us all about it on your way back. have a dreamy weekend!

    September 1, 2011


    i don’t make friends much because most people dislike me. that’s not a tee shirt, that’s my life. yet, in the past few years that gina and i have succesfully moved ourselves out of the clutches of the beast, we have found there to be some who will approach us out of apparent zoological interest and then form, against odds, what the dictionary calls “friendships.” one such instance is a family not far for our humble abode composed of christine, ray and noah. it just so happens that they, as so many of us, had to escape the banks of the river hudson this week for what should have been a few days of tactical relaxation. that’s when this email hit my inbox this morning…

    so… we go to the beach today.

    Noah’s reading SuperFudge,
    and
    Christine is “reading” September’s Vogue
    and
    Grandma is reading The Bridges of Madison County
    (Um, seriously? It’s 2011. Hasn’t she read the reviews?)

    But our electricity and water have finally come on again
    and our cooler is full of tonic water and limes and ice(!!)
    –no gin–
    and
    All Is Good.

    UNTIL……
    //MORE

    August 1, 2011

    when i am invited to weddings, which is not often, i mostly spend my time between the dessert tray and pondering the ins and outs of the institution of marriage, the burden it loads upon us, the formality it has become, the tax breaks it allows. also, chocolate custard. seeing this man and this woman, as i did saturday night with theaptFRIENDS j’aime and dan, tie a knot of some sort which, we are being told, is for life, sacred and still mostly unavailable, at the time of this writing, to any other sort of union, i think about my and gina’s nearing two-decade strong relationship. why? who? what? how much longer? are all questions that peak their daily noses in the barely open door of my silly little mind. as you might be able to surmise from the long-winded nature of the way i seem to discuss the simplest of subjects, i am not an easy person to live with, what with all the vociferating and snorting of cocaine off the tits of barely legal runaways, i do not exactly answer to what romance novelists might call “a joy of every instant.” whereas she, in stark contrast, is why the rapture can only be disappointing. but our relationship did not start that way, of course, no story does once it has burned up the original fuel. in fact, it was a long and arduous road to rise to a standard of communal living in which neither of us felt the daily need to change the other. which got me wondering about the nature of love…
    //MORE

    June 22, 2011

    tol06202011

    a salty dog beyond the dunes, divad q. nead returns with his late father’s day card (hand-lettered), a tomato and grilled impressionism cheese [sandwich] re.view of terence malick’s masterwork (another?) ‘the tree of life’.

    the 19th hour closed in on itself. i tapped my chuck on the corner of brighton and harvard, hailing the invisible asian cabs that i still see in my mind when fate waves the haitans past me, stuck dumb in the weekday pre-rain. custom jacket, bag slung with two giant sapporo reserves in tow, i waved and flailed, failing to haul marlin or sailfish, whatever fish the boston cabs seem to be  these days. ‘how ’bout a little leg, or pee wee’s gag thumb?’ i thought. no chance. my quarry was malick’s ‘tree of life’, newly screening at the art deco house just up the street from overpriced korean joints in allston village. barely a whisper beyond wells’s flash takes had been past my eyes since i returned from the missile peninsula. i was to go in quite green.

    //MORE

    June 3, 2011


    if you need something to widen your sphere of consciousness as you attempt to put in perspective the death of your grandmother, there is no better place to go than at le grand palais in paris right now to see anish kapoor’s leviathan… there are few words that can be used to adequately describe what you see invading one of the world’s most beautiful industrial buildings, a beach ball, a whale, a blown-up nave, all inconsistent with the feeling you have either walking around or within the thing. best to let pictures do the talking…