Saturday, December 16, 2017

New Claims Against Harvey Weinstein Go Back to the 1970s

Harvey Weinstein

New Claims Against Harvey Weinstein Go Back to the 1970s

by Chris Gardner
2:01 PM PDT 10/30/2017 

The latest investigative piece by The New York Times stretches Weinstein's alleged pattern of predation to the 1970s, while one accuser comes forward to break a confidentiality clause: “I want to do my part to help bring this to light so it doesn’t happen with other people in Hollywood or anywhere else."

Friday, December 15, 2017

Salma Hayek / Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster Too

Salma Hayek

Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster Too

Dec. 12, 2017

HARVEY WEINSTEIN WAS a passionate cinephile, a risk taker, a patron of talent in film, a loving father and a monster.
For years, he was my monster.
This fall, I was approached by reporters, through different sources, including my dear friend Ashley Judd, to speak about an episode in my life that, although painful, I thought I had made peace with.
I had brainwashed myself into thinking that it was over and that I had survived; I hid from the responsibility to speak out with the excuse that enough people were already involved in shining a light on my monster. I didn’t consider my voice important, nor did I think it would make a difference.
In reality, I was trying to save myself the challenge of explaining several things to my loved ones: Why, when I had casually mentioned that I had been bullied like many others by Harvey, I had excluded a couple of details. And why, for so many years, we have been cordial to a man who hurt me so deeply. I had been proud of my capacity for forgiveness, but the mere fact that I was ashamed to describe the details of what I had forgiven made me wonder if that chapter of my life had really been resolved.
When so many women came forward to describe what Harvey had done to them, I had to confront my cowardice and humbly accept that my story, as important as it was to me, was nothing but a drop in an ocean of sorrow and confusion. I felt that by now nobody would care about my pain — maybe this was an effect of the many times I was told, especially by Harvey, that I was nobody.
We are finally becoming conscious of a vice that has been socially accepted and has insulted and humiliated millions of girls like me, for in every woman there is a girl. I am inspired by those who had the courage to speak out, especially in a society that elected a president who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than a dozen women and whom we have all heard make a statement about how a man in power can do anything he wants to women.
Well, not anymore.
In the 14 years that I stumbled from schoolgirl to Mexican soap star to an extra in a few American films to catching a couple of lucky breaks in “Desperado” and “Fools Rush In,” Harvey Weinstein had become the wizard of a new wave of cinema that took original content into the mainstream. At the same time, it was unimaginable for a Mexican actress to aspire to a place in Hollywood. And even though I had proven them wrong, I was still a nobody.
One of the forces that gave me the determination to pursue my career was the story of Frida Kahlo, who in the golden age of the Mexican muralists would do small intimate paintings that everybody looked down on. She had the courage to express herself while disregarding skepticism. My greatest ambition was to tell her story. It became my mission to portray the life of this extraordinary artist and to show my native Mexico in a way that combated stereotypes.
The Weinstein empire, which was then Miramax, had become synonymous with quality, sophistication and risk taking — a haven for artists who were complex and defiant. It was everything that Frida was to me and everything I aspired to be.
I had started a journey to produce the film with a different company, but I fought to get it back to take it to Harvey.
I knew him a little bit through my relationship with the director Robert Rodriguez and the producer Elizabeth Avellan, who was then his wife, with whom I had done several films and who had taken me under their wing. All I knew of Harvey at the time was that he had a remarkable intellect, he was a loyal friend and a family man.
Knowing what I know now, I wonder if it wasn’t my friendship with them — and Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney — that saved me from being raped.
The deal we made initially was that Harvey would pay for the rights of work I had already developed. As an actress, I would be paid the minimum Screen Actors Guild scale plus 10 percent. As a producer, I would receive a credit that would not yet be defined, but no payment, which was not that rare for a female producer in the ’90s. He also demanded a signed deal for me to do several other films with Miramax, which I thought would cement my status as a leading lady.
I did not care about the money; I was so excited to work with him and that company. In my naïveté, I thought my dream had come true. He had validated the last 14 years of my life. He had taken a chance on me — a nobody. He had said yes.
Little did I know it would become my turn to say no.
No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with.
No to me taking a shower with him.
No to letting him watch me take a shower.
No to letting him give me a massage.
No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage.
No to letting him give me oral sex.
No to my getting naked with another woman.
No, no, no, no, no …
And with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage.

I don’t think he hated anything more than the word “no.” The absurdity of his demands went from getting a furious call in the middle of the night asking me to fire my agent for a fight he was having with him about a different movie with a different client to physically dragging me out of the opening gala of the Venice Film Festival, which was in honor of “Frida,” so I could hang out at his private party with him and some women I thought were models but I was told later were high-priced prostitutes.
The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”
When he was finally convinced that I was not going to earn the movie the way he had expected, he told me he had offered my role and my script with my years of research to another actress.
In his eyes, I was not an artist. I wasn’t even a person. I was a thing: not a nobody, but a body.
At that point, I had to resort to using lawyers, not by pursuing a sexual harassment case, but by claiming “bad faith,” as I had worked so hard on a movie that he was not intending to make or sell back to me. I tried to get it out of his company.
He claimed that my name as an actress was not big enough and that I was incompetent as a producer, but to clear himself legally, as I understood it, he gave me a list of impossible tasks with a tight deadline:
1. Get a rewrite of the script, with no additional payment.
2. Raise $10 million to finance the film.
3. Attach an A-list director.
4. Cast four of the smaller roles with prominent actors.

Much to everyone’s amazement, not least my own, I delivered, thanks to a phalanx of angels who came to my rescue, including Edward Norton, who beautifully rewrote the script several times and appallingly never got credit, and my friend Margaret Perenchio, a first-time producer, who put up the money. The brilliant Julie Taymor agreed to direct, and from then on she became my rock. For the other roles, I recruited my friends Antonio Banderas, Edward Norton and my dear Ashley Judd. To this day, I don’t know how I convinced Geoffrey Rush, whom I barely knew at the time.
Now Harvey Weinstein was not only rejected but also about to do a movie he did not want to do.
Ironically, once we started filming, the sexual harassment stopped but the rage escalated. We paid the price for standing up to him nearly every day of shooting. Once, in an interview he said Julie and I were the biggest ball busters he had ever encountered, which we took as a compliment.
Halfway through shooting, Harvey turned up on set and complained about Frida’s “unibrow.” He insisted that I eliminate the limp and berated my performance. Then he asked everyone in the room to step out except for me. He told me that the only thing I had going for me was my sex appeal and that there was none of that in this movie. So he told me he was going to shut down the film because no one would want to see me in that role.

It was soul crushing because, I confess, lost in the fog of a sort of Stockholm syndrome, I wanted him to see me as an artist: not only as a capable actress but also as somebody who could identify a compelling story and had the vision to tell it in an original way.
I was hoping he would acknowledge me as a producer, who on top of delivering his list of demands shepherded the script and obtained the permits to use the paintings. I had negotiated with the Mexican government, and with whomever I had to, to get locations that had never been given to anyone in the past — including Frida Kahlo’s houses and the murals of Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera, among others.
But all of this seemed to have no value. The only thing he noticed was that I was not sexy in the movie. He made me doubt if I was any good as an actress, but he never succeeded in making me think that the film was not worth making.
He offered me one option to continue. He would let me finish the film if I agreed to do a sex scene with another woman. And he demanded full-frontal nudity.
He had been constantly asking for more skin, for more sex. Once before, Julie Taymor got him to settle for a tango ending in a kiss instead of the lovemaking scene he wanted us to shoot between the character Tina Modotti, played by Ashley Judd, and Frida.
But this time, it was clear to me he would never let me finish this movie without him having his fantasy one way or another. There was no room for negotiation.
I had to say yes. By now so many years of my life had gone into this film. We were about five weeks into shooting, and I had convinced so many talented people to participate. How could I let their magnificent work go to waste?
I had asked for so many favors, I felt an immense pressure to deliver and a deep sense of gratitude for all those who did believe in me and followed me into this madness. So I agreed to do the senseless scene.
I arrived on the set the day we were to shoot the scene that I believed would save the movie. And for the first and last time in my career, I had a nervous breakdown: My body began to shake uncontrollably, my breath was short and I began to cry and cry, unable to stop, as if I were throwing up tears.
Since those around me had no knowledge of my history of Harvey, they were very surprised by my struggle that morning. It was not because I would be naked with another woman. It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein. But I could not tell them then.
My mind understood that I had to do it, but my body wouldn’t stop crying and convulsing. At that point, I started throwing up while a set frozen still waited to shoot. I had to take a tranquilizer, which eventually stopped the crying but made the vomiting worse. As you can imagine, this was not sexy, but it was the only way I could get through the scene.
By the time the filming of the movie was over, I was so emotionally distraught that I had to distance myself during the postproduction.
When Harvey saw the cut film, he said it was not good enough for a theatrical release and that he would send it straight to video.
This time Julie had to fight him without me and got him to agree to release the film in one movie theater in New York if we tested it to an audience and we scored at least an 80.
Less than 10 percent of films achieve that score on a first screening.
I didn’t go to the test. I anxiously awaited to receive the news. The film scored 85.
And again, I heard Harvey raged. In the lobby of a theater after the screening, he screamed at Julie. He balled up one of the scorecards and threw it at her. It bounced off her nose. Her partner, the film’s composer Elliot Goldenthal, stepped in, and Harvey physically threatened him.
Once he calmed down, I found the strength to call Harvey to ask him also to open the movie in a theater in Los Angeles, which made a total of two theaters. And without much ado, he gave me that. I have to say sometimes he was kind, fun and witty — and that was part of the problem: You just never knew which Harvey you were going to get.
Months later, in October 2002, this film, about my hero and inspiration — this Mexican artist who never truly got acknowledged in her time with her limp and her unibrow, this film that Harvey never wanted to do, gave him a box office success that no one could have predicted, and despite his lack of support, added six Academy Award nominations to his collection, including best actress.
Even though “Frida” eventually won him two Oscars, I still didn’t see any joy. He never offered me a starring role in a movie again. The films that I was obliged to do under my original deal with Miramax were all minor supporting roles.
Years later, when I ran into him at an event, he pulled me aside and told me he had stopped smoking and he had had a heart attack. He said he’d fallen in love and married Georgina Chapman, and that he was a changed man. Finally, he said to me: “You did well with ‘Frida’; we did a beautiful movie.”
I believed him. Harvey would never know how much those words meant to me. He also would never know how much he hurt me. I never showed Harvey how terrified I was of him. When I saw him socially, I’d smile and try to remember the good things about him, telling myself that I went to war and I won.
But why do so many of us, as female artists, have to go to war to tell our stories when we have so much to offer? Why do we have to fight tooth and nail to maintain our dignity?
I think it is because we, as women, have been devalued artistically to an indecent state, to the point where the film industry stopped making an effort to find out what female audiences wanted to see and what stories we wanted to tell.
According to a recent study, between 2007 and 2016, only 4 percent of directors were female and 80 percent of those got the chance to make only one film. In 2016, another study found, only 27 percent of words spoken in the biggest movies were spoken by women. And people wonder why you didn’t hear our voices sooner. I think the statistics are self-explanatory — our voices are not welcome.
Until there is equality in our industry, with men and women having the same value in every aspect of it, our community will continue to be a fertile ground for predators.
I am grateful for everyone who is listening to our experiences. I hope that adding my voice to the chorus of those who are finally speaking out will shed light on why it is so difficult, and why so many of us have waited so long. Men sexually harassed because they could. Women are talking today because, in this new era, we finally can.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood / Review by Mary McCarthy

The Handmaid's Tale 
by Margaret Atwood
Book Review
February 9, 1986

urely the essential element of a cautionary tale is recognition. Surprised recognition, even, enough to administer a shock. We are warned, by seeing our present selves in a distorting mirror, of what we may be turning into if current trends are allowed to continue. That was the effect of ''Nineteen Eighty-Four,'' with its scary dating, not 40 years ahead, maybe also of ''Brave New World'' and, to some extent, of ''A Clockwork Orange.''

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood / Review by Caryn James

The Handmaid's Tale 
by Margaret Atwood
The Lady Was Not for Hanging
by Caryn James

The dedication of ''The Handmaid's Tale'' -''For Mary Webster and Perry Miller'' - holds clues to the novel's roots in our Puritan past. ''Mary Webster was an ancestor of mine who was hanged for a witch in Connecticut,'' Margaret Atwood explained. ''But she didn't die. They hadn't invented the drop yet'' - the part of the platform that falls away - ''so they hanged her but she lived.'' The author's studies in early American history under the Harvard scholar Perry Miller also informs her theme of religious intolerance. ''You often hear in North America, 'It can't happen here,' but it happened quite early on. The Puritans banished people who didn't agree with them, so we would be rather smug to assume that the seeds are not there. That's why I set the book in Cambridge,'' said the Canadian author, who lives in Toronto and has traveled widely in the United States. Like many of her fictional women (she has written poems, essays and novels, notably the feminist classic ''Surfacing''), she is wryly unpolemical. ''Feminist activity is not causal, it's symptomatic,'' she said of the book's antiwoman society. ''Any power structure will co-opt the views of its opponents, to sugarcoat the pill. The regime gives women some things the women's movement says they want -control over birth, no pornography - but there's a price. If you were going to put in a repressive regime, how would you do it?'' Despite the novel's projections from current events, Margaret Atwood resists calling her book a warning. ''I do not have a political agenda of that kind. The book won't tell you who to vote for,'' she said. But she advises, ''Anyone who wants power will try to manipulate you by appealing to your desires and fears, and sometimes your best instincts. Women have to be a little cautious about that kind of appeal to them. What are we being asked to give up?''

Ruth Scurr / Wild Atwood

August 14, 2013
In this week’s TLS 

A note from the Editor

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Andrea Camilleri / Five Things you should know about Inspector Montalbano

Andrea Camilleri

Five Things you should know about Inspector Montalbano

11 June 2015
By Chris Simmons

Chris Simmons from Crime Squad shares five things you might not know about everyone's favourite Sicilian detective Montalbano.

1. The name Montalbano is homage to the Spanish writer, Manuel Vazquez Montalban.

Redesigning Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano mysteries

Redesigning Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano mysteries

05 April 2017

Book cover designer Katie Tooke on how vintage Italian travel posters and beautiful illustrated cookbooks inspired the delicious new covers for Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series.

Andrea Camilleri / The Young Montalbano / Reinterpreting the detective

Andrea Camilleri

Andrea Camilleri

The Young Montalbano: Reinterpreting the detective

Friday 04 October 2013, 10:29

Accepting the offer to play Salvo Montalbano in The Young Montalbano all happened when I was on the set of We Believed.
I played a soldier from Garibaldi’s army and I had a very scruffy look: unkempt beard, matted hair, mud stains on my face.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A book for the beach / The Snack Thief by Andrea Camilleri

A book for the beach

The Snack Thief by Andrea Camilleri

Wily but decent, this detective is more concerned with the human characters around him than simple crime-solving
Tim Maby
Sunday 10 August 2014 15.00 BST

Andrea Camilleri

Where better to find your perfect beach for reading than Sicily? It has miles of soft sand, gently sloping out to sea for easy swimming, as Inspector Montalbano does every day. I know this even though I have never been there, because I first came to this local detective through the admirable RAI television series, currently getting another run on BBC4.
The TV version – and there's a Young Montalbano series as well – is a softer man than in the books, rather sexy and constantly propositioned by the most elegant women. Camilleri's original character is frequently bad-tempered, and gauche with the opposite sex, however often aroused. He is an archetypal chauvinist male, terrified of being trapped into marriage by his long-term lover Livia. He is more frequently drawn to delicious Sicilian food than sex. It is only after a meal in a small trattoria that he generally speaks of "heaven".

Montalbano's great appeal is his understanding of the rich Rabelaisian characters among his people. Signora Cosentino, for instance, is "an irresistibly likeable balloon with a mustache".
The opportunity to observe and get involved is what drives him. Although his success is said to have made him famous, the last thing he wants is promotion, which might take him away from frontline policing, as he frequently moans to his boss. He is surly with any superior for whom he has no respect. In The Snack Thief he actually terrorises and near beats up an anti-terrorist squad colonel. But his relationship with his own team is as a "band of brothers". So when Sergeant Fazio interprets what to do when left without instructions:
"'I figured out what it was you wanted me to do, and I did it'. Montalbano felt moved, This was real friendship, Sicilian friendship, the kind based on intuition, on what was left unsaid. With a true friend, one never needs to ask, because the other understands on his own and acts accordingly."
One surprise to me was that he is consistently kind to immigrants, as much as the innocent unfortunate. But then Sicily, home to the mafia and male chauvinism, has been forgiving to the boatloads of north African immigrants reaching their shores. Montalbano is gentle with the African prostitute and almost treats the elderly refugee Aisha as if she were his aunt.

The plotting is characteristically convoluted. It starts simply with the murder of a middle-aged businessman in the lift of his apartment block. But it turns out his Tunisian cleaner – who also sold him sex – has gone missing. Enter a new element, the death of supposed Tunisian sailor at sea, shot by the Tunisian navy while on an Italian fishing boat. It turns out he was the cleaner's brother, and was actually a terrorist on the run. And then there's the boy, her son – he is the snack thief of the title, because he has had to live in hiding after his mother disappeared and has been mugging school-kids for their lunches. It has a touch of Midsomer Murders about it, in the way the author uses very ordinary elements of rural life to tell an unusual story.
What makes Camilleri stand out from simplistic whodunnits, let alone commonplace police procedurals, is that Montalbano does not always bring criminals to justice. If he does, Camilleri frequently sidelines it.
So, in The Snack Thief, the final arrest of a woman for murdering her husband is only briefly mentioned. The story concentrates on how Montalbano saves a Tunisian boy after his mother is murdered and wangles the system, including acquiring her illegal gains, to provide for the boy's future. Another murder by the security services he hardly bothers to conclude.
Montalbano is a bit like Simenon's Maigret in his sense of decency and justice. He has to work within a society dominated by the mafia, corrupt politicians and self-serving bureaucrats. He cannot hope to defeat them outright, but schemes to achieve his ends by outflanking them.
However even he has to admit that his manipulation of events, using his power as a policeman, can go too far. The innocent still get killed, like Aisha. In his first book The Shape of Water, he knowingly leaves a gun for a deranged young man to kill a crooked lawyer. After that he has to agree with his beloved Livia, that he tried too hard to "be God", but is actually only "second-rate".

Love from Boy / Roald Dahl's Letters to his Mother / Digested read

Love from Boy: Roald Dahl's Letters to his Mother – digested read

‘Dear Mama, I’ve left the RAF now, and am best friends with Walt Disney, Roosevelt, Spencer Tracy and Hemingway’

John Crace
Sunday 12 June 2016 17.00 BST

ear Mama, I am writing this letter to thank you for sending me to St Peter’s. It is a lovely boarding school (1). Yesterday Binks minor got a bit of a cold and had to be taken off to the school sanatorium but he is OK now (2). Please will you buy me a monkey from Harrods? PS: All my warts have disappeared.

Repton is a great school. Possibly the most topping school that ever existed (3). I am doing tremendously well and am very popular with the other boys. My umbrella is working very well and I took some interesting photographs of a spider I squashed. The teachers are all very nice especially Crummers (4) and it was a bit of a shame that the Priory burned down. Still, at least no one got hurt (5), though Michael did have a mental breakdown (6). Several members of the school have got scarlet fever but have now recovered. Thank you for sending me a motorbike in the post. I promise to ride it very carefully.

Canada was very dull. It was full of trees and mountains and not at all like Norway (7). I am very pleased to have got a job with Shell as it means I can play golf every other weekend. I really feel my life is going somewhere. I am now being posted to Tanganyika in Africa, so I suspect I will have to spend a long time on a boat getting there (8). I am now in Tanganiyka and having a lot of fun. In the daytime, I sit in an office doing things with bits of paper and in the evening we get hideously drunk and throw darts at photographs of Mr Hitler (9). Boo to Mr Hitler! He really doesn’t sound at all nice. I got malaria last week but am much better now.
Now that war has broken out, I have decided to go to Kenya to train as a pilot. Flying is very fun and yesterday afternoon I had a shit in a jerry-can. I’m sorry I have not written for a while, but my plane crashed and I got a fearful bump on the head (10). Luckily, I was able to pull myself out of the wreckage and, after a couple of days in hospital, I was quite all right (11). I expect to be able to rejoin my squadron next week.
As you probably know, having seen me in England last month, I have now decided not to be a pilot any more and have been sent to Washington to work in the embassy. I am having a marvellous time in America and have just written my first short story. It has been tremendously well received (12). I am now best friends with Walt Disney, President Roosevelt, Spencer Tracy and Ernest Hemingway and everyone at the embassy thinks I am absolutely brilliant (13).
I am sorry that I didn’t keep any of the letters you sent me, and that I basically stopped writing to you in 1945 – as otherwise I might have been able to tell you about some of the most interesting bits of my life. You would probably like to have known more about my marriage to Patricia Neal, the tragedies that befell our family and how I became a bestselling writer. But it’s probably just as well that you died in 1965 and never had to read the many biographies of me that reveal I was basically a bit of a womanising bastard. Love from Roald.

Editor’s notes

  1. St Peter’s was a terrible school and Dahl hated every minute.
  2. Sadly, Binks minor died.
  3. Dahl was bullied mercilessly at Repton.
  4. Crummers may or may not have been the basis for the headmaster in one of his novels.
  5. They all died.
  6. Michael was expelled for homosexuality.
  7. Canada was exactly like Norway.
  8. One of the few parts of his letters that was true.
  9. Nazi leader who started the second world war.
  10. The plane didn’t crash – Dahl crashed it and was very badly injured.
  11. Dahl didn’t save himself. Another pilot pulled him out of the wreckage.
  12. Another part of the letters that is actually true.
  13. They didn’t. Everyone hated him for being a name-dropping know-all.
Digested read, digested: His first works of fiction.

Portrait of the artist / Philip Glass / Nobody makes you choose the life of an artist

Philip Glass

Portrait of the artist 

Philip Glass


Philip Glass talks about the stars he'd like to work with, the price of fame and why an artist has to be true to himself

"Nobody makes you choose the life of an artist."

Interview by Laura Barnett
Tuesday 13 August 2013 19.15 BST

Philip Glass

What first drew you to music?

I can hardly remember: I was playing by the time I was six, and performing by 10. There was no question about whether I would be a musician – I already was a musician. The only question was where I would study, and who I would study with.
What was your big breakthrough?

There isn't one break, there's a series of breaks, and they go on for a long time. At 20, I was writing music for dance and theatre companies (1); from there, things continued to happen. Eventually, all these dots line up and become a life in music.
I hear you dislike the term "minimalist" (2). Should composers resist such labels?

It's not that I dislike the term – it was accurate for 10 years, from the mid-60s to the mid-70s. But you have to realise that no one's written "minimalist" music in 30 years: it's like people talking about impressionism when nobody's painting like that any more. Young composers are writing wonderful new music that we don't even have a name for yet.
Where do you seek inspiration?

In stories, images, movement – if I'm working with a dance company, I actually go and watch the dancers; I don't think many composers do that. And within the world of music, from a great master of another tradition. I was Ravi Shankar's assistant in the 60s (3), and his ideas about the language of music had a tremendous effect on my writing.
Do you care about fame?

It's a complete pain in the neck. Someone always says, "I don't want to bother you, but …" and then the bothering begins. But it's not as bad for me as for some. I've been walking down the street with Paul Simon (4) and almost been accosted by fans. And I have a very famous actor friend who can't even leave her house.

You've collaborated with some huge artists (5). Who would you still like to work with?

I've been talking to Bill Viola, the video artist, for a year or two; and Ornette Coleman and I have had a project under discussion for 20 years. There's just not enough time in the world to do everything you want to do.

Philip Glass: 'A paper ran the headline "Glass invents new sonic torture". That was funny.'
Photograph by Estela Silva

You're incredibly prolific (6): what's your secret?

I've always just worked hard. I didn't make a living until I was in my 40s – I did construction work, moved furniture, anything. Nobody makes you choose the life of an artist. We do it on our own, and we take our chances.
What's the worst thing anyone ever said about you?

In the 1970s, a paper ran the headline "Glass invents new sonic torture". I saved that one – I thought it was very funny.
What advice would you give a young composer?

I have one word for them: "independence". When I was a kid, people threw things at me, or shouted and screamed, to disrupt my concerts. But I've always gone ahead and done what I wanted to do without paying much attention to anybody.
The Philip Glass Ensemble perform Music in 12 Parts at the Southbank Centre, London SE1, on 9 November.


Born: Baltimore, 1937.
Career: Has composed extensively since the 1950s, for opera, film, dance companies and with the Philip Glass Ensemble. Operas include Einstein on the Beach and Satyagraha; film soundtracks include The Hours and Kundun.
High point: "Some wonderful performances in London at the English National Opera."
Low point: "Not winning an Oscar for The Hours."


(1) Glass has worked with major choreographers and dancers including Lucinda Childs – with whom he created the 1979 work DANCE – and Twyla Tharp.
(2) He is widely reputed to prefer the term "music with repetitive structures".
(3) Their best-known recording together, Passages, came later in 1990.
(5) Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen, David Bowie and more.
(6) His website lists several works for almost every letter of the alphabet.