Shelton Jackson ”Spike” Lee was born March 20, 1957.
With a long varies career that has spanned independent films such as his debut She’s Gotta Have It (1986), to mainstream, big-budget films including Inside Man (2006), Lee has often examined social issues, gained acclaim and courted controversy.
In his Contemporary Film Directors series book Spike Lee Todd McGowan writes:
Spike Lee is a filmmaker of excess. Excess characterizes each of his films, through unconventional shots, extreme characters, improbable scenes, and many other ways. Lee’s films employ these types of excess to intervene in critical issues that trouble the contemporary world—the question of the subject’s singularity, the role that fantasy plays in structuring
our reality, the political impact of passion, the power of paranoia in shaping social relations, the damage that the insistence on community inflicts, the problem of transcendence, and the struggles of the spectator.
Author William Gibson, regarded as the Godfather of “cyberpunk” was born on March 17, 1948.
Gibson coined the term “cyberspace” in his 1982 short story “Burning Chrome.” The well-regarded author is best known for his Sprawl series, which began with the novel Neuromancer.
Gary Westfahl writes in his Modern Masters of Science Fiction series book William Gibson:
In the early 1980s Gibson amazed science fiction readers and critics with his shift away from space opera into the virtual worlds of information science; heroes that were scruffy, streetwise outsiders struggling to stay alive in societies dominated by multinational corporations; and a pyrotechnic prose style that combined extravagantly metaphorical language with an unprecedented “hyperspecificity” in describing old and new technologies.
Read a Q&A with author Gary Westfahl.
German composer Josephine Lang was born March 15, 1815.
Lang, a prodigiously talented pianist and dedicated composer, participated at various times in the German Romantic world of lieder through her important arts salon.
In her book Five Lives in Music: Women Performers, Composers, and Impresarios from the Baroque to the Present Cecelia Hopkins Porter writes:
Even from the tender age of fifteen, Lang was composing songs that surpassed conventional lieder and piano compositions of the day. The harmonic fluidity and essentially diatonic basis of her music was edged at times with sudden, turbulent dissonance and audacious chromatic elements in both the voice and piano parts, these often erupting in brazen modulations to a key far from the central, established key of the composition. Many of Lang’s finest and most original examples are marked by equally wrenching melodic and harmonic passages. Also, the vocal line in her songs often makes dramatic shifts of register (pitch level) over broad intervals while the piano, in true romantic fashion, frequently is assigned an independent prelude, interlude, or postlude, or all three. These reinforce the imagery and emotions of the song—that is the piano is not mere accompaniment.
Certain members of the UIP staff circle March 14 on their calendars. And with good reason.
3.14 is Pi(e) Day: during which both mathematical principle and carbohydrates are well celebrated at the Press by those with culinary skill and also those who, although they may have less baking skill, still have mouths.
And thus, those mouths were stuffed with pie. Witness:
Thanks goes out to all who offered up their talents for Pi(e) Day.
Any “during” pictures were omitted to protect the innocent, the guilty, and because such sights should not be witnessed by small children.