Roundup: Pop Culture & the Arts ...
Movies, Documentaries and Museum Exhibits
This page features links to reviews of movies, documentaries and exhibits with a historical theme. Listings are in reverse chronological order. Descriptions are taken directly from the linked publication. If you have articles you think should be listed on the Pop Culture page, please send them to the editor email@example.com.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (11-5-06)
Root around the history of Hollywood, and you won't find many too stars with a cleaner, more wholesome reputation than Jimmy Stewart. But that, hasn't stopped his latest biographer from digging up the dirt.
Marc Eliot, author of a previously acclaimed biography of Cary Grant, says the notoriously tyrannical MGM boss, Louis B Mayer, was so concerned about the young Stewart's apparent lack of interest in ladies he forced him to visit a brothel so people wouldn't start gossiping that he was gay.
The episode may say more about the glorious clash between Hollywood licentiousness and American puritanism than it does about Stewart. But it also opens a window on an era when actors and their reputations were effectively owned by the studios that held their contracts, and subject to extraordinary manipulations....
SOURCE: AP (11-4-06)
But Christensen, a retired rear admiral who went on to command the Navy's Top Gun fighter school, said flying with the Blue Angels was sometimes more demanding than combat.
"In your last 30 seconds coming aboard a carrier, you have levels of concentration, and in combat there are those few moments of stark terror when you have intense concentration, but with the Blues you have intense concentration the entire time," he said.
Christensen and dozens of other former Blue Angels will gather for a Nov. 10-11 reunion and air show to mark the 60th anniversary of the Navy's elite aerial-demonstration team at its home base of Pensacola Naval Air Station.
SOURCE: AP (11-4-06)
No one was inside the house and no injuries were reported, said Fire Department spokesman Kevin MacGregor.
The wood frame building had been undergoing renovation, he said.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-4-06)
The period, informed by the Age of Enlightenment, revolution in France and America and social and economic upheaval all over Europe, is virgin territory for an art exhibition.
SOURCE: USA Today (11-3-06)
These men, in addition to facing the Japanese, had to endure bitter racism from their white counterparts. When they came home they received no respect or honor for their sacrifice. These elderly warriors are asking why they are being made to feel the same neglect again.
Hollywood has made another movie, called Flags of Our Fathers, about the Iwo Jima battle. It's directed by Clint Eastwood and produced by Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and Robert Lorenz.
Unlike Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, this movie shows a couple of African-American soldiers briefly in a cutaway shot on one of the ships heading toward Iwo Jima. At the end of the film, if you hang around long enough, you'll see one photograph that features a few black Marines in prayer.
Lorenz told me that blacks who are...
SOURCE: Tocqueville Connection (11-6-06)
The prize jury said Littell's debut novel easily triumphed over a field of three other works from French authors with a 7-3 vote.
The book is already a sensation in France, where it sits atop the best-seller list with more than 250,000 copies sold.
Littell, the 39-year-old son of US journalist and spy novel writer Robert Littell, was not present to receive the honour.
His French editor said he remained at his home in Barcelona, Spain, and transmitted a message saying "he prefers to stay out of the limelight."
Littell "is very happy and he accepts this prize with pleasure," added Antoine Gallimard, of the Gallimard publishing house, stressing that no form of disrespect was...
SOURCE: NYT (11-3-06)
This loose-jointed collection of reminiscences by several dozen people who lived on the ranch — hippies and political idealists who “moved there to get away from America,” as one original member puts it — is crammed with pictures and old home movies. Juxtaposed with the vintage material are interviews with the same people today.
However weatherbeaten they appear, they still have a light in their eyes, and they exude the hardy spirit of pioneers who are older and wiser but unbowed. As they look back with pride, amusement and sadness, it is obvious that their experiences on the ranch profoundly shaped their lives. (Occupied today by a handful of younger people, the ranch is now a land trust owned communally by everyone who has spent a winter there.)
SOURCE: Hollywood Reporter (11-3-06)
Until Thursday, that old contract appeared more a historical artifact than a template for the future. But in announcing that it has struck a deal with Tom Cruise and his producing partner Paula Wagner to revive UA, MGM said it was harkening back to UA's storied history as a filmmaker-friendly "place where producers, writers, directors and actors can thrive in a creative environment."
UA, which has earned nine best picture Oscars, has occupied a unique if sometimes embattled spot in...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-3-06)
most expensive painting after it was sold in America by the Hollywood entertainment mogul David Geffen for $140 million (£75 million).
In a private deal brokered by Sotheby's, the painting 'No.5, 1948', has been bought by David Martinez, a Mexican financier.
The price beats the recent record set by the cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder who paid $135 million (then £73 million) also in a private sale for Gustav Klimt's portrait, Adele Bloch-Bauer, a German-Jewish sugar heiress, in June.
SOURCE: NYT (11-2-06)
But rehabilitation of a sort is at hand if Emilio Estevez, an unabashed Kennedy admirer who wrote and directed “Bobby,” has his way. Mr. Estevez’s drama about the night of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination as he sought the presidential nomination in 1968, is scheduled for release on Nov. 17.
In the film a kaleidoscope of renowned actors — Martin Sheen (Mr. Estevez’s father), Harry Belafonte, Sharon Stone, Laurence Fishburne, Demi Moore — play unremarkable, fictional people whose lives intersect at the moment of Kennedy’s shooting at the Ambassador Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
As for the candidate, Mr. Estevez chose to portray him only in newsreels from the time, and only...
SOURCE: Lloyd Billingsley at FrontpageMag.com (11-2-06)
The new film Catch a Fire centers on a campaign to blow up a South African oil refinery. Key to the operation is Patrick Chamusso, who joins the anti-apartheid fighters of the African National Congress (ANC) after being falsely accused of another attack, arrested and tortured. Patrick also has some family difficulties but things work out for him and his country. As the action fades, viewers see these words: For Joe Slovo, 1926-1995. The other credits indicate that Catch a Fire was produced by Robyn Slovo, Joe's daughter, and was written by Shawn Slovo, another of Joe's daughters. And Joe Slovo himself is in the film too, played by Malcolm Purkey an actor who looks so much like Joe Cocker one expects him to burst into “Feelin’ Alright.” (The real Joe Slovo actually looked more like Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove.) For someone so important, Joe...
SOURCE: Press Release--New-York Historical Society (11-2-06)
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (11-1-06)
The show includes more than 70 works, starting with early experiments in the 1930s through to sculpture made not long before he was fatally injured in a car crash in 1965.
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (11-1-06)
The new version, which includes 15 minutes of previously unseen footage of Marlon Brando playing Superman’s father, is radically different from the cinema release. Donner has also inserted footage from screen tests to substitute for scenes that he did not have time to shoot. One restored sequence involves Clark Kent, Superman’s alter ego, being tricked by his girlfriend into revealing his secret identity.
In the theatrical release, Kent gives away his secret when he accidentally places his hand in a fire but does not get burnt. Donner’s version shows Kent reacting with superhero speed when Lois Lane, his girlfriend, shoots at him...
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (11-1-06)
Judging by Fagles' past success with two of the other great tomes of ancient literature - The Iliad and then The Odyssey - he can be excused his optimism. Both translations became unexpected best-sellers, helped greatly by audio-book versions narrated respectively by Derek Jacobi and Sir Ian McKellen.
Due to hit American book-shops tomorrow, Fagles' rendering of The Aeneid, the sweeping story of the toils of the warrior Aeneas, who goes on to found the Roman Empire after the fall of Troy, is expected to make a similar impact, replacing fustier versions that go all the way back to John Dryden's 17th-century version. Once more an audio version is in the...
SOURCE: Andrew Ferguson in the Weekly Standard (10-30-06)
The movie star Warren Beatty, like so many people these days, is getting old, and with the hot breath of mortality on the back of his wattled neck he has undertaken the large project of reclaiming his reputation as a maker of movies. And not a moment too soon, either. Beatty's last several pictures have ranged from the kind that barely break even (Bulworth) to the kind that break the bank--calamitous, apocalyptic commercial failures like Love Affair, costarring Pierce Brosnan and Annette Bening, and Town and Country, costarring Goldie Hawn and Garry Shandling. In fact, it's difficult to find anyone in the continental United States who has watched either of these last two Beatty movies anywhere but in an airplane, and even then many passengers were reported to have jumped rather than watch Garry Shandling cuddle Goldie Hawn. Those two aren't getting any younger, either.
So now we who survived Town and...