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: AP (12-9-06)
"Sometimes — I don't know if it's right or wrong — I feel guilty myself that I survived," said Polish-born Sylvia Malcmacher, 80, one of the subjects in a black-and-white photo by Herbert Ascherman Jr. She lost her parents and both sisters in the Holocaust.
Still, she said, "I'm thankful. I can talk about them. Otherwise, no one would even mention their names."
The side-by-side exhibits — "Threads of Remembrance: Artistic Visions of the Holocaust" — open Wednesday and continue through Feb. 18 at the museum in the Cleveland suburb of Beachwood.
Visitors will first see "50 Faces" — a corridor exhibit of Ascherman's photographs of people, all from the Cleveland area, who are Holocaust survivors,...
SOURCE: Reuters (12-9-06)
After viewing the film on Saturday when it opened it Tokyo, Murakami thinks Eastwood got it right.
"It was marvelous," the 50-year-old carpenter said as he emerged from the theater. "How should I express it? It was the same for both sides, for them and us. Everyone was a victim."
Named best film of 2006 by the National Board of Review last Wednesday, "Letters from Iwo Jima" is the second of two Eastwood films about the 1945 battle, engraved in U.S. memory by a photo of six servicemen raising the flag on the island's Mount Suribachi.
The first, "Flags of Our Fathers", is the tale of three of the Americans who raised the flag and later became propaganda tools in a...
SOURCE: Joe Queenan in the Guardian (12-9-06)
It is certainly a conundrum. Unlike last summer's crummy The Da Vinci Code, which garnered harsh reviews and poor word-of-mouth because of a meandering script, Ron Howard's slovenly direction, and ill-advised casting, no one believes that Flags Of Our Fathers fell flat because the film itself is a dud. Though the revered if somewhat overrated septuagenarian director had made a few clinkers in the past few years (Space Cowboys, Blood Work, True Crime, Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil), he had recently come back strong with Mystic River and Million-Dollar Baby, both of which won Oscars. The only legitimate...
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (12-9-06)
George and Weedon Grossmith's novel, centring on the misfortunes of Charles Pooter, a self-delusional city clerk with lofty social aspirations, is to be screened by BBC4 as part of its Edwardian series in the Spring.
Hugh Bonneville, who featured in the film Notting Hill and starred in BBC2's Tsunami, is to star as Pooter in the four-part adaptation. "We all know a Pooter: scrupulous, fussy, industrious, big of heart, noble in intent and destined for mediocrity. I adore him. He's every inch an Englishman," the actor said.
The novel was published in 1892 after appearing in weekly extracts in Punch magazine. As Pooter tries to impress those further up the social ladder, he encounters various social mishaps which he records in his diaries.
SOURCE: Reuters (12-11-06)
So, it's no surprise that the Hard Rock Cafe's memorabilia hunter says he'll give up his job when someone pries it from his" cold, dead fingers."
Bernstine's job for the past five years has been hunting down the instruments, clothes, lyrics and other music ephemera that adorn the Hard Rock's 124 cafes, seven hotel-casinos and stand-alone casino in 43 countries.
"I'm looking to ... preserve certain moments of rock history," said Bernstine, 51, who sports a gray beard, six silver earrings, and three piercings in his right eyebrow.
SOURCE: Breitbart (12-10-06)
Yet somehow, as she always does, Barbie has managed to bounce back _ and not just because she's made of rubbery plastic.
Mattel Inc., which makes Barbie, says sales so far this year have been up for the first time in several years. And one survey of parents done by the National Retail Federation found that Barbie is the top toy for girls this holiday season (TMX Elmo was first for boys).
SOURCE: Breitbart (12-10-06)
"We wanted to reward a movie that was true and recalled a painful period for many nations," said jury president and noted movie director Roman Polanski, who bestowed the top prize.
Tracing an affair in 1961 Dresden between a theater scenery painter and a poet,"The Red Cockatoo" also handed German actor Max Riemelt best actor award.
The drama was among a total of 120 movies screened over nine days in Marrakesh. The 15 in competition hailed from countries as diverse as Italy, Iran, Thailand, Malaysia and the United States.
SOURCE: Yahoo (12-8-06)
"It seems the four heads are gone," Deutsche Oper spokesman Alexander Busche told AFP. "We do not know when they disappeared or who is responsible."
He said new props would have to be made before a scheduled performance of "Idomeneo" on December 18.
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (12-8-06)
Scholars knew that the author of classics such as Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd had an eye for pretty women and that Emma Lavinia Hardy had withdrawn affection from him, but they have long struggled to explain the guilt and self-accusation within his Poems of 1912–13.
Almost a century after her death, Robert Alan Frizzell, a retired GP, has come up with a retrospective diagnosis that provides an answer, revealing the terrible dark secret that had poisoned their marriage.
SOURCE: WSJ (12-8-06)
The board said it will revise its records to grant Mr. Razmi his prize and invite him to the awards ceremony in New York May 21 at Columbia University, whose journalism school hosts the prizes.
The identity of Mr. Razmi was revealed in a page-one article that appeared last Saturday in The Wall Street Journal, along with other photographs which he had kept hidden all these years because he feared for his safety. (Read the article.) The prize-winning photo appeared on front pages of newspapers throughout the world on Aug. 29. 1979, circulated by United Press International. The 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography was the only award ever granted to an anonymous recipient.
SOURCE: Breitbart/AP (12-8-06)
Warsaw's Uprising Museum last month completed excavations of the crash site near the town of Dabrowa Tarnowska where the plane was shot down on Aug. 4, 1944 as it brought ammunition, guns and medical supplies to the resistance movement struggling against Nazi occupiers, most dramatically in an insurgency in Warsaw.
Museum officials hope the items can be put on display at the museum by Aug. 1, the 62nd anniversary of the ill-fated struggle, although the bomber cannot be fully reconstructed.
SOURCE: Breitbart (12-8-06)
The artefacts, dating from 700 BC to 800 AD, were recovered by a team of archaeologists led by the Frenchman Franck Goddio, who have been working on the sea floor off Egypt's coast for the past 10 years.
They include the largest known statue of Hapy, the Egyptian god of the Nile, a five-metre (11-foot) colossus dating from 2,000 years ago, which forms the centrepiece of the display along with statuettes of deities, coins and everyday objects.
SOURCE: Earl Shorris in the Nation (12-18-06)
May May tells the story with the kind of rage and pride that Gibson tried to portray with his Scottish heroes in Braveheart and postapocalyptic picaros in Mad Max: "A Maya, of the middle class, like me," May May said, "went into a Ford dealership here in Mérida. He intended to buy a new pickup truck. He was well dressed, but clearly Maya. The dealer offered him ten pesos to wash a truck." It is a common experience...
SOURCE: A.O.Scott in the NYT (12-6-06)
In many ways “Days of Glory,” Algeria’s official Oscar submission for best foreign language film, fits comfortably into a proud and apparently inexhaustible cinematic tradition. It is a chronicle of courage and sacrifice, of danger and solidarity, of heroism and futility, told with power, grace and feeling and brought alive...
SOURCE: NYT (12-7-06)
He collects the metal lighters by the hundreds; he studies them; he celebrates them as tiny symbols. He searches for deeper meanings in the epigrams etched into their shiny sides by the American soldiers who left them behind.
With grave whimsy he turns them into art.
For 10 years, starting in the early 1990s, he said, he bought them on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, where they were sold as souvenirs until the supply of genuine wartime lighters ran out.
“I have handled thousands of them; I have handled maybe 10,000 of them,” he said. “I’m really deep into this. I’m saturated with it. But I still haven’t lost my belief in the significance of the Zippo.”
Mr. Edwards, 52, is an American artist who spends much of his time in Hanoi...
SOURCE: NYT (12-8-06)
It will not be news to downtown theatergoers that Mr. Wellman has written an odd little drama. This brainy playwright is known for brief works in which baroque wordplay and semantic surprises take the starring roles traditionally ceded to narrative and character development. What is unusual about “Two September” is how very odd it isn’t, at least in the ways that fans of Mr. Wellman are accustomed to expect. Words sit still and behave, conveying the usual meanings. Sentences proceed smoothly from start to finish. A story is told.
Mr. Wellman clearly relates two histories in “Two September,” which is named...
SOURCE: Christian Science Monitor (12-6-06)
Visitors expecting a dusty-helmet displays are in for a surprise. Using the latest in museology - state-of-the-art exhibit design supported by scholarship, the latest in audio, video, and computer technology, plus a vast collection of World War I artifacts and a large measure of showmanship - the museum offers visitors the sights and sounds of the first "modern" war.
Designed by the New York-based firm of Ralph Appelbaum Associates, the 30,000-square-foot museum's doughnut-shaped...
SOURCE: CNN (12-6-06)
But the head of The Conspiracy Museum tells a rather bland tale about why its gallery of cover-up explanations behind President John F. Kennedy's assassination is temporarily shuttering December 30 after 13 years.
"Basically," says Tom Bowden, the museum's president, "they're putting a Quizno's here."
Hardly the skepticism expected from a man who's made The Conspiracy Museum a tourist landmark since opening in 1993 two blocks from where Kennedy was killed.
Bowden plans to reopen the museum in a new building closer to Dealey Plaza on April 4, which, not coincidentally, is the 39th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
He said the new space will double the size of the museum to almost 3,600 square feet and include a bookstore and Internet cafe...
SOURCE: Salon (12-7-06)
Fierce and rebellious, brave and stoic, profane, devout, traitorous, patriotic, old skool or new, athlete or activist, African-American icon or citizen of the world. Yes. You bet.
Saints have their hagiographies and Ali has had his share. The latest is"Ali Rap," an hourlong special airing on ESPN Saturday night. The show, also available on DVD, is a companion to a pretty Taschen art book filled with the champ's quotations and designed by George Lois, who created the legendary Esquire cover in 1968 that portrayed Ali as St. Sebastian, wearing boxing gear and shot with arrows.
The show, hosted by Chuck D, starts from the shaky premise that Ali was...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (12-6-06)
In a move described by his British publisher as "unknown", Pynchon, an American who is never seen in public, does not give interviews and whose whereabouts are a closely guarded secret, sent a typed letter to his British agent yesterday to say that McEwan "merits not our scolding but our gratitude" for using details from another author's book.
McEwan has been under fire for copying several details from the memoirs of a wartime nurse in London for his Booker-nominated novel, Atonement.
In an extraordinary campaign launched yesterday, many of the world's best known authors rallied around McEwan, complaining that the future of historical novel-writing was threatened if they could not copy or...