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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE: NYT (2-28-07)
There are dozens of other photographs just as posed and stilted, and strangers scanning them might barely pause for a second glance — except for one fact. Almost all these Polish Jews, rich and poor alike, would be dead within a few years, massacred in the Nazi camps or ghettoes or consumed by the war. One woman in the beach pyramid, a caption says, perished in the Soviet Union, searching for her husband as they fled the Nazis.
Elie Wiesel, when he saw this homespun collection, is said to have told friends that you want to grab these people and warn them: “Run away! Do something!” But of course most...
SOURCE: George Will in the WSJ (2-27-07)
That was inaccurate -- 80,000 died at Hiroshima alone. And in his new biography of LeMay, Barrett Tillman writes that the general was more empathetic than his rhetoric suggested: "He could envision a three-year-old girl screaming for her mother in a burning house." But LeMay was a warrior "whose government gave him a task that required killing large numbers of enemy civilians so the war could be won."
It has been hotly debated how much indiscriminate killing of civilians in the Asian and European theaters really was "required" and therefore was morally...
SOURCE: AP (2-27-07)
The anonymous buyer has only been identified as a Southern California collector. SCP Auctions Inc., a company that holds sports memorabilia auctions, said it bought a small share of the card. It is scheduled to be shown at a news conference at Dodger Stadium Tuesday.
There are about 60 of the tobacco cards in existence featuring the Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop, one of the first five players to be inducted in Baseball's Hall of Fame.
The seller, Brian Seigel, paid a then-record $1,265,000 in 2000 for the prize card, which is in much better shape than the others.
SOURCE: Chattanooga Times Free Press (2-27-07)
Now one of those men is hoping to use DNA evidence to prove it.
The other man, Arthur Ben Chitty, a historiographer at the University of the South who died in 2002, spent 40 years amassing anecdotal evidence that Mr. Booth married a Sewanee woman and lived there for a time, said his daughter Em Turner Chitty.
And there was one piece of physical evidence: the signature of “Jno. W. Booth” and his bride, Louisa J. Payne, recorded Feb. 24, 1872, in the marriage license records office of the Franklin County Courthouse.
“What passes for history is good public relations — that’s my dad’s main thesis,” said Ms. Turner, an English teacher at Pellissippi State College in Knoxville. “The thing that got him most...
SOURCE: David Denby in the New Yorker (2-26-07)
If Americans recognize the name Wilberforce at all, they are probably thinking of Samuel Wilberforce, the bishop who was on the wrong side of the greatest intellectual issue of the nineteenth century. Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, taking on Darwin’s defender Thomas Henry Huxley in 1860, the year after the publication of “On the Origin of Species,” was opposed to the treading of flawed science on God’s glory or on human dignity. The Bishop’s father, William, was also a man who drew on religious definitions of dignity. If this film has it right, the father was...
SOURCE: Jonathan Bean in National Review Online (2-23-07)
Amazing Grace commemorates the bicentennial of the British ban on the slave trade (1807), an antislavery movement led by Wilberforce. Without him, there would have been no end to the slave trade, certainly not in his time. And, without his conversion to Christianity, Wilberforce might have lived a forgettable life as a rich man’s son. Instead, he helped give birth to new freedom in the British Empire, hope in America, and inspiration to abolitionists everywhere. Today, with slavery spreading in Africa and Asia, and an estimated 27 million in slavery worldwide, Amazing Grace is more than a period piece: It is a timely and enduring lesson on what one man can do to stop the spread of evil.
“Religion in politics” is a topic hot enough to spark a...
SOURCE: Charlotte Allen in the WSJ (2-24-07)
In fact, William Wilberforce was driven by a version of Christianity that today would be derided as"fundamentalist." One of his sons, sharing his father's outlook, was the Anglican bishop Samuel Wilberforce, who wrote a passionate critique of"The Origin of the Species," arguing that Darwin's then- new theory could not fully...
SOURCE: BBC (2-23-07)
The idea has won Seabridge Consultants in Forres, Moray, a £40,000 share of a £120,000 technology prize.
The company intend to use the money to develop a system where people will hear an actor's voice or receive a text telling the story of the real Macbeth.
He became king in the 11th Century after killing Duncan I in battle.
Cameron Taylor said many people did not know the real Scottish history behind Shakespeare's iconic fictional Macbeth.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-24-07)
Closer to home, however, a collector who has spent more than 30 years gathering the autographs of Hollywood stars who have picked up the awards is confident he is on to a winner.
Alan Robinson is expected to make as much as £1 milllion when the bulk of photographs signed by every actor to win an Oscar since the awards began in 1929 is sold at auction.
Amassing the portfolio of names has cost the 42-year-old legal accountant no less than £100,000, including a bank loan to buy Greta Garbo's autograph.
The purchase was the jewel in the crown of Mr Robinson's collection, and the culmination of a hobby which started when he met Harold Wilson at the age of seven.
SOURCE: Breitbart (2-23-07)
"This is a very difficult decision, but the truth is we kept it open for sentimental reasons much longer than we should have," company spokesman Denny Lynch said.
Thomas, who died in 2002 of liver cancer, opened his first Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers on Nov. 15, 1969. He named the restaurant after his 8-year-old daughter, Melinda Lou, nicknamed Wendy. He later became a nationally known figure as a Wendy's pitchman in television commercials.
But the original restaurant, just a few blocks from the Ohio Statehouse, is unable to generate sufficient sales at night or during weekends, when government buildings are closed, Lynch said....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-24-07)
Inside they found ossuaries, or boxes of bones, marked with the names of Jesus, Joseph and Mary.
Then one of the ossuaries went missing. The human remains inside were destroyed before any DNA testing could be carried out.
While Middle East academics doubt that the relics belong to the Holy Family, the issue is about to be exposed to a blaze of publicity with the publication next week of a book.
Entitled The Jesus Tomb and co-written by Simcha Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino, the book promises the inside story of "what may very well be the greatest archaeological find of all time".
Some of the ossuaries will be at the book launch in New York, released by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
SOURCE: AP (2-23-07)
The epitome of art nouveau, thousands of lamps were designed and handmade in the New York workshops of Louis C. Tiffany largely between 1898 and 1909 from the iridescent opaque glass he patented.
But despite his sterling label, Tiffany had only a minor role in these masterpieces. He left the designs and handcrafting to his "Tiffany Girls," some 50 artisans who did the creative work and got none of the glory.
"A New Light on Tiffany," which opened Friday at the New-York Historical Society, sets the record straight for the first time. The one-time exhibit through May 28 illustrates the women's artisanship in splendid displays of 51 Tiffany lamps largely from the museum's own collection.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (2-23-07)
Yet it took more than 80 years for the visual evidence to go on display under the title "Discovering Tutankhamun: The Photographs of Harry Burton," first at the Oriental Institute Museum (at the University of Chicago) and now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until April 29. The book that comes with it, "Tutankhamun's Tomb: The Thrill of Discovery" should give food for thought to those who think that breaking up funerary caches to satisfy the appetites of commerce and of those for whom it caters is perfectly all right.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (2-24-07)
It was the young woman's sultry Brigitte Bardot look that captivated the Spanish artist. The encounter [in Provence] led to a year-long friendship in which Lydia Corbett, then known as Sylvette David, became the painter's model and posed for hours at his studio in the Cote d'Azur town of Vallauris.
The experience, in 1954, was a formative one for Ms Corbett, not least because, as well as becoming Picasso's latest muse, she was inspired to begin painting herself. Now, more than half a century later, Ms Corbett, 72, who lives in Devon, is exhibiting a large body of her work...
In the following three months, Picasso produced more than 40 pieces based on her likeness, and photographs of the painter with his latest model littered the pages of Parisian magazines....
SOURCE: NYT (2-25-07)
These historic, engrossing and artistically rich films, directed by Pare Lorentz with original scores by Virgil Thomson, can be seen in a new DVD release from Naxos. Together they tell a grim saga of unchecked development in the Great Plains and the Mississippi River network. New Deal programs are presented as noble ventures aimed at aiding refugee families devastated by floods, droughts and dust storms, and offering the only means to reclaim America’s natural resources and right the environmental...
SOURCE: NYT (2-25-07)
Some of the same factors are responsible for one important trend of the new theater season: revivals of ’50s plays. The trend reaches beyond Broadway, where “Inherit the Wind,” the fictionalized account of the Scopes trial, is to open April 12. (The original 1955 production won Paul Muni a Tony Award and showcased a young Tony Randall.) The Keen Company, for instance, is mounting its version of “Tea and Sympathy” (opening...
SOURCE: Press Release -- Muzzy Lane Software (2-23-07)
"MAKING HISTORY" puts players in control of global conflict, combining a highly sophisticated AI with rich historical detail. The game is unique among World War II games in the way it challenges gamers to achieve economic and diplomatic victory, not just military success.
"Strategy gamers and war buffs are going to love this game" says Richard Therrien, Vice President of Development for Strategy First. "MAKING HISTORY is a strong game and its level of quality and gameplay surpasses other strategy titles. It's refreshing to have a game with real depth that is supported by an interface that does not get in the way."
"We're incredibly pleased with the...
SOURCE: WaPo (2-22-07)
Curator Jeong-hee Lee-Kalisch said the exhibit at the Museum of Asian Art was a unique opportunity to see masterpieces that are not found in other museums.
"There has never been an exhibition in which the objects came directly from the monasteries in central Tibet. In that sense, this is a world premiere," Lee-Kalisch said.
The exhibit, which runs through May 28, consists of about 150 works, many of which have never left Tibet. They were gathered from the collections of five monasteries, two museums, the now-exiled Dalai Lama's Potala Palace in Lhasa and his summer palace in Norbulingka.
The objects date from the fifth century to the early 20th century and include statues, paintings, sacred wall hangings and ceremonial...
SOURCE: Reuters (2-22-07)
Now some of the tens of thousands who vanished during Latin America's so-called dirty wars will be introduced to New York on Friday when a stark exhibit, "The Disappeared (Los Desaparecidos)," opens at the Museo del Barrio for its first stop on a U.S. tour.
With works such as Arturo Duclos's Chilean flag made from 75 human femurs, the art on display recalls the political dissidents and others who were presumed killed under the region's military dictatorships from the 1950s to the 1980s...
"It's very disturbing," curator Laurel Reuter said. "And I think what finally propelled me into pulling the exhibition together was the more I realized the role of the United States in underpinning the dictatorships. We as Americans don't necessarily know what our country is doing."
SOURCE: NYT (2-22-07)
“He’s nothing more than a draft-dodger to me, and I’d say that’s the consensus around here,” said Wayne Love, 61, who tends bar here at the Veterans of Foreign War post in a mostly white neighborhood where racial tensions flared recently over a proposal to rename a city street for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Ali, 65, the former three-time world heavyweight champion boxer, has changed in 40 years. His fiery language about racial injustice has been replaced by a quieter message about peace, and Parkinson’s disease has slowed his once-graceful gait.
But some here who welcome his return say the city itself has changed much less markedly. They point to police...