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: NYT (6-30-07)
There was the knotty matter of accents, but the director figured that Mr. Cruise and everybody else in the movie, “Valkyrie,” would do fine if they spoke unaffected English. The cost of affording the high-wattage Mr. Cruise could also be problematic, but the star took the job for a nominal salary, agreeing to get his cut after the tickets were sold — a deal helped by his part ownership of United Artists, the studio behind the picture.
What Mr. Singer did not reckon with is Germany’s open hostility toward Mr. Cruise’s religion. “Frankly, I was not aware of the issue of Scientology here in Germany,” Mr. Singer said in a telephone interview from Berlin this week, shortly after news reports that military officials would ban “...
SOURCE: http://www.dailysouthtown.com (6-29-07)
The resulting “Is It Real?” exhibit invites visitors to assume the role of curator, determining if something is a real historical find, a close call or just a bald-faced lie.
In some regard, it’s not dissimilar from the TV show “CSI,” which is also the theme of a new exhibit at Chicago’s Museum of Science & Industry in which visitors are asked to use their detective skills.
SOURCE: NYT (6-29-07)
SOURCE: NYT (6-29-07)
Goudstikker, his wife and their son fled the Netherlands on May 14, 1940, leaving behind about 1,400 works, which were then looted by the Nazis. About 200 were returned to his heirs by the Dutch government last year in one of the largest restitutions of art seized by the Nazis.
The heirs — Marei von Saher, the widow of Edward, the only son of Desirée and Jacques Goudstikker; and her daughters, Charlène and Chantal — consigned 133 of the paintings to various sales at Christie’s. At the same time they have worked with Peter C. Sutton, an expert on Dutch old master...
SOURCE: http://www.signonsandiego.com (6-28-07)
If the San Diego Natural History Museum is right, nearly a half-million visitors will come to Balboa Park over the next six months to see samples of the Dead Sea Scrolls – including, during the second half of the run, a copy of the Ten Commandments.
Some will come for sacred reasons.
“Many people will simply want to sit in the gallery in the presence of these scrolls,” said Risa Levitt Kohn, a San Diego State University professor and curator of the exhibit. “For them, it will be a spiritual experience.”
Others will be drawn by history, the images of how members of a Jewish community, with Roman soldiers advancing upon them in A.D. 68, climbed...
SOURCE: http://tothecenter.com (6-28-07)
In addition to the grubby t-shirt worn by his character John McClane Willis donated the New York police badge sported by McClane and a promotional poster for the first film. The items join the ranks of such hallowed movie objects as Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” and “Star Wars” droids C-3PO and R2D2.
SOURCE: NYT (6-28-07)
SOURCE: AP (6-27-07)
"Nanking" will premiere in Beijing Tuesday and be released across in China on July 7, the film's publicists said Monday.
The movie examines the Japanese killings by mixing archival footage and actors' readings of witness accounts from Westerners who protected Chinese refugees. Among the actors are Woody Harrelson and Mariel Hemingway.
Historians generally agree the Japanese army slaughtered at least 150,000 civilians and raped tens of thousands of women in the rampage in Nanjing in 1937 that became known as "The Rape of Nanking," using the name by which the city was known in the West at that time.
About 100 Japanese ruling party lawmakers drew criticism from China after saying last week that documents from their...
SOURCE: David Edelstein in New York Magazine (6-25-07)
The most obvious is that in late 2001 and early 2002, we (by which I mean the American media and its consumers) had little idea of the deadly labyrinth into which...
SOURCE: AP (6-12-07)
These are among artifacts included in a new exhibit opening later this month, titled "The Glory Days,'' that glorifies the 11-year period of 1947-57, when New York City's three teams dominated major league baseball as never before. It streak only ended when two of them decamped for California, changing the game forever.
It was an era in which at least one of Gotham's teams reached the World Series every year but one (1948), when Dodger Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color line, Giant Bobby Thomson hit the home run called "the shot heard round the world'' and Brooklyn finally beat the Yankees for a World...
SOURCE: Newsday (6-25-07)
Facts about wine or "Star Trek" or one-armed baseball players. Facts about slippers, or cowboy spurs, or paintings. Facts about bells, or newspapers (circa 1920). Facts, facts, facts -- there's a world of them out there, and Luray seems to have sponged up all of them.
Some facts about Luray. She's 39, the mother of two boys, Matt and Zach (and, effectively, of one tottering and quite affectionate bulldog named Katie). She lives in a lovely home on a quiet street where ancient oaks and tulip trees hover protectively over other homes. Down the road is the Port Washington Public Library, Luray's unofficial residence. (She also happens to be one of its biggest boosters.)
She is also host of "History Detectives," a fine PBS program that enters its fifth...
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (6-22-07)
The folks at LibriVox, a group that dedicates itself to “acoustical liberation of books in the public domain,” have completed an ambitious reading of James Joyce’s masterpiece and posted it online in a couple of different formats. They’ve done a nice job of tweaking the often-staid audiobook medium: Scenes taking place in pubs are accompanied by real ambient cross-chatter, for example. And Molly Bloom’s legendary internal monologue, which closes the book, is multitracked — an effect that might offend purists, but one which actually works surprisingly well.
The complete reading runs more than 32 hours, so it’s a significant time investment.
SOURCE: Gregory McNamee at Britannica Blog (6-24-07)
The hero of the book is a bitter bounty hunter named Rick Deckard, played by Harrison Ford. No, that’s not quite right: Deckard is no hero, just...
SOURCE: Forbes (6-25-07)
"Nanking," produced by Ted Leonsis, vice chairman of the American Internet company AOL, will premiere in Beijing July 3 and be released across in China on July 7, the publicists said in a statement.
The movie, directed by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, examines the Japanese killings by mixing archival footage and actors' readings of witness accounts from Westerners who protected Chinese refugees. Among the actors are Woody Harrelson and Mariel Hemingway.
"Nanking," which was partly shot in Nanjing, apparently has the blessing of the Chinese government, which carefully controls foreign productions either shot or released in the country.
Guttentag said in a recent interview with The Associated Press...
SOURCE: NYT (6-6-07)
Plans call for the ancient Afghan pieces — part of the storied 2,000-year-old Bactrian hoard — to be displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, although contracts have not yet been signed by those institutions.
The National Geographic Society and the Afghan government signed a protocol accord over the weekend in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, outlining an exhibition schedule that would begin in May 2008 at the National Gallery. The document calls for Afghanistan to receive $1 million as well as 40 percent of “total revenue,” which is defined...
SOURCE: NYT (6-7-07)
Mr. de Salignac would have been lost to obscurity if not for Michael Lorenzini, a photographer who works for the Municipal Archives in Manhattan and recently happened upon the de Salignac’s logbooks. These helped Mr. Lorenzini determine that 10,000 prints and 20,000 glass negatives in the archive were made by Mr. de Salignac.
About 100 of the prints are in this exhibition, organized by Thomas H. Mellins, the museum’s curator of special exhibitions, and Diana Edkins, director of exhibitions and...
SOURCE: Avital Louria in the Investment Dealers' Digest (5-14-07)
The film, which recounts the last decades of Libya's ancient Sephardic Jewish community through the story of the Roumani family, drew more than 300 that night and about 1,000 over four screenings - quite respectable for a film that started out as a home-made family-history project.
Bourkoff and his mother, Vivienne Roumani-Denn, started the project in 2004 in order to fulfill Bourkoff's passion to preserve the story of their family and that of the now-extinct Libyan Jewish community for Aryeh's children and for generations to come. But Bourkoff is not your ordinary first-time producer - after all, he is vice chairman of technology, media and telecom at UBS - so the amateurish undertaking quickly turned into a professional production.
As scholars of religion and popular culture have long recognized, comic books are an important element of contemporary American mythology. In their 2003 book Captain America and the Crusade Against Evil -- a book written in that uncertain time between the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the beginning of the Iraq war -- Robert Jewett and John Shelton Lawrence explore the relationship between comic books and American civil religion. In what they describe as the "Captain America complex," comic book superheroes both inform and reflect the aggressive foreign policies of the past several decades, epitomized in the current administration's "war on terror" and...
SOURCE: Australian (7-7-07)
The private secretary to Prince William and Prince Harry wrote to Channel 4 saying that they felt the images would be a "gross disrespect" to their mother's memory.
Royal sources indicated that the letter had been written at the instigation of Prince William, who wanted to "take a stand" against intrusions into his mother's dignity.
Politicians waded into the latest row to engulf Channel 4, with the Conservatives calling on the broadcaster to respect the princes' wishes.
But Channel 4 said that it would screen the photos, which show the dying princess receiving medical assistance.
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (6-6-07)
First, a little context. In 1938, shortly before James arrived in the United States, he had published The Black Jacobins, still one of the great accounts of the Haitian slave revolt. He would later write Beyond a Boundary (1963), a sensitive cultural and social history of cricket – an appreciation of it as both a sport and a value system. But in 1950, when he produced a long manuscript titled “Notes on American Civilization,” James was an illegal alien from Trinidad. I have in hand documents from his interrogation by FBI agents in the late 1940s, during which he was questioned in detail about his...