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: Joyce Johnson in Smithsonian Magazine (9-1-07)
One snowy January night in 1957, I found myself in a Howard Johnson's in Greenwich Village buying a hot dog and baked beans for a virtually unknown writer named Jack Kerouac. It was a blind date arranged by Allen Ginsberg, who always looked out for his male friends. As Allen no doubt saw it, Jack needed a place in New York to stay for a while until he could take off for Tangier, and I was that rare thing—a girl who had her own apartment.
My independence at 21 would not be questioned now, but in the 1950s it was definitely the wrong way for an unmarried woman to be living, though nothing would have induced me to go back to my parents. By day, I typed rejection letters for a literary agent, for $50 a week; by night, I was working on a novel about a college student so intent on breaking through the glass wall that seems to separate her from...
SOURCE: http://www.spiegel.de (8-30-07)
After more than a month of filming in a country whose press is often quick to vilify him for his membership in the Church of Scientology, Tom Cruise has spoken to a German magazine about his current film role and life in Berlin.
Cruise, 45, along with wife Katie Holmes and daughter Suri are staying in Berlin for the filming of the World War II drama "Valkyrie." In the film, scheduled for release in 2008, Cruise plays Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, an army officer of aristocratic lineage who was executed following the failed July 1944 attempt to kill Hitler.
In Germany, Scientology is not considered a religion, but rather a cult...
SOURCE: NYT (8-30-07)
As described in Suzanna Andrews’s 5,000-word article, Arthur Miller, who died in February 2005, and his third wife, the photographer Inge Morath, had a son born with Down syndrome in 1966. Soon after, they made the painful decision to put the child, Miller’s youngest, in an institution for the mentally retarded before Miller essentially cut him out of his life.
Ms. Andrews describes in detail how Miller rarely, if ever, accompanied his wife on weekly visits to see Daniel, almost never mentioned him to shocked friends and didn’t mention him in his memoir, “Timebends.”
The picture that emerges is of a father in denial and a son who has moved on to live a happy life without him. “Miller excised a central character who didn’t fit the plot of his life as...
SOURCE: NYT (8-30-07)
The tabloids are still spinning breathless tales of conspiracy, cover-up and royal squabbling. “Document That Proves Diana Was Pregnant,” said a recent headline in The Daily Express, nicknamed The Diana Express because of its enthusiasm for even the most tenuous news about the princess.
“Charles ‘Hijacks’ Diana Memorial,” The Mail reported Sunday, in an article about fights over the guest list at the anniversary service, which is set for Friday at noon. (Elton John and Prime Minister Gordon Brown: in. Paul Burrell, Diana’s butler, who is now peddling products like tea sets and “Royal Butler” wine: out.)
The royal family is still fretting and bickering, still seemingly incapable of getting it right. After being attacked for deciding to attend Diana’s service, Prince Charles’s second wife...
SOURCE: http://www.shelbyvilledailyunion.com (8-28-07)
Lupton is Associate Director of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield , IL .. His position there requires him to make sure the documents that enter into the collection are authentic.
The one-hour show featured Lupton in a 20 minute segment, filmed in Springfield at the Lincoln Presidential Library and at the old Springfield capitol building. "We did the 'detective' work at the Lincoln Presidential Library, and we filmed the segment on the context of the documents at the old capitol.”
The letter was found at an estate sale in Tampa , Florida several years ago. At that time, the owner had scanned and e-mailed copies to Lupton and Christie’s...
SOURCE: AP (8-27-07)
Now, nearly 30 years after work began, the restoration of Raphael's frescoes in the rooms named after him in the Vatican Museums is approaching completion.
Restorers said in recent interviews that their work in the Raphael Stanzas has brought insights into how the artist worked, from mistakes he made in mixing plaster to how he transferred his exquisite designs from small pieces of paper to the sprawling walls of papal apartments.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-28-07)
Not only Scottish but, to be precise, hailing from Ardery Street, just off the Dumbarton Road, in the Partick area of Glasgow.
While the English, Welsh and even the French have laid claim to the wizard with the peaked hat for centuries, this is the first time that anyone has tried to shift Camelot north of the border.
But Adam Ardrey, amateur historian and one-time SNP candidate, claims that his six years of research prove that Merlin was actually born in the year 540 in the Lanarkshire town of Hamilton and moved to a house in what was then open countryside but, later, was to become the original home of Partick Thistle FC.
SOURCE: NYT (8-26-07)
Marvel took his talents for granted and denied him the credit and compensation he clearly deserved. Worse, he was overshadowed by his loquacious and photogenic collaborator, Stan Lee, who became the public face of an enterprise that depended heavily on Mr. Kirby’s skills.
Mr. Kirby eventually quit, leaving behind characters like the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and the Silver Surfer, and ending what was easily the most fruitful collaboration in comic book history. His long and ugly battle with Marvel over the rights to his original artwork galvanized the artistic community...
SOURCE: NYT (8-26-07)
To judge by the title, the 90-minute documentary “Nureyev: The Russian Years,” written and produced by the British filmmaker John Bridcut, would promise to fall squarely into the category of marginalia. After all, when Rudolf Nureyev, the young sensation of the Kirov Ballet, bolted from the clutches of the K.G.B. to asylum in Paris, he was all of 23. That was in 1961, and his glory years lay before him.
Even so, the prelude behind the Iron Curtain proves a mesmerizing subject. Between previously unknown film clips of the young Nureyev in full flight and fresh interviews with associates whose lives he touched or...
SOURCE: http://europe.courrierinternational.com (8-24-07)
SOURCE: NYT (8-25-07)
Except she is 18 inches tall.
Julie and her Chinese-American friend, Ivy, are the latest additions to American Girl’s fabulously popular line of historical dolls and books. Scheduled to be introduced on Sept. 10 in the company’s stores in New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles, these West Coast girls are the first new characters in the series in five years and the first to be situated in an era so close to the present. Girls who grew up playing with Dawn and Chatty Cathy can now watch their own daughters play with a doll version of themselves.
“We have high expectations and hopes for this character, because it’s...
SOURCE: Time Magazine (8-23-07)
Yes, and yes, and they probably did. To be sure, quite soon after Diana's death, a school of thought argued that the raw hugs-and-tears emotionalism of her funeral was an embarrassing aberration, a fake sentiment tricked up by the mass media, keen for a good end-of-summer story. But that's not a line that convinces. The memories are too real for that, the significance of them too apparent.
In Diana's funeral week, what had been considered the virtues--the Roman virtues, an earlier generation would have called them--of restraint...
SOURCE: NYT (8-23-07)
But by the end of “Invisible Wings,” the anticipation of imaginative transportation to another time and place had dissipated into the duller sensation of having been offered a well-staged history lesson. And after two and a half hours of that — no matter how enjoyable the music and how persuasive the performances — even this most passionate of topics can feel (dare one say it?) a little boring.
Ms. Haigood, a San Francisco choreographer, has a well-...
SOURCE: BBC (8-23-07)
Staff from the National Trust for Scotland have been packing up important items dating back to the battle.
The exhibits include a sword seized from Bonnie Prince Charlie's baggage after the fight ended.
It also features a letter from the prince to King Louis of France pleading for vital support to the Jacobite army.
SOURCE: BBC (8-23-07)
Scholars lost track of the drawing of a church after it was sold by Constable's grandson Eustace at Christie's in 1896.
It was found in an elaborate sketchbook on the life of Constable's rival JMW Turner, which was bequeathed to the British Museum in 1919.
SOURCE: Slate (8-22-07)
SOURCE: AP (8-21-07)
But a half-dozen new spas have opened this year in landmark hotels and historic places. While offering contemporary treatments and luxurious new facilities, spas in settings like Williamsburg, Virginia, and Plymouth, Massachusetts, are also looking to the past for inspiration in everything from decor to botanical remedies.
In May, The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg opened, offering treatments that spa manager Kate Mearns calls "a modern-day interpretation of five centuries of wellness." For example, a treatment using hot stones, linen wraps and cool aromatherapy cloths was inspired by a Powhatan Indian sweathouse ritual. Traditional remedies and ingredients also inspired the spa's lavender baths, lemon verbena manicures and massage oils containing cypress, juniper and rosemary.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-22-07)
More than two dozen huge crates carrying the fragile, 2,000-year-old figures were delayed for two days in Beijing because they would not fit into the holds of two cargo planes chartered for the job.
When the 20 figures - a dozen warriors plus assorted musicians, acrobats and court officials - and their five horses eventually arrived, they would not fit through the doors of the museum's famous Round Reading Room, which is being used for an exhibition for the first time.
The main door frame was removed and the horses, weighing 360kg each, had to be unpacked outside, in the Great Court, in the middle of Monday night and gently carried into the reading room.
"It has been a bit scary. You don't want any...
SOURCE: WaPo (8-19-07)
SOURCE: CNN (8-21-07)
Surveillance video showed a man reaching into a display case at the "Elvis After Dark" exhibit at Graceland, Presley's mansion, and removing a black, 9 mm Smith & Wesson pistol on August 14.
Travis Brookins turned the gun over to police Monday after the theft was reported by news media.