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 (4-30-08)
“It is a beloved piece of our city’s history and, I would argue, our country’s history,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Its demolition, he added, “is going to create an enormous rift between the university and the surrounding community, preservationists, theater lovers, that I’m not sure how easy it will ever be to repair.”
But the design for the proposed building, which would be used by N.Y.U.’s School of Law and include a new theater, is actually more consistent with how the playhouse originally looked before renovations, a university official and the architect...
SOURCE: The Art Newspaper (4-24-08)
Curator Béatrice André-Salvini initially put up a proposal in December 2002, three months before the Coalition invasion. She then asked for 20 loans from Iraq, including a 2300 BC bronze head of King Sargon and a ceramic-brick relief of a bull from the Ishtar Gate. Discussions with the museum have been ongoing, but the security situation has made the loans impossible. Most of the objects on display are therefore from Paris, Berlin and London.
The Louvre presentation does not deal with recent events, such as Saddam Hussein’s reconstruction of part of the palace (made partly with bricks inscribed with his name) and the impact of the Coalition invasion. An American military base was established on part of the archaeological site, causing considerable...
SOURCE: Press Release--HBO (4-29-08)
RECOUNT offers a riveting behind-the-scenes look at the Florida presidential vote recount from Election Day in November 2000 through the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of George W. Bush over Al...
SOURCE: Russia Today (4-29-08)
Hitler was a dictator and a second-rate painter. There is little of aesthetic value in this series, but there is definitely much food for thought in this study which concentrates on the Fuhrer's art work.
Irina Valdron discovered copies of the Fuhrer’s early drawings in the British Library in London and created projects called “The Ladies with the Dogs”.
By enlarging the works by the future Fuhrer, Irina Valdron exposes Hitler’s amateurish style and his vulgar taste.
“I was working with the period when Hitler was not Fuhrer, nor was he an artist, in my opinion. I imagined him as a person from a poor family, ambitious and frustrated. I am showing his works in the context of the European art of his time. I have inserted him into the degenerate Dadaist art, which he used to hate,” Valdron said.
Valdron's colleague Vladimir...
SOURCE: BBC (4-29-08)
Art historians from Bristol University have found what they believe is a picture of Henry Wriothesley which was painted over in the 16th Century.
To the naked eye, it is a portrait of his wife Elizabeth Vernon, dressed in black and wearing ruby ear-rings.
The hidden picture was uncovered when the work was X-rayed in preparation for an exhibition in Somerset.
Radiography revealed that underneath the oil portrait of Elizabeth I's maid of honour was a ghostly male figure - an older work which had been painted over.
SOURCE: NYT (4-29-08)
The song, “From Little Things Big Things Grow,” begins with a recording of the words of Australia’s prime minister, Kevin Rudd, from his February apology for the country’s history of mistreatment of its indigenous peoples. “As prime minister, I am sorry,” Mr. Rudd says on the recording. “On behalf of the government, I am sorry.”
From Mr. Rudd’s words the song later moves on to these lyrics: “There are moments in the lives of nations where hope and history rhyme. Now’s one of those times. Let’s close the gap, and if we truly mean it, we can stare down our future and find we can see through those eyes. Let us not stand with those who deny.”
The song, which also takes lines from comments made by indigenous leaders after Mr. Rudd’s apology, combines hip-hop rhythms with...
SOURCE: AP (4-27-08)
The oil painting of Queen Elizabeth I may be more valuable than anyone realized.
The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reports that the portrait is believed to have been painted in 1592, when Elizabeth would have been about 60 years old. It is one of the few portraits of the queen in her declining years.
If it's authentic, it could be worth millions.
SOURCE: NYT (4-27-08)
Much of what Mr. Fishburne does — onstage, on screen and in life — is driven by intuition rather than deliberation. “Most actors are nervous, they’re timid, they find their way sideways into the role, they find every reason not to actually do the scene, they’d rather talk about it for a hundred years,” said Leonard Foglia, the director of “Thurgood,” which opens Wednesday at the Booth Theater. “Laurence is a very visceral person.”
Sheldon Epps, who directed Mr....
SOURCE: A.O.Scott in the NYT (4-27-08)
Three months later the country was engulfed in riots, work stoppages and mass demonstrations. Some of France’s most venerable traditions and institutions seemed to be under assault, and the Cannes Film Festival, the nation’s glamorous and exalted cinematic rite of spring, was hardly immune. The festival came to a halt on May 19, after a group of filmmakers, including Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut, professing solidarity with...
SOURCE: Elbert Ventura in the New Republic (4-25-08)
With his newest film, Morris ventures deeper into the same...
SOURCE: Der Spiegel (4-24-08)
Walking through the massive five-storey concrete bunker that houses the Boros Collection on Reinhardstrasse in Berlin, you wouldn't guess that it had a far more sinister past. Back in 1942 Nazi architect Albert Speer built the place to help the city sustain what he believed would be the final blowout battle leading to a German victory. It was part of his and Adolf Hitler's grand "Germania" (more...) vision, whereby Berlin would be entirely renewed -- fully devoid of degenerate art, of course -- after the Germans had triumphed.
But today the old pock-marked fortress belongs to Polish-born collector and advertising entrepreneur Christian...
SOURCE: http://www.sun-sentinel.com (4-24-08)
The proposed anthem, "Florida, Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky," was the winner of a statewide contest sponsored by the Florida Music Educators Association last year to find a replacement to the 1851 tune written by Stephen Foster.
Giving both tunes an official designation was a compromise orchestrated by supporters of Foster's ode to plantation life, including members of the Legislature's Black Caucus, who wanted the more modern tune penned by Jan Hinton, of Pompano Beach who teaches at Pine Crest School.
"As they say, the art of politics is the art of give and take, the art of compromise ... We replace the words, not the tune," said Senate Rules Chairman Jim King...
SOURCE: NYT (4-23-08)
The series, produced by WNET in New York, starts its eighth season on Wednesday on most stations. It has been well received by critics and has scooped up numerous awards, including several Cine Golden Eagles, which honor documentaries, and three Emmy nominations.
“The stories that work either shed some light on a moment in history we know a lot about or a moment that has been forgotten,” said Jared Lipworth, executive producer of the series.
The 34 episodes to date have been brought to...
SOURCE: NYT (4-23-08)
One Hollywood Internet site, thehotblog.com, flatly declared, “Valkyrie is dead.” Another, defamer.com, said that the revival of United Artists had effectively died with it.
Meanwhile, Roger Friedman, a widely read Web reporter with a column on foxnews.com, had some career advice for Mr. Cruise: “He needs another ‘Jerry Maguire’-like romantic comedy, and he needs it now.”
The death notices are remarkable in that United Artists, in its current version, was financed just eight months ago. And there is no way to be certain about “Valkyrie” until the film, first set for release in June, then October, and now Feb. 13, 2009, finally opens....
SOURCE: NYT (4-24-08)
The Philadelphia Museum announced on Wednesday that it had sold the Eakins painting “Cowboy Singing” to the Denver Art Museum and the Anschutz Collection, also in Denver. The work, from around 1892, which depicts a man seated with a banjo, has been in the Philadelphia Museum’s collection since 1929, when the executors of the artist’s estate — his widow, Susan MacDowell Eakins, and Mary Adeline Williams — donated it.
SOURCE: NYT (4-24-08)
In an intriguing new example of unscripted television, Mr. Burnett will recreate the expedition of Henry Morton Stanley to find the missing Dr. Livingstone in a series he will produce for the History Channel.
“This is really a return to my roots,” said Mr. Burnett, who first broke through in television producing the nature race “Eco-Challenge.” “This is taking the element of nature in the raw and adding the truth of history.”
Abbe Raven, president of A&E Television Networks, which includes the History Channel, will announce the Stanley-Livingstone show next week when her company presents its programming plans for next season.
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (4-24-08)
Few bands are more associated with San Francisco, and the images connected with many of the archive items are instantly recognizable to millions of fans around the world. The archive, which occupies 2,000 square feet of a Marin warehouse, contains thousands of pieces.
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed (4-23-08)
But Harvard just made its own score in the Mailer-memorabilia market. The university has spent an undisclosed sum to acquire the papers of Carole Mallory, the writer’s mistress from 1983 until the early 1990s, according to a report in The New York Observer (“Mailer Mistress Makes a Move”) and an item in the New York Post’s gossip column, Page Six (“Mailer’s Lust Goes to Harvard”).
SOURCE: New Republic (4-21-08)
Dear Steve and Kirk,
"There is no vocabulary/for love within a family," wrote T. S. Eliot. The producers of John Adams found the words in the correspondence between Abigail and John to deal with love as they bring this superb series to a conclusion that marks the end of an era in American history, and the end of the lives of the two remarkable characters.
Even though I once thought I knew everything I wanted to know about Adams from my readings, I was not prepared for final Part 7. "Old age is dark and unlovely," observed Abigail. Indeed the last years...
SOURCE: Reuters (4-24-08)
Chief among their sources is "Romance of the Three Kingdoms," an epic Chinese novel whose plots and characters are familiar to most Asians.
"Romance," which long existed in oral form before it was put together in writing in the 14th century, covers a chaotic two-century period in ancient China marked by infighting between warlords following the fall of the Han Dynasty.
The story, full of dramatic and bloody episodes about ruthless ambition, military tactics, loyalty and betrayal, yielded numerous battle legends and war heroes that are still venerated by Asians.
It also makes for an ideal theme for movies and TV shows, with the latest being John Woo's "Red Cliff," to be released just before the Beijing Olympics.