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: Amy Reiter in Salon (5-5-08)
Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Argentine-born Cuban revolutionary now dead more than 40 years, is everywhere. His iconographic image -- a photograph snapped at a mass funeral in Havana by Alberto "Korda" Díaz Gutiérrez and subsequently co-opted and adapted by publishers, artists and pretty much anyone with a Xerox machine -- has long been a symbol of protest and the little guy rising up against the ruling power. Today, it gazes at us from T-shirts, posters, album covers, coffee mugs, key chains, beach towels, beer bottles, cigarette packets, bikini bottoms -- and even, briefly, an advertisement for Smirnoff vodka. Korda's snapshot of Che, which...
SOURCE: http://www.marinecorpstimes.com (5-2-08)
But Putnam didn’t just spin a tale about boxing. His own widely celebrated background as a Marine veteran and former Korean War prisoner of the Chinese — with four Purple Hearts and a Navy Cross — wasn’t true, Marine officials said Thursday.
Putnam, who died in 2005, does not exist in Marine Corps Archival Tapes, a list of Marine veterans that covers Corps history until about 1970. He also does not exist in any Marine medals databases, including one for the Navy Cross, the Corps’ second-highest military honor.
The revelation came just hours before the Boxing Writers Association of America was set to award the Pat Putnam Award at the association’s annual award dinner at the posh Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles.
The award, launched in 2005,...
SOURCE: BBC (5-5-08)
Henry III commissioned the Cosmati Pavement, an intricate multi-coloured marble, stone and glass floor, as a 13th Century centrepiece for the abbey.
Conservationists are also restoring damaged parts of the mosaic, measuring seven-and-a-half square metres.
It is hoped the restored mosaic will go on permanent public display.
SOURCE: AP (5-4-08)
After two years of painstaking DNA research, experts have determined that none of the remains billed as those of Schiller belong to the German writer, who died in Weimar in 1805, Germany's MDR television reported. The study, dubbed the Friedrich-Schiller Code, was undertaken by the television station, the Foundation of Weimar Classics and an international team of scientists.
"Two years ago I was certain that we would prove that it was him; now we have proved the opposite," said foundation president Hellmut Seemann, whose organization oversees the Schiller archives and exhibitions. He spoke on an MDR documentary about the study that was broadcast Saturday night, before of the official release of the results on Monday.
SOURCE: NYT (5-4-08)
Nabokov, however, was able to build only part of the complete deck — 138 index cards, with many erasures and much emendation — before falling ill for the last time. Known as an artistic perfectionist and a...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (5-5-08)
SOURCE: NYT (5-3-08)
SOURCE: LAT (5-1-08)
And for the best families, only the glazed earthenware made in a factory in this town on the banks of the Loire River would do. The crockery, known as faience, was as much a discreet symbol of prestige and good taste in an aristocratic family as having "de" before a last name or a signet ring with the family crest passed down to a son when he turned 18.
But for the last few decades, the faience of Gien has also become a symbol of a lifestyle that is a vanishing art. Modern life just doesn't call for a dinner service that comes with 14...
SOURCE: AFP (5-1-08)
"Argippo", a two-hour drama about a young princess smitten with a dishonest suitor, was scouted out nearly a year-and-a-half ago by 37-year-old Ondrej Macek, who founded and directs a Baroque music ensemble.
"I was really very happy when I found the scores that everyone thought lost," he said modestly.
SOURCE: NYT (5-1-08)
He used to teach students in the back room of a photo shop, where the sound could not be heard. But last week, militia gunmen invaded the store, destroying one of his instruments and ordering him to stop teaching. He had dreamed of a performing career, but now he has lost hope.
“Iraq is dead,” he says.
Seven thousand miles away, Rahim Alhaj, who fled Iraq in 1991, carries his oud without a second thought through the streets of Albuquerque, where he now lives. In New York, Washington and other cities, he plays for audiences of hundreds. An album he recorded was recently nominated for a Grammy Award.
The two musicians are bound by their passion for the oud, a pear-shaped instrument whose roots run deep in Iraq’s history. Some say that in its music lies the country’s soul.
SOURCE: NPR (4-30-08)
But Nabokov's wife, Vera, couldn't bear to destroy her husband's last work, and when she died, the fate of the manuscript fell to her son. Dmitri Nabokov, now 73, is the Russian novelist's only surviving heir. He says he inherited the problem of whether to honor his father's wishes or save the literary master's last written words for posterity.
Dmitri, who translated many of his father's novels and short stories, says he never planned to destroy the manuscript — "I wouldn't have wanted to go down in history as a literary arsonist," he says — the question was really how to preserve it.
Dmitri says he could have stored it away, where it would have inevitably been discovered, or...