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: Sky News (7-25-08)
Queen Mary, who was King Edward's bolt upright mother is played by Patricia Routledge and she magnetises us into her drawing room, where the family discuss and witness the inevitable end of one king's reign and the start of another, by the younger brother, called Bertie, who became King George VI. It is the story of a mother struggling to hold monarchy together in the face of a personal dilemma.
SOURCE: Atlanta-Journal Constitution (7-24-08)
Atlanta's cyclorama was originally 50-by-400 feet when it was painted in 1885-86, but damage over the years has reduced the total area to 42-by-358-feet.
Both are impressive works of art — paintings embellished with dioramas that create a 3-D effect. Both depict battles that were not only turning points in the Civil War, but of lasting significance to the communities in which they occurred. Both are rare survivors of an era when monumental paintings would tour the country and draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (7-25-08)
It was only when Ford shifted production of his iconoclastic car to a moving production line in 1914, that he restricted customers to having their cars finished in black japan enamel paint, because it was the only colour that dried fast enough to keep up with the production line.
Celebrations for this most famous of motor cars have been going on all year in the US and in the UK, where it was also built but the biggest event is in America this coming weekend when more than 10,000 enthusiasts, 1,000 Models Ts and the Indiana state governor Mitch Daniels gather in Richmond for a 'Model T Party'. It is thought to be the largest gathering of Model Ts since the start of production. In the UK a Model T has been exhibited in a glass case outside the Design...
SOURCE: NYT (7-24-08)
“She is a bright, talented actress,” Coward writes. “And quite attractive since she dealt with her monstrous English overbite."
But the letter, and another much like it, were actually written by Lee Israel, a biographer and editor in New York who spent two years writing forgeries from her studio apartment on the Upper West Side and then selling them to autograph dealers around the country.
Or so Ms. Israel says in her new memoir, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” in which she confesses to a host of offenses, both criminal and literary, and recounts how she was eventually caught by a dealer who took his suspicions to the police.
“For me, this was a big hoot and a terrific compliment,” Ms. Israel gleefully writes in her book, as she notes that two of her phony letters...
SOURCE: NYT (7-22-08)
He’s now surrounded by the Sean Penns and Brigitte Bardots of the world, looking as out of place as he must have felt when he arrived in New Jersey in 1933. In a picture from three years earlier, in which he’s chatting in white tie with a dour bunch of British diplomats, he wears that famous animated wide-eyed expression suggesting he is kind of amused to find himself in this circumstance, too.
Actually, though, he’s the ultimate German celebrity. Germany has long been funny about its relationship to local stardom and to the very notion of celebrity, which makes this exhibition a particularly fascinating and revealing exercise.
With some 350 pictures it’s a...
SOURCE: NY Observer (7-22-08)
Who would want to turn "Rathergate" into a feature-length film?
According to sources familiar with the situation, Producer Mikkel Bondesen, (his credits include serving as executive producer on the USA Network series "Burn Notice") is actively working on the adaptation with screenwriter James Vanderbilt.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune (7-21-08)
"It's a sad day for everybody in baseball," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "Jerome was a Hall of Famer in everything he did, in every sense of the word."
Holtzman was a baseball beat writer and columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times for three decades, starting in 1957, the year before the Dodgers' and Giants' migration from New York to California turned baseball into a truly national sport. He moved to the Tribune as baseball columnist in 1981 and was inducted into the writers' wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989, perhaps the most notable of the countless honors he achieved over his remarkable career.
SOURCE: Tehran Times (7-22-08)
Head of the center, Nader Daryaban, said that the stamps bear the images of Iranian martyrs and aim to transfer the concept and values of Iran’s Sacred Defense era (Iran-Iraq 1980-1988 war), the Persian service of IRNA reported.
“The stamps bear images of the commanders including Mohammad-Ali Jahan-Ara, Abdorreza Musavi, Behruz Moradi, Ahmad Shush, Mohammadreza Dashti, Behnam Mohammadi and Shahnaz Hajishah,” Daryaban added.
He also remarked that brief explanations about the martyrs and their bravery are also attached to the stamps in the three languages of Persian, English and Russian...
SOURCE: Press Release (7-21-08)
As immigrants from Germany and other countries in Europe came to America's shores a century ago, they underwent a medical examination that determined whether they would be allowed to stay. Those judged to be too ill or infirm to enter were sent to the Ellis Island hospital. In its day, it was America's largest public health hospital, consisting of 22 buildings adjacent to the Great Hall and within sight of the Statue of Liberty. Massive and modern, the hospital was America's first line of defense against contagious, often virulent disease. It was also a place where tens of thousands of immigrants were nursed to health and allowed to pursue their dream of becoming American citizens.
Although it was the world's premier infectious disease hospital, and a...
SOURCE: Times (UK) (7-20-08)
It is a great collection, but what is its greater purpose?
Earlier directors were too small of mind and stature to worry about it. But St Neil is a museum figure sent down to earth by God precisely to sort out stuff such as this. He would have realised that the colonial age was over, and that...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (7-21-08)
You can make out not only his beard - he was the first Roman emperor to sport this Hellenistic look - but also his creased earlobes, a curious genetic giveaway to the heart condition that killed him at the age of 62, in 138AD.
The real highlight, though, will be some rotten slivers of oak - each about the size of a postcard. These are the Vindolanda tablets, letters sent to and from Roman officers serving at Vindolanda, near modern Hexham, Northumberland from 90AD to 120AD - just before Hadrian built his wall.
We are brought up on stories of grand, imperial Rome - stuttering Claudius, Caligula planning to make his horse a consul in between orgies and Augustus turning Rome from brick to marble. But the Vindolanda tablets show what life was like for...
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (7-21-08)
A team of 30 technicians have identified 129 changes to the painting, named after the small Basque town bombed by German fighter planes backing General Francisco Franco during the Spanish civil war.
The painting is now in a "serious but stable condition", curator Jorge García Gómez Tejedor said in yesterday's El País. It does not yet need to be restored but it should not be moved, he said.
SOURCE: BBC (7-17-08)
When the Buddhas of Bamiyan were carved out of the mountainside, the Roman Empire still held sway.
They towered over a rich valley in what is now central Afghanistan, where caravans of traders would stop and rest on the Silk Road as they transported goods between east and west.
For centuries the two huge statues stood guard over Bamiyan.
But in 2001, just months before they were forced from power, the Taleban dynamited what they considered un-Islamic representations of the human form.
Today all that remains are the recesses where they stood, and the labyrinth of fragile caves surrounding them.
Today there isn't even a paved road connecting the valley to Kabul, but yet inside the caves are a reminder of Bamiyan's past wealth and glory and a new claim to fame that could put the province back on the map....
SOURCE: Justine Picardie in the Telegraph (UK) (7-13-08)
An obsessive stalker, an impotent husband, a lover of young boys... to some, the creator of 'Peter Pan' was an evil genius; to others, a misunderstood ingenue. Ever mindful of the J.M. Barrie 'curse', Justine Picardie investigates
'May God blast anyone who writes a biography of me,' declared J.M. Barrie, in a curse scrawled across the pages of one of his last notebooks. Since his death in 1937, this dire warning has not prevented a slew of writers taking him on, the latest of which is Piers Dudgeon, whose book Captivated is subtitled The Dark Side of Never Never Land, and examines what he believes to be Barrie's sinister influence over the du Maurier family.
Dudgeon's portrait of Barrie - as a man who filled the vacuum of his own sexual impotence by a...
SOURCE: Swissinfo (7-16-08)
Wagner fled to Zurich in 1849, at the age of 36, having narrowly avoided arrest for his political involvement in the May uprising in Dresden, where he had been living.
His arrival marked the beginning of a transformation during which the young composer redefined his ideas of art and introduced new artistic concepts.
In its exhibition which runs until mid-November, the Bärengasse Museum in Zurich has recreated Wagner's life in the city between 1849 and 1858 – the years it describes as "among the most formative and productive of his whole life".
SOURCE: Korea Times (7-9-08)
This is exactly what the late master artist Woonbo Kim Ki-chang did in the series of exquisite ``sacred'' ink paintings that depict the life of Christ in a Korean setting.
In ``The Birth of Jesus Christ,'' Mary is shown wearing hanbok or traditional Korean dress, while her husband Joseph is wearing the gat or traditional Korean hat.
This work is part of the ``Sacred Painting Exhibition of Woonbo Kim Ki Chang'' and is currently being held at the lobby of the CCMM building, Yeouido, Seoul through July 31.
Kim had originally created the series of sacred paintings in the 1950s, holding the first exhibition at the Whasin Gallery in Seoul from April 22 to May 1, 1954. The works were made public again in 1984, for the 100th anniversary of Korean Christianity...
SOURCE: CNN (7-17-08)
A sea of comestibles, Les Halles once lapped at the sides of the church and filled the stomachs of Paris citizens, as it had done since 1181. Its rambunctious atmosphere was captured by Emile Zola in his 1873 novel Le Ventre de Paris (The Belly of Paris). Many Parisians are nostalgic for the old market, but in the 1960s it was considered cramped, unsanitary and dangerous. And so, in 1969, the decision was taken to shuffle it off to the southern Paris commune of Rungis and...
SOURCE: Times (UK) (7-16-08)
But what do we know about him? The British Museum, fresh from a success in which a posse of terracotta warriors ousted Blackpool Pleasure Beach from the top of our list of favourite cultural attractions, now turns its attention from China's first emperor to another great wall-builder. In Hadrian: Empire and Conflict, it invites us to speculate on what this most fascinating and complex emperor might really have been like.
This is a show that Gordon Brown should go to see. It follows the progress of an ambitious but...
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (7-17-08)
The Louvre's bold new Islamic art wing had its first stone laid by Sarkozy yesterday , launching the museum's most daring project since IM Pei created the giant glass pyramid 20 years ago. The world's most visited museum will have Europe's biggest purpose-built exhibition space for an Islamic art collection, which France hopes will reconcile the secular republic with the world of Islamic heritage.
The €86m (£68m) project will open in 2010, creating 3,000 square metres of gallery space in one of the museum's neo-classical courtyards. Rather than cover the courtyard, a glass "luminous veil" will "float" above the...
SOURCE: Sam Anderson at Arts & Letters Daily website (7-6-08)
True to form, Iain Gately’s new book, Drink: A Cultural History of...