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: Independent (8-24-08)
The Famous Five, The Faraway Tree and Malory Towers will all be revisited in 20 new books planned by the author's estate.
The Famous Five will be the first to return, with The Famous Five's Survival Guide. The new book sees the grown-up Julian, Dick, Anne and George, revisit the only case they failed to solve in their childhood – The Mystery of the Royal Dragon of Siam.
In September The Faraway Tree will make a come back in a new adventure for the first time since 1951. New stories from The Wishing-Chair, Malory Towers and The Secret Series books come out next year.
Blyton's creations were criticised as being sexist and racist during the 1960s, but have recently come back into favour. She wrote 700 stories during her 40-year career, and eight million Blyton books are still sold...
SOURCE: Times (8-23-08)
The makers of the programme chose to make The Devil’s Whore, starring Andrea Riseborough, in countryside an hour’s drive north of Cape Town because it was cheaper. “It’s much more affordable to film there and we found a region where the countryside just looks similar to England, with oak trees and other familiar locations,” said Liza Marshall, controller of drama at Channel 4.
The broadcaster believes that England has changed beyond recognition since the 1640s, because it has been intensively cultivated. At the time of the last big conflict in England, southern Africa was first being settled by Europeans.
The Devil’s Whore, written by Peter Flannery, the author behind Our Friends in the North, follows an aristocratic woman who is dragged into the principal events of the...
SOURCE: Times (8-23-08)
Today six of Lucian Freud’s previously unseen paintings and drawings, including a portrait of the poet Sir Stephen Spender, are revealed in The Times. The works, from the 1940s and 1950s, had been hidden away in private collections across the world until an art historian and one of Freud’s assistants tracked them down for an exhibition in London this autumn.
Freud was 17 years old when he painted the portrait of Spender in 1940 - not that the skill with which he caught him on canvas reveals the tenderness of his age. Spender, last of the generation of 1930s English poets, was 31 at the time and, despite the gap in age, the two men were great friends, affording Freud an advantage that he appreciated. “If you don’t know them, it can only be like a travel book,” he said a year after painting Spender....
SOURCE: Telegraph (8-22-08)
He used his billions to fund a Palestinian terror organisation which ordered Kennedy's murder, according to a theory advanced in a book, Nemesis, by Peter Evans, which has provided the source material for a play which opens next month.
Aristo, starring Robert Lindsay as Onassis, is written by Martin Sherman and opens at the Chichester Theatre.
It is the story of Onassis's final years, and his relationships with a string of beautiful women, among them Kennedy and opera star Maria Callas...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-22-08)
One of the canvases is Le Moulin de la Galette, a Picasso painted in 1900 that, unlike the artist's later works, appears to ape the French Impressionists with its colourful depiction of dancing couples in fin de siècle top hats and flowing dresses at a lamp-lit venue somewhere in or near Paris. The other is Boy Leading A Horse, painted just six years later. This work, sparsely executed in tones of black, grey and brown, already betrays the radically different sculptured style that was later to become Picasso's hallmark.
Before Adolf Hitler was swept to power in Germany, the two...
SOURCE: Tim Lacy at http://history-and-education.blogspot.com (8-19-08)
I should've, however, also opened a discussion for adding to Yahoo's list of ten. One of my post's commenters, Russ R, thought along these lines. He brought up Amistad---not so much, I believe, because the movie is horribly bad as history, but because he wanted to teach the history actually presented in the film in the best way possible. I offered some tips on how I've taught Amistad: namely, using an article that approaches the topic from the less familiar angle of maritime law.
SOURCE: Times (8-22-08)
The recordings were made by the late actor, comedian and broadcaster Bernard Braden during more than 350 meetings with the famous faces of the 1960s.
His conversations with Robert Maxwell, Cilla Black, Lulu and Quentin Crisp have now been edited into an hour-long programme that will be shown on Five this autumn.
1968 Unseen also features new interviews with some of those originally filmed by Braden. Ben Gale, Five's director of programmes, said: “It's a fascinating insight into one of the pivotal years of the 20th century and still resonates today.”
SOURCE: Eric Alterman in Media Matters (8-21-08)
Politico has a decided to return to that messy affair, asking at the top of their website today:"Who was blocking 'The Path to 9/11'?" Jeffrey Ressner writes of the"Disney censorship fiasco" around that documentary, asserting in his lead that ABC cut scenes and shelved a DVD"after complaints...
SOURCE: Guardian (8-21-08)
The film's hero, Balian (a disastrously miscast Orlando Bloom), is a composite of two real-life brothers, Balian and Baldwin of Ibelin. In 1184, he sails for the Holy Land, but a storm wrecks his ship. Washed up on a Syrian beach, he makes for a watering hole. Two Arabs ride up, and there's a macho standoff. This plotline has nothing to do with the Crusades, but it is stolen shamelessly from Lawrence of Arabia. Almost seven and a half centuries out. Not a promising start.
In Jerusalem, King Baldwin IV (Edward Norton) is busy dying of leprosy. He's wearing a silver mask that makes him look a bit like the Green...
SOURCE: NYT (8-21-08)
Three weeks ago, to mark the 60th anniversary of John F. Kennedy International Airport, City Room posed a pop quiz, asking readers to identify people shown arriving on the tarmac with fanfare in four photographs supplied by the Port Authority, which runs the airport.
The Port Authority’s archives were mostly destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, but based on its preliminary identifications...
SOURCE: Sky News (8-20-08)
Mark David Chapman told parole officials during his latest bid for release from prison that he has come to realise the seriousness of what he did when he shot the music star outside his Manhattan apartment building on December 8, 1980.
He was denied parole for the fifth time "due to concern for the public safety and welfare" after being interviewed by a panel on August 12 .
In transcripts of the hearing which have now been published, Chapman said he had come to understand how his actions affected not only Lennon, but his wife, children and anyone who knew him.
SOURCE: Itn.co.uk (8-20-08)
The 1962 agreement with their manager Brian Epstein was signed by John Lennon, Ringo Starr and the dads of both Paul McCartney and George Harrison's - because the pair were both under 21.
Ted Owen, Managing Director of The Fame Bureau, said: "This is sort of equivalent to a peace deal or something. It's one of the big, big contracts in history as far as social, cultural, political changes that came from this group being together."
Originally drafted on January 24, 1962, Epstein refused to sign the document until he'd kept his word to the Fab Four of securing them a number one hit and a record deal, according to Owen.
Epstein finally filled in the contract on October 1, 1962 and the document up for auction is the manager's own personal copy.
Also on offer at the music memorabilia sale is John Lennon's lyrics to Sexy Sadie. Hand-...
SOURCE: Guardian (8-21-08)
The BBC is set to unveil its plans for the new version, which will star Spooks actor Rupert Penry-Jones, today before filming begins in Scotland next month.
An instant hit on its publication in 1915, John Buchan's novel features a restless adventurer, Richard Hannay, who meets a man who claims to be a spy. When he finds the man murdered in his flat, Hannay flees for Scotland, where he becomes entangled in a conspiracy which not only threatens his life but could lead to an invasion of Great Britain.
The BBC said the new version would be closer to the book than Hitchcock's 1935 film version starring Robert Donat.
SOURCE: Lloyd Billingsley at frontpagemag.com (8-20-08)
At the opening of the United Nations on June 26, 1945, U.S. Secretary of State Edward Stettinius delivered a speech he didn’t write. The writer was Dalton Trumbo, a highly paid Hollywood screenwriter and Stalinist. How did a scribe like Dalton Trumbo score that kind of a gig? That’s an interesting question but nobody will find out from Trumbo, the documentary from Samuel Goldwyn films.
It’s the latest whitewash of a blacklist victim, One of the Hollywood Ten, cast as an innocent liberal persecuted only for his idealism and dedication to American principles. In past treatments of Trumbo, one could hear the sound of a barrel being scraped. Here the barrel gets hosed out and sanitized against anything that might raise questions about the simplistic black...
SOURCE: Bloomberg News (8-18-08)
Gratitude is one half of the message. The other is: Can we have the remaining 1 million works back now too, please?
Ever since reunification in 1990, Germany has been gently pressuring Russia for the return of the art, with few results. Many Russians, including museum directors, view the booty as legitimate compensation for Soviet treasures looted or destroyed by Hitler's troops. Under Russian law, German art taken by Stalin's Soviet Trophy Commission is Russian state property.
It's safe to assume that with conflict in Georgia to watch, the Russian authorities are paying scant attention to the first of the nine planned shows. Yet ``Fifty Years of Loss and Return'' at Sanssouci, the summer palace commissioned by Frederick the Great in Potsdam, offers...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-17-08)
Just before 1pm on a boiling hot day in 1944, a 10-year-old boy sat down to lunch at a grand country house in the hills near Stuttgart. An earnest young man, and the heir to one of Germany's most noble families, Berthold von Stauffenberg was in awe of the Nazi regime and talked excitedly about joining the Hitler Youth. But, 800 miles away, his father, Claus, had other plans. A colonel and a trusted member of the Führer's inner circle, he was, at that precise moment, trying to kill Hitler with a briefcase full of explosives. 'It was the closest anyone came to killing him,' says Berthold, now 74 and a fierce...
SOURCE: History Today (8-19-08)
SOURCE: History Today (8-19-08)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-19-08)
Joanna Wood said the love story involved her great aunt, Roberta Maioni, who was a maid travelling first class on the Titanic's maiden voyage in 1912, and a young ship's steward who died as the liner sank.
During the voyage, 21-year-old Roberta is believed to have fallen in love with the young employee and when the Titanic struck an iceberg he gave her his lifejacket and helped her into a lifeboat.
As a final gesture he pressed his White Star brooch into Roberta's hand, leaving her with a lasting memento. In the film version, directed by James Cameron, DiCaprio's character leaves his lover with a necklace before dying.
Roberta and her employer, Countess Lucy Rothes, were among those rescued by a nearby ship, Carpathia, and they travelled on to New York.
Her story was published in a newspaper in the 1920s, which her...
SOURCE: Fox News (8-19-08)
But in a rare case of self-censorship to preempt possible violent reaction by Muslims, one of the world's largest publishing houses pulled the plug on the book just before its release date.
Sherry Jones, author of The Jewel of Medina, said she received word from Random House Inc. that the book's release would be "postponed indefinitely." The decision came after copies of her book were sent to stores, her book tour was scheduled and her work of fiction was accepted by the Book of the Month Club (it was scheduled to be in the August selection).