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: Telegraph (UK) (9-21-08)
Over the next few days, the doors remained shut to the public while the paintings were removed from the walls and painstakingly loaded onto vehicles in conditions of strict secrecy. Vans bearing oddly shaped loads drove through the streets of London towards goods stations, where the crates were transferred to trains for their journey from London. About 1,800 works earmarked for evacuation had left London by 2 September, the day before war was declared.
When zeppelin raids had threatened London in the First World War, National Gallery works had been sheltered in the Aldwych tunnel of the Underground. It was recognised that more wide-ranging...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-20-08)
It was originally painted for a reception held at the Royal Academy of Arts to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Sir Peter, famous for his rock album covers - from the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's to Stop the Clocks by Oasis - as well as his vivid paintings and collages of seemingly-everyday scenes and objects, was awarded a knighthood for his services to art in the same year...
SOURCE: Observer (UK) (9-21-08)
The story of the attempt by 60 officers to break out of Holzminden camp during the First World War has long been eclipsed by films about PoWs set in the Nazi era, such as The Colditz Story and The Great Escape, starring McQueen, James Garner and Richard Attenborough as captives at Stalag Luft III. From this week, however, the audacious bid for freedom will be featured in the Imperial War Museum London's show 'In Memoriam: Remembering the Great War', marking the 90th anniversary of the armistice on 11 November.
'Everybody's heard of The Great Escape, but it will surprise our visitors to see that similar escape attempts took...
SOURCE: Times (UK) (9-19-08)
Antonio Borri, professor of construction engineering at Perugia University and part of the team monitoring the statue's state of conservation, said that cracks which been repaired during a 2004 restoration marking the 500th anniversary of the statue's creation had re-appeared.
A seminar in Florence tomorrow will discuss the options for saving the statue, which is kept at the Galleria dell Accademia and attracts more than a million people a year. These include enclosing it in a protective covering to stop further deterioration and even closing it to the public altogether for a period.
Professor Borri, who is a Florentine, said that the cracks had "re-opened one by one. David is coming apart". He said the blame lay with traffic vibrations and the pressure of thousands of daily...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-20-08)
The article, entitled If I Were Prime Minister, was written for The Spectator in 1959. It also includes a suggestion to turn the Isle of Wight into a louche theme park with casinos and the most luxurious brothels in the world.
According to James Taylor, the curator of the Imperial War Museum exhibition, the slightly tongue-in-cheek article is interesting for the glimpse it gives of Fleming’s personal outlook.
"He didn’t put himself about and he was rather embarrassed by what we now call celebrity. Although he was still a journalist, Bond was his real mouthpiece; a Victorian clubland hero projected into the modern world.
"This article echoes everything we know about Fleming. On the one hand he’s very traditional; on the other he is incredibly modern in his views, particularly in his attitude to sex....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-12-08)
If Empire sounds like a lot to chew on, the series’ writer and presenter, Cambridge historian David Reynolds (the presenter of BBC4’s impressive Summits documentary series earlier this year), thinks not. “You can listen to a single programme and I hope get something out of it,” he says. Each programme will focus on a self-contained story, be it about the wife of US Founding...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-19-08)
Viscount Linley included the portrait in an auction of his mother's possessions at Christie's in 2006, arguing that he needed to meet a £3 million inheritance tax bill following her death in 2002.
The Royal Family were said to be saddened at the prospect of losing the painting, a favourite of the Queen.
It was sold for £680,000, three times its original estimate. However, it later emerged that Viscount Linley was the anonymous bidder, buying back the portrait when it became apparent that the sale had far exceeded expectations by raising a total of £14 million.
He has lent it to the National Portrait Gallery, where it will be on public display until March 2009 alongside other images of Princess Margaret including photographs by Cecil Beaton and Norman Parkinson.
It was last exhibited at the National Museum of...
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (9-18-08)
The man responsible for the kitchen and everything else on show that day was Jack Masey, now 84 and sitting in the office of his...
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (9-18-08)
In short order, the office of Mayor Yuri Luzhkov announced that Bolshaya Kommunisticheskaya Ulitsa, or Big Communist Street, actually one of the prettiest, quietest and most well-preserved streets in Moscow, full of elegant pre-revolutionary mansions, is now Ulitsa Solzhenitsyna, or Solzhenitsyn Street.
Medvedev had neither set a deadline nor singled out a street, but as Izvestia, the former Soviet government newspaper that still has close ties to the Kremlin pointed out, the Russian capital is still full of place names representing the ideology Solzhenitsyn spent a lifetime railing against.
"Why not rename Leninsky Prospekt, or Shosse Entuziastov?"...
SOURCE: AP (9-18-08)
Ulrich Leisinger, head of research at the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, Austria, said there is no doubt that the single sheet was written by the composer.
"This is absolutely new," Leisinger said in a telephone interview. "We have new music here."
"His handwriting is absolutely clearly identifiable," he added. "There's no doubt that this is an original piece handwritten by Mozart."
The work, described as the preliminary draft of a musical composition, was found by a library in Nantes in western France as staff were going through its archives. Leisinger says the library contacted his foundation for help authenticating the work.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (9-17-08)
The dolls are among what the museum calls the "world's most comprehensive collection of Confederate artifacts," a trove valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars, according to Rawls, the museum's president and CEO.
But at any given time, only 10 percent to 15 percent of the museum's holdings are on display on the building's three floors. The rest remains tucked away in gray cabinets, boxes stacked high and, in the case of delicate flags, in clear, sealed containers designed to hold the ancient stitching in place.
In 2011, a portion of the museum collection is scheduled to go on the road, journeying to three historic Virginia sites as part of a plan to bring the artifacts of the U.S. Civil War...
SOURCE: NYT (9-17-08)
Hinged partly on the British historian Niall Ferguson’s controversial notion of “virtual,” or “counterfactual,” history — crudely, it didn’t happen, but it could have — the documentary embraces a view of Kennedy as a president more inclined toward peace than toward war. Divided into sections and illustrated with a wealth of archival material, including some of Kennedy’s lively, sometimes combative press conferences, the movie zips through one crisis...
SOURCE: NYT (9-16-08)
“Maybe now we can go on and we can quit being stuck, you know?” says Reggie Fluty, a local policewoman. She is one of the real-life characters whose words, collected on tape, make up the actors’ entire script.
Ms. Fluty was among 200 people interviewed in 1998 by the Tectonic Theater Project, a New York City company that created “The Laramie Project” shortly after Mr. Shepard was tied to a fence by two Laramie men, pistol-whipped and left to die in the frigid Wyoming night. And Ms. Fluty is among those whom the theater company is re-interviewing this week to explore whether Mr. Shepard has a legacy here on the high plains, 10 years later.
“Hurt’s hurt and pain’...
SOURCE: Spiegel Online (9-17-08)
Linz is taking on a lot. On New Year's Eve the Austrian city will kick off a three-day opening festival with fireworks and drum rolls, to celebrate its year as Europe's 2009 Capital of Culture. Under the direction of Martin Heller, it's planning an intensive program of exhibitions, concerts, festivals, theater performances and readings.
There is almost as great a desire to deal with the city's past as to highlight its great cultural traditions. Composer Anton Bruckner was the organist at Linz Cathedral, philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein went to school here and for 25 years ARS Electronica has been one of the most important festivals in the world for digital art.
However, there is also a dark side to the city's past. The idea of Linz as a...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-16-08)
Some 60 paintings and sculptures by the Modernist master, including some of his best known works, will comprise Picasso: Challenging the Past.
It will be the National Gallery's first ever exhibition dedicated to the artist, and the first major British exhibition on him since 2002.
Christopher Riopelle, curator of post 1800 paintings, said it would be "an examination of the dialogue between Picasso and the artists of the past."
The hope is to use Picasso's popularity to entice people to view the gallery's permanent collection.
But it is bound to be seen as a straightforward attempt to draw in the crowds with a 'blockbuster'.
Dr Nicholas Penny, its director, came into the post earlier this year arguing that it was staging "too many blockbuster exhibitions today, which show...
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (9-16-08)
Teachers dream of making a difference to their students' lives. It's part of the joy of teaching. Former students of Jones describe his experiment, known as The Wave, as a milestone in their lives.
During project week at Cubberley high school in northern California in April 1967, Jones began teaching his 10th-grade class the power of discipline, drilling them to sit properly and breathe correctly. He made them address him as Mr Jones, stand by their desks when answering questions, and chant slogans.
To his surprise, particularly against a backdrop of the "swinging sixties" and growing civil-...
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (9-17-08)
This walkthrough installation is Ed and Nancy Kienholz's work Hoerengracht - Dutch for "whores' canal" - which will take its place in the gallery next autumn.
The idea is to make connections with the Dutch 17th-century paintings in the gallery's collection, which, despite their appearance of gentility, are set in the brothels for which Amsterdam is famous. Paintings such as Jan Steen's Interior of an Inn, Schalcken's A Man Offering Gold and Coins to a Girl and De Hooch's Musical Party in a Courtyard will be hung near the entrance to the installation, which the Kienholzes created in the 1980s.
The New York Times has described the effect of Hoerengracht...
SOURCE: Telegraph (9-15-08)
Her grandson Mathew Prichard stumbled upon 27 of the half-hour long tapes in a dusty cardboard box as he cleaned out a storeroom in Greenway, the Georgian property overlooking the Dart estuary in Devon that Christie called "the loveliest place in the world".
The tapes, which nobody knew existed, are the raw material on which part of her autobiography was based.
Working alone at her own unhurried pace, the ageing Christie dictated the tapes on a Grundig Memorette machine in the mid 1960s.
Her rich, authoritative voice offers a wealth of insights into her life and how she developed her most beloved characters.
Among them is her description of Jane Marple - and how she partially based the genteel sleuth on her grandmother.
SOURCE: http://www.broadcastingcable.com (9-15-08)
The project reunites the network with the creative forces behind two of its former critical hit series—Simon created The Wire and Fontana created Oz—as well as the two writers themselves. Simon and Fontana have not collaborated since Fontana turned Simon's book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets into the cop drama Homicide for NBC.
"The chance to put another project on the boards with [Fontana]," Simon told B&C, "there's something psychically cool about that."
The would-be mini comes at a time when HBO has continued to find critical and viewership success with miniseries while struggling to mount new, enduring series hits. HBO posted a less-than-spectacular open for its most recent series debut, the heavily marketed vampire drama True Blood,...
SOURCE: Fox News (9-15-08)
But stand before this pair of lanes, in the same spot where bowlers have been lacing up since before World War I, and the strongest reaction you feel is captivation.
The lanes are real wood, not the synthetic wood of modern lanes, and it's so resilient it's never been changed since it was set in place 100 years ago. Pin boys reload the manual pin mechanism by hand, and numerous photos on the walls document the history of the nation's oldest bowling alley.
In a city that became synonymous with beer and bowling, the Holler House tavern and bowling alley has been an enduring landmark. Hundreds of former patrons returned to this working-class Milwaukee neighborhood on Saturday, the Holler House's 100th anniversary, to relieve a century of good times.
"I've bowled at other places but this was always the best place to...