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: AP (10-25-08)
Now, a California company is bringing the iconic aircraft back to the United States, with plans to offer aerial tours of the San Francisco Bay area in a newly built zeppelin. It's one of just three in the world; the others are in Germany and Japan.
Airship Ventures Inc.'s zeppelin arrived in the Bay Area on Saturday, passing over the Golden Gate Bridge en route to its new home at Moffett Field, a former naval air station in Mountain View, about 40 miles south of San Francisco.
Fifteen feet longer than a Boeing 747, the 246-foot-long Zeppelin NT (New Technology) was built in Hamburg, Germany, and transported by container ship to Beaumont, Texas, before a cross-country flight to California.
Though they may look like blimps, zeppelins have rigid internal frames that are covered with a...
SOURCE: Slate (10-24-08)
James Earl Jones uses his commanding, paternal, universally presentable voice in the title role—a harbinger of baritones to come. Notably, the job of adapting Irving Wallace's novel went to Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling. Black presidents have most often existed in science-fiction scenarios, lending a futuristic tint to the proceedings. Next summer, Danny Glover will play one President Wilson in 2012, Roland Emmerich's forthcoming special-effects spectacular.
What might any of this mean for Barack Obama? Beats me. But the next two weeks...
SOURCE: AP (10-24-08)
The Apollo Theater Oral History Project will feature interviews with performers as well as cultural figures and politicians who helped make Harlem one of the nation's most vibrant communities.
Planned as part of the landmark theater's 75th anniversary in 2009, the project is scheduled to be completed in 2010 and will include an online component. The audio and video archive will be housed at Columbia and open to the public a year later.
"We want to document the Apollo's legacy and its place in American popular culture and African-American history and music," said foundation president Jonelle Procope. "It allows us to begin talking to a range of people who were connected to the Apollo and its history."
SOURCE: National Parks Traveler Online (10-24-08)
A new exhibit opening this weekend at Carlsbad Caverns National Park will give the public its first look at a different part of the natural world through the eyes of Ansel Adams, along with work by other talented photographers and artists.
It's fitting that this exhibit will be located at Carlsbad, because the underground wonders of this park are to caves what the National Gallery is to art. The park celebrates its 85th anniversary on October 25, 2008, with a full day of special events. This is a birthday where the gifts will last long after the candles have been blown out—and the public is the recipient of thesepresents.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-24-08)
Winkler, still having some trouble with his pronunciation, tells Howard this election is everyone's chance to right a wr-wr-wrong.
Stepping back out of character, Howard says he and Winkler returned to their television roots to urge support for Mr Obama and "really think through this important election."
The video is the latest clip from FunnyOrDie.com, which has made news this election season by putting Hollywood celebrities in funny political videos. The site, which was co-founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, has produced popular videos featuring Paris Hilton in a mock campaign ad and Gina Gershon as Sarah Palin.
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (10-23-08)
Foster and his London firm, Foster & Partners, are to create a new circulation library in a space below the library's Rose Reading Room and overlooking Bryant Park that now houses seven levels of stacks and a basement.
"It's the greatest project ever," Foster said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.
The area, which now measures 1.25 million cubic feet, will be completely reconfigured, with new rooms for children and teenagers and numerous computer work stations. The stacks are to move to an existing three-acre storage area beneath Bryant Park that is also to be renovated. Work is expected to be completed by 2013.
SOURCE: BBC (10-25-08)
The Grade I listed Garrick's Villa in south-west London was badly damaged in the blaze, which was attended by 70 firefighters.
Built in the Middle Ages, the building was converted into apartments in 1969.
English Heritage said its structural engineers would assess the damage as soon as it was safe.
The entire roof of the villa in Hampton Court Road collapsed in the fire.
SOURCE: Sky News (10-23-08)
The historian stumbled on the footage, 104 years after it was filmed, while doing a routine search in the Australian National Film Archive.
He was not expecting to find anything of merit.
"You go along to an archive and you say: 'Show me your rubbish, show me the stuff you've never identified'," he tells me as the film plays on the screen in front of us.
"Often it is just rubbish, or it's parts, bits and pieces of things that you can't really make sense of. It's very rare to find something no one has really identified before.
"Maybe once or twice in a lifetime."
The 12-minute silent documentary, called Living London, was made by American film pioneer Charles Urban.
In it we see famous landmarks like Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace surrounded by horse-...
SOURCE: Times (UK) (10-23-08)
The Crowning of the Virgin is to be given on long-term loan to the national gallery of Greece, said Anthony Papadimitriou, the foundation's chairman.
The 17th-century painting was bought from an unidentified American art dealer in the summer. “We were informed the painting was for sale and acted quickly . . . because very few El Greco works are sold on the market,” Mr Papadimitriou said. He declined to say how much was paid.
The piece was originally found among El Greco's belongings when he died in 1614 and was then owned by several collectors, including Marcos, before it was seized and auctioned by the US Government about 12 years ago, said Marina Lambraki-Plaka, the director of the national gallery...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-23-08)
The London public has just four weeks to view the painting, which is on loan from the National Gallery of Scotland.
The galleries need to raise £50 million by New Year's Eve to buy the mid-16th century work from the Duke of Sutherland to prevent it being sold abroad. That is one third of its estimated value on the open market.
But to date only £1 million has been publicly pledged, from the charity the Art Fund. The galleries have decided to keep the true state of fundraising to themselves...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-22-08)
John Everett Millais sets out to charm and Dante Gabriel Rossetti to seduce, but William Holman Hunt is more powerful than either because he doesn't care whether you like his pictures or not.
As eminent a Victorian in his way as Florence Nightingale or Thomas Carlyle, Hunt didn't know how to compromise and he didn't do decorative. To my mind, he was one of the most distinguished British painters who ever lived, and yet, paradoxically, I find most of his later paintings positively repellent. So what happened?
Born in London in 1827 and trained in the Royal Academy Schools, he came of age at the tail end of the Romantic movement and during a time when revolutionary fervour was sweeping through Europe.
Here in Britain, progressive young artists expressed...
SOURCE: Michael J. Socolow in the Chronicle of Higher Ed (10-24-08)
Frank Stanton sensed trouble. Sitting in his living room on the night of October 30, 1938, the young CBS executive tuned in to catch Orson Welles's adaptation of H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds. The program sounded crisp and engaging — but a bit too realistic. Stanton grabbed his coat and headed back to CBS' headquarters on Madison Avenue. Pushing his way through chaotic hallways jammed with reporters, police, and network employees, he reached his desk and telephoned his friend Paul Lazarsfeld.
Stanton and the sociologist Lazarsfeld set out to measure the panic as quickly and accurately as possible before it subsided. Their basic results would spur a remarkable conversation that reverberates 70 years later in social...
According to the film, the country is about to fall off a cliff if the budget and the economy continue
on their current course. While there are certainly many grounds to be concerned about the country’s
economic condition, the view presented in IOUSA is one-sided and misleading.
This analysis puts many of the issues raised in the movie in a broader context and features a minuteby-
minute viewer’s guide of inaccurate or misleading statements in the film. It is important that the
public be well informed about economic issues and not allow itself to be railroaded into illconsidered
There are seven key points that the public must understand in order to fully grasp the issues raised
in the film:
1) The national debt is not literally a generational transfer. This is easy to see because everyone who...
SOURCE: Ella Taylor in the Village Voice (10-20-08)
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (10-21-08)
In fact the very definition of the word byzantine.
This effort to bring Byzantium to Britain culminates in the opening Saturday of a major exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. And on Tuesday, with four days remaining before the official opening, the trials had not ended.
"This was one of the most complicated and difficult exhibitions we have had to put together in recent years," said Adrian Locke, the Royal Academy's acting director of exhibitions.
Institutions in Russia, Ukraine, Greece and Egypt did not easily give up their treasures for loans. And they were cautious about the implications of Britain's recent legislation granting institutional loans immunity from seizure.
It's been quite a process in order to get some of these objects here, and multi visits and...
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (10-21-08)
Screens would have been set up in public places, including in laundries so housewives could tune in, according to a documentary based on papers and tapes found in his bunker.
When the Allies overran Germany, engineers were on the point of a technological breakthrough to allow TV pictures to be transmitted to screens and sound to radio receivers.
They had also recorded programmes on news, sport and education.
Prototype programmes included Family Chronicles: An Evening With Hans And Gelli, an early reality TV show depicting the wholesome Aryan life of a young German couple for the rest of the population to model themselves on.
Another plan was to show footage of executions of traitors to the Nazis.
The plans first came to light in 1945, when boxes with tapes were found in the ruins of...
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (10-22-08)
Dorothy Phillips, 77, from Clandown, near Bath, took Avon and Somerset Police to court three times over claims the photo, which they seized during an investigation connected to her son.
Mrs Phillips valued the photo at £10,000 and claims it faded while it was held at Bath police station as evidence.
During the search of her house in November 2006 officers confiscated the photograph along with some Romanov cufflinks, flags and books on SS members...
SOURCE: WaPo (10-19-08)
Visitors could view it up close. Passersby could glimpse it from the street 24 hours a day. And the coat, its lining embroidered with the phrase "One Country, One Destiny," would be a moving symbol of the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth next year.
But now some textile conservators are worried that the hallowed garment might be too fragile to return to full-time display when the theater reopens in February, and instead ought to be sheltered for the good of posterity.
Light and gravity can doom historic clothing, they say. And the Brooks Brothers coat, like other Lincoln garments, had been on almost continuous display from the time they were acquired in 1968 until Ford's was closed for...
SOURCE: Newstatesman (10-16-08)
The exhibition contains a series of legal papers, manuscripts and other artefacts that have changed the course of history. These aren't just dusty old documents; all have been subject to fierce debate and many have stirred civil unrest. By exploring the history of each one, the display introduces a host of courageous people who have fought for our fundamental rights and freedoms in Britain over the centuries.
The narrative of this long battle is told ima ginatively and...
SOURCE: Robert Douglas-Fairhurst in the Telegraph (UK) (10-21-08)
In all their painful, joyful, irrepressible life, his novels offer us glimpses of a world we think we have lost - a period of swirling fog and flickering gaslamps.
But the closer we get to this world, the more we start to recognise: the scramble for credit, financial scandal, panic. More recent novelists have attempted to write about the workings of international finance.
Saul Bellow's description of market speculation in Seize the Day or Don DeLillo's account of a financial meltdown seen through the eyes of a currency trader in Cosmopolis are compelling in their own way.
But there are good reasons why it is Dickens to whom we should now return. The centre around which the Victorian age...