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: ChinaView (11-26-08)
Li Zhanyang, a researcher with Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, said in an interview with Xinhua on Wednesday.
Li has been leading an eight-member archaeological team doing excavation and related research on lake-based ruins in Xuchang, central China's Henan Province, in recent years.
The Xuchang ruins made headlines in foreign media in January when State Administration of Cultural Heritage announced that Chinese archaeologists had found a human skull dating back at least 80,000 years in the ruins last December.
According to Li, this month, their excavation team found from the soil strata dating back 15,000 years, or the late Paleolithic Era, at the Xuchang ruins more than 20 pieces of hematite, one of iron oxides commonly used as a dyestuff, alongside three dozen thin...
SOURCE: Times (UK) (11-29-08)
“By the time I arrived,” he later wrote, “Batista had fled. Fidel was still hundreds of miles away, although nobody knew exactly where. Che Guevara was on his way to Havana and nobody seemed to be in charge… There was a lot of firing. You could not tell who was shooting at whom. People appeared in the streets...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-29-08)
“The David is incomparably more beautiful now than ever before, even though it would seem impossible,” said Beatrice Paolozzi Strozzi, director of the Bargello Museum that hosts the statue.
“We could only intervene now with the newest laser techniques; even the most delicate mechanical procedure would have hurt it,” she said.
The 200,000 euro restoration also involved the polishing of a thin layer of gold that adds lustre to the statue. Donatello’s David is regarded as crucial to the history of Western art because it was the first free-standing bronze nude to be created since the time of the Greeks and Romans.
It created a sensation when it was created, probably in the 1440s. It is considered one of the most important Renaissance sculptures, ranking alongside...
SOURCE: BBC (11-29-08)
"Hang on lads, I've got a great idea," says Sir Michael's character, Charlie Croker... and then the credits roll.
The star says he would have saved them by "switching on the engine", burning off petrol until it righted itself.
"I crawl up, switch on the engine and stay there for four hours until all the petrol runs out," he said.
"The van bounces back up so we can all get out, but then the gold goes over."
"There are a load of Corsican Mafia at the bottom watching the whole thing with binoculars. They grab the gold, and then the sequel is us chasing it."
Sir Michael first revealed his version of the events in a BBC One documentary marking his 70th birthday, but gave fuller details at the 2008 Visit London...
SOURCE: WSJ (11-28-08)
WSJ: You first played Nixon when "Frost/Nixon" opened in London in August 2006 and reprised the role on Broadway and for the film in 2007. Was it hard letting go of the character?
Mr. Langella: No -- I liked Richard Nixon and I liked playing him. I don't think he'll ever be...
SOURCE: AFP (11-27-08)
Culture Minister Christine Albanel presented "Le mur rose de l'hopital d'Ajaccio" (The Pink Wall at Ajaccio Hospital), painted by French master Henri Matisse in 1898, to the Israeli medical aid organisation Magen David Adom.
The organisation has been identified as the heir to the collection of Harry Fuld Jr, whose father Harry Fuld, owner of a telephone manufacturing company, purchased the painting in Frankfurt in 1914.
Fuld inherited the collection after his father died in 1932 but left it behind when he fled Germany in 1937.
SOURCE: AP (11-26-08)
The iconic movie items are for sale as part of Profiles in History's Hollywood auction Dec. 11 in Calabasas, Calif.
SOURCE: Tehran Times (11-27-08)
The idea for holding the exhibit was proposed to the artists a few months ago and they have assembled the works exclusively for the show.
Works by Abbas Kiarostami, Parviz Tanavoli, Parviz Kalantari, Gholam-Hossein Nami, Farideh Lashaii, Golnaz Fat’hi, Bahram Dabiri, Kurosh Shishegaran, and several other artists are among the items on display at the showcase.
A photo by Iran’s multimedia artist Kiarostami is one the fascinating works of the show. He has created a scene depicting Van Gogh putting brush strokes on a painting in the wheat field, wherein he is believed to have shot himself.
Kiarostami has used a kind of printing technique to make the photo resemble a painting.
The title of the exhibition refers...
SOURCE: Christopher Orr in the New Republic (11-25-08)
Moreover, Milk is, at least to those like myself who share its political goals, a worthwhile movie: an introduction to a crucial figure in the gay rights movement for millions of Americans who've never heard of him; a testament to how far gay rights have come in just 30 years; and a reminder of the focus and fortitude that further progress will require. The fact that one of its central events, the push to enact controversial Prop 6--which would have banned openly...
SOURCE: Salon (11-25-08)
Hitler's legacy is so repugnant that even his...
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (11-26-08)
After four years of detective work, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) announced yesterday that it had identified Borgia as the subject of a mystery painting held in its collection for more than four decades. The oval portrait is believed to be the work of Dosso Dossi (1486-1542), a contemporary of Titian, Raphael and Michelangelo, and to have been painted between 1515 and 1520.
SOURCE: David Edelstein in New York mag. (11-23-08)
Milk is a hagiography, but there’s nothing wrong with that if you believe, as director Gus Van...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-26-08)
It was bought by the woman's son for £10,500 in 2006 along with a collection of 23 of Hitler's artwork in an auction condemned as "'grotesque" by Jewish leaders.
The anonymous buyer fought off bidders from across the world for the 9ins by 11.5ins painting 'The Church of Preux-au-Bois' and later gave it to his mother.
But the woman, who lives in Hampshire, decided she didn't want the picture and sold it yesterday auctioned it at Jeffreys Auctions in Lostwithiel, Cornwall.
Despite being bought for £10,500 two years ago it is expected to fetch as little as £3,000 in it is re-sold because of the credit crunch.
Ian Morris, 46, head auctioneer, said the seller of the painting had decided to auction the piece because she was...
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (11-26-08)
But Lucrezia Borgia’s face has always remained shrouded in myth and mystery. But an art historian has claimed to have solved the puzzle.
A painting owned by the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia has been identified as a portrait of the notorious Italian Renaissance noblewoman painted by the artist Dosso Dossi.
The National Gallery of Victoria paid £8,000 for the painting (right) in London in 1963. Back then it was known only as ‘Portrait of a Youth by an unknown northern Italian painter’.
Now, in the words of gallery director Gerard Vaughan, it is worth ‘many, many millions’.
It took two years of scientific analysis and research in Italy, Australia and the U.S. for the gallery’s art curator Carl Villis to confirm that the person gazing sullenly from the painting was Lucrezia Borgia, painted by Giovanni di Niccolo de Luteri, better known as Dosso...
SOURCE: International Herald Tribune (11-25-08)
About eight kilometers, or five miles, from Ypres, in a quiet courtyard in the village of Poperinge, stands a pole of the sort used to support the twining vines of hops, a common local crop. It is about the height of a man. Just behind it is a steel plaque engraved with a verse from Rudyard Kipling: "I could not look on death, which being known, men led me to him, blindfold and alone."
As the seemingly endless war dragged on, desertion and mutinies became a problem. To combat the problem, commanders began tying deserters and mutinous troops to...
SOURCE: A.O. Scott in the NYT (11-21-08)
A minor incursion of this sort is an annual Oscar-season tradition, but 2008 offers an abundance of peaked caps and riding breeches, lightning-bolt collar pins and swastika armbands, as an unusually large cadre of prominent actors assumes the burden of embodying the most profound and consequential evil of the recent past.
David Thewlis, playing a death camp commandant in “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” will be joined by Willem Dafoe, who takes on a similar role in “Adam Resurrected,” Paul Schrader’s new film. In “The Reader,” directed by Stephen Daldry and based on Bernhard Schlink’s best-selling novel of the same name, Kate Winslet plays a former concentration camp guard tried for war crimes. Tom Cruise, the star of Bryan Singer’s “Valkyrie,” wears the uniform of the Third Reich...
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (11-25-08)
The proposed design takes the form of a sequence of origami-like, zigzag forms that somehow manage to conjure an image of some ultra-modern Bedouin tent hunkered down in the desert dunes of north Africa. These are early days, yet the form of the building does appear to be appropriate to its setting and makes a welcome contrast to the welter of air-conditioned concrete or steel-framed hotels, offices and government towers that stretch along the old Barbary Coast today.
Any attempt to document the history of conflict in Libya is bound to be complicated by the sheer...
SOURCE: AP (11-24-08)
Mohammed Zakaria Ghoneim deposited the 3,200-year-old relic in a warehouse at Saqqara, where he meticulously documented his discovery. Seven years later, in 1959, Egyptian records show it was still in the same storeroom.
What happened to the burial mask of Ka Nefer Nefer in the four decades that followed is a mystery.
It resurfaced in 1998 when the St. Louis Art Museum in Missouri acquired it. And now it is at the center of an acrimonious fight in the antiquities world.
The case lays bare the complexities involved in growing efforts by Egypt and other countries to reclaim artifacts stolen or looted from their ancient civilizations...
SOURCE: History Today (11-24-08)
Inventories from 1539 have revealed that the Scottish Royal Collection in the sixteenth century included a set of tapestries entitled ‘the historie of the unicorne’. The tapestries are being copied from a similar set from the Lower Countries which date from 1495 to 1505 on display in the Cloisters Museum at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art...
SOURCE: NY Daily News (11-24-08)
It's a lot more than that.
Built on extensive interviews with historians and surviving children of several plotters, "Valkyrie: The Plot to Kill Hitler" probes the real lives of the officers who gambled they could assassinate Hitler and lost.