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) (11-4-08)
It fetched 38.2 million dollars (£24.3m), including the buyer's premium, and broke the existing Munch record of 30.8 million dollars (£19.6m), which was set by Girls on a Bridge in May, a Sotheby's spokesman said.
He added that the work represented love, sex and death" and that the "emotionally charged image numbers among the most iconic compositions in art history".
It was also the subject of controversy when it was first unveiled, fuelling early-20th century fears about women's liberation.
Simon Shaw, senior vice president and head of Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art department in New York, said: "Few paintings pack as hard a punch as Munch's Vampire.
"Like The Scream, it distills extraordinarily intense...
SOURCE: BBC (11-4-08)
The pencil drawing of the bear dipping a paw in a honey pot is being sold at Bonhams auction rooms in London by the family of the artist, EH Shepard.
A specialist at Bonhams said it will appeal to five generations of readers.
The sale on Tuesday also includes a first sketch for Kenneth Grahame's story The Wind in the Willows.
The pencil drawing shows Rat and Mole having a picnic on a river bank, and is expected to make around £10,000...
SOURCE: AP (11-3-08)
Ricci's "The Vision of St. Bruno" will be offered by Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries on Nov. 20. Heritage officials say the painting has been conservatively estimated to fetch at least $600,000.
The family that owns the work asked Heritage chairman of fine arts Edmund Pillsbury a year ago to take a look at a painting they had stored in a warehouse. They thought it could be a Ricci, but Pillsbury was skeptical.
SOURCE: NYT (11-2-08)
Her husband, Dr. Lonnie Hammargren, built Big Bertha, a black 10-foot-tall model locomotive, in their backyard from a disparate collection of parts: a rail car believed to have brought Howard Hughes to Las Vegas, part of a road girder, a piece of an 1890 steam tractor, a boiler “from something entirely different, I can’t remember what,” Dr. Hammargren said. The wheels were from castoff parts of old CAT scan machines.
“Oh, I just hate it,” Mrs. Hammargren said. “It’s awful to look at.”
That she wants Big Bertha gone is not surprising. What is astonishing is that Big Bertha is all that earns her wrath when nearly every inch of her vast home is overwhelmed by thousands of other bits of memorabilia, collections, bizarre shop projects and unadulterated junk.
The endless displays, which leave nary an inch of floor space inside...
SOURCE: Slate (11-3-08)
Thanks to his son Morty, Paulsen is running for president this year from the grave. Franken and humorist Dave Barry have also gotten significant book-tour mileage in the past by declaring themselves Oval Office hopefuls. Beyond leveraging a fake political campaign for personal career advancement, the tactic is also a proven way to move products. More than a year before Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was branded "Caribou Barbie,...
SOURCE: CNN (11-3-08)
He also made the president a butt of jokes, which was intentional, Chase told CNN in an interview.
"[Ford] was a sweet man, a terrific man -- [we] became good friends after, but ... he just tripped over things a lot," he said."It's not that I can imitate him so much that I can do a lot of physical comedy and I just made it, I just went after him. And ... obviously my leanings were Democratic and I wanted [Jimmy] Carter in and I wanted [Ford] out, and I figured look, we're reaching millions of people every weekend, why not do it."
SOURCE: NYT (11-1-08)
Robert Jordan is also honorable, steadfast, selfless, determined, stoic, generous, tolerant, courageous, conscientious, forgiving, altruistic, tender, wise, loyal, independent, taciturn, disciplined, dutiful, patient, exacting, empathetic, idealistic, introspective, charismatic and handsome. No wonder the beautiful Maria falls for him the first time she sees him, and the earth moves beneath the two the first time they make love.
Robert Jordan is the hero of Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” an American fighting Franco’s Fascists in the Spanish Civil War. And despite his radical roots, he’s a literary sensation during...
SOURCE: NYT (10-31-08)
He considered bungee jumping and mountain climbing, he said not long ago from his home in London. But he chose something even riskier. He wrote a play about the landmark 1977 television interviews that David Frost conducted with Richard M. Nixon. Relying on the accounts of participants and fictionalizing here and there for effect, he made sure to write it, he said, “in a way that breaks every single rule of screenwriting.”
“Frost/Nixon” was picked up by the small but prestigious Donmar Warehouse, where the director Michael Grandage and the designer Christopher Oram incorporated onstage video screens to allow close-ups of Michael Sheen’s unctuous, eager-beaver Frost and Frank Langella’s...
SOURCE: Times (UK) (10-31-08)
Kurylenko, the Ukrainian actress who plays Bond's sidekick in Quantum of Solace, has been condemned by the Communist Party of St Petersburg for aiding “the killer of hundreds of Soviet people and their allies”. Apparently oblivious to Bond's fictional nature, it accused her of assisting “a man who worked for decades under the orders of Thatcher and Reagan to destroy the USSR”.
In an appeal to the actress on its website, the party said: “The Soviet Union educated you, cared for you and brought you up for free but no one suspected that you would commit this act of intellectual and moral betrayal.”
It is not the first time the Communists of St Petersburg — or Leningrad, as they would rather it be called — have taken aim at perfidious Western films. Earlier this year they claimed that the film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal...
SOURCE: Times (UK) (11-2-08)
What is so enjoyable about the collection is its capacity to surprise. It includes the only known recording of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, talking a little about Holmes but...
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (11-1-08)
Now a miniature theatre, used by a troupe of amateur actors to create the backdrops for plays of the author's works, is up for auction in Hardy's home town - much to the marvel of one of the troupe's original players, who is now 102.
The Hardy Players, who performed between 1908 and 1928, used the 9.5 x 9.5in model theatre to test out the technical details of set designs before they were built full size in Dorchester's Corn Exchange. Hardy, who initially viewed the group with scepticism, became actively involved in productions in later years and the plays, often performed for illiterate audiences, became an important medium. Amy Brenan, an auctioneer and valuer for Duke's auctioneers in Dorchester, said the theatre was part of the process that brought Hardy's works to the very people he tried to capture in...
SOURCE: Salon (11-1-08)
In the next sequence, again filmed (as far as I can see) in a single shot, we see an older woman puttering about her apartment. (It's Jeanne Moreau, arguably the greatest of all French actresses.) She's cooking but grows distracted and looks out the window. Returning to the stove, she finds she has burned a pot of beans, scalds her hand on the pot and mutters about it. She has the radio on, and it's...
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed (11-7-08)
If, that is, you believe that Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley really was the genius behind one of our most enduring tales of existential horror. Almost from the moment that it was published anonymously on New Year's Day 1818, Frankenstein had readers and critics arguing over its origins. Early rumor held that it wasn't Mary Shelley but her husband, the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who deserved the credit. (Or the blame; some early readers were outraged by...