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 (4-1-09)
The museum's experts determined the painting was the long-forgotten "Christus Consolator," which was painted by the Dutch-born, French-trained artist Ary Scheffer, one of the pre-eminent Romantic painters in Paris of the first half of the 19th century.
"Our own version of 'Antiques Roadshow,'" said museum director Kaywin Feldman.
Institute painting curator Patrick Noon called it an "extremely important historical and aesthetic object."
SOURCE: NYT (3-27-09)
Scholars do not know when Galileo built this particular telescope, or what he saw with it, but it still has its original optics. A brief audience with the telescope — under the stern gaze of Dr. Strano — gives you an idea of how hard it must have been for Galileo to be Galileo.
Squinting through the eyepiece as the tube lay on a table, hands gloved but careful not to actually touch the telescope, I found the field of view strikingly narrow. Down a tunnel of blackness all the light of the room was compressed into a blurry, fragile dot.
In order to accomplish high magnification on the planets, Galileo had to settle for seeing a very small slice of sky — about half...
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (4-1-09)
Tyson may long ago have lost the ability to live up to his self-acclaimed tag as "the baddest man on the planet", but he has seemingly found wit to replace his left hook. Tyson has previously put in two brief appearances as himself in fictional films directed by Toback: a hilarious cameo opposite Robert Downey Jr in hip-hop movie Black and White and a turn in 2004's When Will I Be Loved. Tyson, as he makes known in the documentary, is a boxing historian and he'd know full well that boxing films have made an impact on cinema like no other sport.
The sexagenarian director intermingles archives of fight footage and old interviews with a series of new in-depth interviews in which...
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (4-1-09)
Bean brushes off the National theatre debacle: "It was never anything much - the play's sold out for April, so who cares? It's a hit." His Afghanistan play, On the Side of the Angels, part of the Great Game season examining the country's history from 1842 to the present, looks set to be similarly uncompromising in its challenge to conventional liberal values. The play examines the role of western NGOs in Afghanistan. It is, he says, "about the cultural imperialism debate. What are we doing there? Are we...
SOURCE: Times (UK) (3-31-09)
The gorgeous, innovative and serene Dulwich Picture Gallery in its bucolic landscape of people-friendly green parks is hosting a show, under the astute eye of the curator Robert Upstone, of the Impressionist Walter Richard Sickert's paintings of a decade of trips to Venice, 1895-1905.
President Obama has a fondness for the...
SOURCE: Times (UK) (4-1-09)
A team of 25 steeplejack painters from the poorer fringes of Europe clambered to the top and started brushing on 60 tonnes of semi-gloss, the 17th coat it has received since its opening on March 31, 1889.
The men, working for a Greek shipyard company, will take about 18 months to finish the job, using brushes but never spray-guns to apply the grey-brown hue that is patented as “brun Tour Eiffel”. When Gustave Eiffel completed his 300m (990ft) edifice in 1889 it bore only red rust-proofing. It was not expected to need much more because it was due to be demolished in 1909, 20 years after it dominated the great exhibition marking the centenary of the French Revolution...
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (4-1-09)
Much has been written about the role of German and Italian military support in Franco’s victory, yet the new exhibit in Berlin tries to paint a more complete picture, also telling the stories of Germans who fought against Franco’s forces.
The 70th anniversary exhibition includes photos by the German photographer Hans Gutmann, a volunteer in the International Brigade, and other photographs from the archives of the Spanish EFE news agency. In Spain, Gutmann changed his name to Juan Guzman and in 1936 he joined the anti-fascists. From within their ranks he began to document the war through his photography...
SOURCE: Bret Stephens in the WSJ (3-30-09)
Act I: Heroic protestors gather at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., in 1965 to march in defiance of a segregationist state. Act II: The scene moves to San Francisco in the early 1970s, where the radical politics of the Black Panthers quickly give way to robbery and murder. Act III: A New York City crack house, circa 1985. Act IV: the trial of O.J. Simpson. Act V: The present, in which a black man on a prison furlough goes on a murder spree.
Appalled? I hope so.
Now substitute the word "Jewish" for "black" and change the scene to Europe and Israel and you have, roughly, the plot of celebrated British playwright Caryl Churchill's "Seven Jewish Children," which debuted last month to some controversy and much acclaim at London's Royal Court Theater. It is now in the U.S., playing in small but respectable...