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) (6-15-09)
Hidden for almost a century within the panelled walls of a library, the portrait appears to have been inspired by the Mona Lisa, which hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris and was painted by the Italian master in the early 1500s.
It will form one of the centrepieces of a new exhibition at the Museo Ideale in the Tuscan town of Vinci, near Florence, where Leonardo was born in 1452.
"The frontal look, the position of the hands, the spatial conception of the landscape, with columns at the sides, show a clear link with the Mona Lisa's iconographic theme," Alessandro Vezzosi, director of the museum, told Discovery News.
The naked portrait once belonged to Napoleon's ambassador to the Vatican, Cardinal Joseph Fesch, and was rediscovered...
SOURCE: History Today (6-15-09)
The policy of apartheid was adopted in South Africa when the National Party, founded by Afrikaner nationalists in 1914, came to power in 1948. At the time, 70...
SOURCE: AP (6-10-09)
The theft was discovered Tuesday morning by an employee of the Picasso Museum. The notebook had been kept in a second-floor glass display case that can only be opened with a special instrument.
Museum head Anne Baldassari said she didn't think it was a commissioned theft — one specifically ordered up by an unscrupulous collector — but added the museum was "waiting to hear from the investigation."
SOURCE: History Today (UK) (6-9-09)
SOURCE: History Today (UK) (6-8-09)
The photographs include shots of the interiors of Berghof, Hitler’s mountain estate in Bavaria, his residence in Berlin, scenes from parties and a photograph of him with Chamberlain at Munich. Jaeger also spent time documenting places of Hitler’s youth, including the building in the village of Fischlham, Austria, where Hitler began school in 1895, Leonding, where he grew up, from 1898 to 1905, and the village of Strones in Austria, the birthplace of his grandmother Maria Anna Schicklgruber. To this date, only a fraction of the collection has been...
SOURCE: Lee P. Ruddin (6-9-09)
Matthew Boulton (1728-1809) is one of Birmingham’s most illustrious sons and arguably the one who put the city on the map. A friend of King George III and Benjamin Franklin, Boulton’s entrepreneurial vision pushed the technological boundaries of his time leading directly to Britain occupying centre-stage as the world’s first industrial nation.
There is little shame in not knowing of Boulton until now. Indeed this anniversary has provided the city of Birmingham with the opportunity to raise Boulton’s profile...
SOURCE: NYT (6-4-09)
While working as a reporter in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, he shot many photographs and recorded several hours of video. It wasn’t until weeks afterwards, when he had returned to Japan, that he discovered the magnitude of what he had captured — an iconic moment in history from an entirely unique angle.
His version of the tank man has never been published until now.
For 20 years the negatives rested in Mr. Jones’ belongings, following him across the world throughout his career as a journalist. He contacted The New York Times after reading the accounts of the other four photographers in Wednesday’s Lens blog.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (6-4-09)
Orwell, whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair, was employed by the BBC to work in its Eastern Service during the Second World War to supervise cultural broadcasts to India countering Nazi German propaganda.
However during one transmission, a senior executive was struck by the "unsuitability" and "unattractiveness" of Orwell's voice.
SOURCE: NYT (6-3-09)
Like everywhere else, sex and violence sell in Paris. “Controversies” ended with a David LaChapelle photograph of a white stallion nibbling on Angelina Jolie’s bare breast, the ostensible excuse for which was some legal squabble about depicting sex with animals.
There were also wall texts about copyright and fair use laws, about public decency debates, hoaxes and shifting social standards to accompany pictures like Annelies Strba’s photograph of a 12-year-...
SOURCE: NYT (6-3-09)
“We were assured there would be no legal consequences if we opened fire,” Mr. Chen recalled in an interview on Tuesday. “My only hope was that the students would not put up a fight.”
Twenty years after Chinese troops shot their way into the center of Beijing, killing hundreds of people and wounding many more, Mr. Chen provided a rare window into the military crackdown that re-established the Communist Party’s supremacy after six weeks of mass unrest and then, for most Chinese, disappeared in an official whitewash. ...
SOURCE: Observer (UK) (5-31-09)
Both have their detractors. Both show how difficult it is to design a memorial that strikes a balance between the contemporary and the timeless, and how easy it is to offend some while pleasing others.
On 7 July, a memorial to the 52 people who died in London in the 7/7 suicide bombings of 2005 will be unveiled in Hyde Park. It has been designed by Kevin Carmody (34) and Andrew Groarke (38) whose architectural practice is barely four years old. Groarke is from Manchester, Carmody from Melbourne; the pair met while working for David Chipperfield Architects on the artist...
SOURCE: http://www.onlinecolleges.net (6-2-09)
Academic life is a topic well worth exploring in novels and film, as it lends itself to a never-ending analysis of social dynamics, obsession, talent, infrastructure, educational trends, and even satire. These 10 movies address all of those themes by celebrating academic life as its own genre and indulging all types of students and teachers.
#1 School Ties: School Ties is a classic coming-of-age and academic film from 1992 starring Brendan Fraser, Chris O’Donnell, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, all before they were A-list celebrities. In the movie, a Jewish football star named David Greene gets a scholarship to a preppy boarding school in Massachusetts, where he confronts bigotry at many different levels. Other themes from the film include cheating and loyalty, the notion of honor and legacy, acceptance and integrity, and scenes of the beautiful prep school, school dances and football games will make even proud public school graduates wonder what it’s like to experience life on...
SOURCE: Art Daily (6-2-09)
The fresco panel, which was the subject of an international search by INTERPOL, was located by the Art Loss Register of New York and brought to the attention of ICE and Italian Authorities. Italian authorities provided ICE agents via the ICE attaché in Rome with information and documents identifying the fresco panel as stolen and part of the cultural property of Italy.
The panel, rectangular with a white background depicting a female minister, white wash on plaster with a modern wooden frame, was previously located at the excavation office in Pompeii and was reported stolen with five other fresco panels on June 26, 1997.
SOURCE: The Daily Beast (6-2-09)
SOURCE: AP (6-1-09)
Verona Mayor Flavio Tosi conducted Monday's wedding between Luca Ceccarelli, who plays for Hellas Verona, and his Juliet — girlfriend Irene Lanforti — in the 14th-century Casa di Giulietta, or House of Juliet.
The idea is part of a campaign by Verona, where William Shakespeare set his tale of star-crossed lovers, to foster its image as a romantic city.
SOURCE: http://www.monstersandcritics.com (5-30-09)
An exciting series shaped by the man who brought “Survivor” to the smallscreen begins this Sunday on History.
Executive producer Mark Burnett’s “Expedition Africa” is a visual thrill ride that retraces the historic trails of Dr. Livingstone, who set out in 1865 to find the source of the Nile River.
In 1871, the New York Herald dispatched Stanley to find the missing Livingstone, who was located nine months later.
The setting for this survivalist’s dream is Tanzania as four experts within their specific fields, with Sherpa, cameramen and Masai warriors in tow try to stay as true to the original Stanley/Livingstone trail as possible.
SOURCE: BBC (6-1-09)
Standing just 40cm (16 inches) high, it depicts Christ on the Cross, but leading art experts simply cannot agree who made it.
This is not a tale about fakery or imitation - everyone says the statue is a Renaissance piece of art from around 1495, when Michelangelo would have been 20.
But who actually crafted it? That is the question.
The controversy has been rekindled because of a new exhibition in Naples to display the sculpture - minus the cross, which incidentally disappeared somewhere in antiquity leaving the figure of Christ these days hanging mid-air connected to a sheet of transparent plastic.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (6-1-09)
Each of the drawings is estimated at $3,000 to $5,000, and they were given to the present owner's father, the president of Cowles Communications, by Mrs Kennedy. They are unusual in that there are no previous records of works by her for sale on the art and design auction database Art Net...
SOURCE: Times (UK) (6-1-09)
Audiences for a new play at the Young Vic will be taking what is perhaps the first, and certainly the most realistic, theatrical dive to the ocean depths. Kursk takes place in the Maria, the box-like studio space where, as closely as possible, the interior of a hunter-killer submarine has been replicated in pipes, platforms, wires and blinking lights. Authenticity will be conveyed above all in the disembodied roar and hiss, growls and grunts both made and heard by the gigantic listening device that...
SOURCE: Times (UK) (5-31-09)
Few images have acquired such iconic status as the agonised, wailing figure standing on a road by the bay against a blood-red skyline. Along with the Mona Lisa and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, it is one of the only works that is instantly recognisable even to the most unenthusiastic art fan. The psychotic murderer in Wes Craven’s Scream movies wears a mask based on the figure in the painting. Macaulay Culkin’s pose in the Home Alone films is an irreverent reference to the anguished ghoul.
After the painting was stolen and damaged in a 2004 heist — it was recovered two years later — the Munch Museum in Oslo vowed never again to lend it out. Increasingly, prints of the picture, which are extremely sensitive to light, are also being...