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) (7-19-09)
The online retailer later told CNET the books were uploaded by a publisher who did not have reproduction rights and so they were deleted.
"We removed the illegal copies from our systems and from customers' devices, and refunded customers," a spokesman, Drew Herdener, said.
The move drew unfavourable comparisons to events in Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four", in which documents unfavourable to a fictional authoritarian government are dropped into a "memory hole," to be erased forever...
SOURCE: Lee P. Ruddin (7-20-09)
Soon the whole episode will pass from living memory. That is why this anniversary is as historic as the events we are celebrating.
Although NASA was created in July 1958, two-and-a-half years prior to John F. Kennedy taking office, it was the 35th President of the United States who became the author of the Space Race. Yet the choice to go to the Moon by the end of the decade was not only one of triumph but tragedy too.
It may have been a time when anything seemed possible, nevertheless to issue such an audacious challenge after a total of just 20 minutes manned space flight experience...
SOURCE: Jim Sleeper at TPM (7-17-09)
"In celebrity culture we destroy what we worship. The commercial exploitation of Michael Jackson's death was orchestrated by the corporate forces that rendered Jackson insane. Jackson, robbed of his childhood and surrounded by vultures that preyed on his fears and weaknesses, was so consumed by self-loathing he carved his African-American face into an ever-changing Caucasian death mask and hid his apparent pedophilia behind a Peter Pan illusion of eternal childhood. He could not disentangle his public and his private self....
SOURCE: Observer (UK) (7-19-09)
His shaken letter, hours after a blistering encounter with the prime minister, will go on display for the first time next month in a new exhibition at the Cabinet War Rooms. The warren of underground rooms and offices in London, where Winston Churchill and up to 500 other people worked for six years, was the cause of all the trouble.
On 13 September, Duff had to meet Churchill, who detested being forced underground - his bedroom is displayed in the museum, but he refused to sleep there. He liked to watch night time air raids from the roof of the Treasury and he had just discovered that his subterranean lair was not even bomb proof. In any direct hit, it would collapse into a tomb of Portland stone and concrete.
"I thought it would be well that I should go myself," Duff...
SOURCE: Artdaily.org (7-18-09)
“RECORD > AGAIN!” presents about fifty videos from the past forty years that exemplarily reflect the diversity of the German video scene. Shown, for example, will be the famous boxing match that Joseph Beuys fought at the documenta 5 in 1972 the reconstruction of the work Schafe by Wolf Kahlen, shown on six monitors, which was last screened in 1976; early video synthesizer works by Walter Schröder-Limmer; Medienhaus by HA Schult from 1978; a virtually unknown work by Ulrike...
SOURCE: Artdaily.org (7-18-09)
Securely recorded in the collection of the Hon. Charles Compton Cavendish (1793-1863), later 1st Lord Chesham, who inherited Burlington House in 1834, the commodes were almost certainly made for his father, Lord George...
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (7-18-09)
This may sound like the 1970s, but it also applies to a period of revolt and repression that occurred long before, in 1834, when six agricultural labourers, three of whom were Methodist lay preachers, were sentenced to transportation to Australia.
Every year they are commemorated by the Trade Union Congress, at a festival in Tolpuddle in Dorset, as the founders of the trade union movement. Yesterday, to mark the 175th anniversary of their trial, the festival screened Bill Douglas's epic, long-lost and finally rediscovered film Comrades: A Lanternist's Account of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Having attained almost mythical status since its release in 1986, the film is now being reissued by the British Film Institute (BFI).
By 1834 trade unions had...
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (7-14-09)
There has been no formal response from the internet encyclopedia but Derrick Coetzee, who downloaded the images, promptly uploaded the letter from the London lawyers Farrar and Co, "to enable public discourse on the issue". He said he was taking legal advice .
Photographs of works of art are protected by copyright in the UK, but not in the US, where Coetzee lives. All the creators of the original images are long since dead, but the photographs were only taken for the NPG as part of a £1m digitisation project in the last couple of years.
The gallery stressed today that they hoped to avoid taking any further legal action, and said they were not considering suing Wikipedia. It said it would be happy for the...
SOURCE: onCulture.eu (7-17-09)
The exhibition comes as a surprise, twenty years after the dramatic political events that followed the Fall of the Wall in Berlin. Finally, the socialist art appeared from the underground, where it was diligently forgotten. Pathetic realism, noble faces of party leaders, pioneers, red carnation and lots of nation-wide joy –these are some of its recognizable signs- became once again the word of the day. Thankfully, not in real life but in the spaces of a musum for a period of two months.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (7-17-09)
The life of North Korea's ailing leader, Kim Jong-il, has long been extravagantly window-dressed by the state's diligent chroniclers, but now it is about to get the full regal treatment with a new movie chronicling his exploits from childhood to living legend.
North Korea's state media said this week that the first part of a multi-series documentary about Mr Kim's birth, childhood and early achievements, when he developed "military ideas and theories and tactics of [his father] President Kim Il-sung", has already been produced. Although other propaganda movies extol Mr Kim's boundless virtues – one records that he came down from the heavens accompanied by a huge snowstorm – this will be the...
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (7-16-09)
This pleasing, intelligent, compact show at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich – and what more fitting a location could there be than this museum? – tells the story of some of the most...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (7-17-09)
Forty years on from Apollo 11’s historic mission, a glut of books have been published to explore how, why – and even if – mankind went to such extraordinary costs and risks to reach this celestial peach pit.
Welcome to what its previous owner would no doubt have termed the Mother of All real estate portfolios – the personal palaces and second-to-82nd homes of President Saddam Hussein, High Excellency, Struggler Against Zionist Imperialism, Field Marshal and Commander of All Iraq, to give him just a few of his self-adopted monikers.
Unlike his collection of personal titles, however, the late Baghdad leader’s hoard of property titles has bequeathed a rather more lasting legacy for those who took over when he was deposed in 2003....
SOURCE: Ted Gioia in http://www.conceptualfiction.com (7-17-09)
writers were media celebrities—at least for a
few hours. When Neil Armstrong stepped on
to the surface of the moon on July 21, 1969,
his “giant leap for mankind” was not just a
fulfillment of President Kennedy’s promise of
a lunar expedition before decade’s end. It
also validated the starry-eyed dreams of a
legion of pulp fiction writers.
Long before NASA was founded, the ABCs of
sci-fi (Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke) and others
of their profession had been chronicling the
exploration of the universe in works of
imaginative fiction. The moon landing was
their shining moment, and the public
recognized it as much as did the writers
themselves. When the TV networks sought
out talking heads for their coverage, science
fiction writers were on the top of their list.
At the moment that Eagle landed, Arthur C...
The British cover to Kathryn Stockett’s novel The Help – about the experiences of black maids in Mississippi in the early 1960s – is a period photograph of a little white girl in a pushchair flanked by two black women in starched white uniforms – the 'help’ of the book’s title.
The photograph, which was found in the National Congress archives, was deemed too controversial to be used on the American cover. The spectre of racism in the South is still raw and political correctness works overtime.
When Stockett was first shown the photograph, which was inscribed Port Gibson, Mississippi, she sent it to a friend of hers, who, in turn, forwarded it to his mother. Back came the reply, 'Why, that’s just little Jane Crisler Wince on the corner of...
Salutes and Nazi symbols have been illegal in Germany since the Second World War but investigators may decide the figure is in fact ridiculing the Third Reich.
In a surprise act of reconciliation with the playwright, the Holy See's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, praised the poet as a "lucid analyst of the modern world".
Wilde, who was sent to prison for acts of gross indecency with Lord Alfred Douglas and later converted to Catholicism, has been regarded by the Roman Catholic Church in the century since his death as a dangerous degenerate and dissolute nonconformist.
While acknowledging that Wilde, who died in 1900, was a rebel who delighted in shocking Victorian England, L'Osservatore said he was a profound thinker who spent his professional life asking "what was true and what was false".
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (7-15-09)
A half hour of additional footage of the 1927 film "Metropolis" by Fritz Lang has arrived in Germany for restoration. DW spoke with chief film restorer Anke Wilkening about the significance of the new scenes.
Deutsche Welle: A complete version of Fritz Lang's film "Metropolis" was discovered last year in Argentina. Now you'll be working on restoring the film in digital form at the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung in Wiesbaden. What is it about the long version that's so important?
Anke Wilkening: All versions that we know today are considerably shorter. The film was originally cut by about 30 minutes by Paramount studios, and the UFA studios (Editors' note: Universum Film AG, better known as UFA, was a major film studio in Germany during the first half of the 20th century) also cut it for German distribution and export in a similar manner - about four...
SOURCE: NYT (7-14-09)
In February Ford’s Theater, where the murder took place on April 14, 1865, reopened as a fully functioning theater doubling as a memorial exhibit. The presidential box where Lincoln sat with his wife, Mary, watching a comic play as John Wilkes Booth put a bullet through his skull overlooks the stage and has itself become a permanent set, draped with flags and decorated as it was that evening.
On Wednesday a 7,000-square-foot exhibition space opens — Ford’s Theater Museum — through which visitors will proceed before emerging into the theater itself. Before...
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (7-15-09)
Next summer a chance to see these delicate objects will finally come around, as the museum launches an exhibition, in partnership with the Uffizi in Florence, of works on paper by artists from Fra Angelico to Leonardo.
The 100 or so works will span the period 1400-1510 and artists including Jacopo and Gentile Bellini, Botticelli, Filippo Lippi, Mantegna, Michelangelo and Raphael.
About half of the works will come from Florence, and some have never been shown in the UK before. Bringing the drawings from Florence together with those from London, said British Museum director Neil MacGregor, will "together allow a different reading of draughtsmanship from the period. It will allow a new engagement with this part of the Italian Renaissance."
In typical British Museum style, the message is...