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: WSJ (10-20-09)
But one man who is perhaps the game's most obsessive follower won't be attending.
Ralph Anspach, an 83-year-old economics professor, spent decades locked in a real-life battle with Monopoly and its corporate owners. The campaign dented his finances, sent him on a nationwide trek for intelligence and sparked a legal case that reached the steps of the Supreme Court.
Prof. Anspach's woes began with a real-life trademark fight for the right to sell his own game, called Anti-Monopoly. Along the way, he says he helped to publicize the little-known origins of the classic American game.
The official history of Monopoly, a version of which appears on...
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-19-09)
The exhibition is all about the unbridled royal splendour of India from about the time of the collapse of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century to independence day. So we are talking about a period of approximately 250 years, years when Europe was beginning to turn its collective mind towards a future of mechanised industrialisation and, ultimately, democracy.
Seen within that ideological context, this...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-19-09)
It explores the paintings, sculptures, furniture and jewellery that helped France's most famous king shape his all-powerful image.
A 17th-century painting of the construction of Versailles is on loan from the Queen and a large black cabinet – the only survivor of the king's collection and now owned by the Duke of Northumberland – is back in France after more than two centuries.
"Politically, Louis XIV belongs to a system that is outdated," said Jean-Jacques Aillagon, the director of Versailles who came up with the idea of presenting a "cultural portrait" of the king in 2007.
"But it is through the arts and culture that he still belongs to all of us."
Born in 1638, Louis ascended to the throne at the age of four and reigned until his death in...
SOURCE: stltoday (St. Louis) (10-17-09)
Fairey’s admission, which he made public on Friday, threw his legal battle with the news agency into disarray.
The AP claimed in January that Fairey owed it credit and compensation for using the photograph. But in February Fairey sued the AP, seeking a declaratory judgment that the poster did not infringe on the agency’s copyrights and that he was entitled to the image under the “fair use” exception of the copyright law. The AP countersued in March, saying Fairey had misappropriated the photograph.
Fairey told the agency — and his own lawyers — that he had used a photograph from an April 27, 2006 event about Darfur at the National Press Club in Washington where Obama was seated...
SOURCE: Boston.com (10-18-09)
There were other things Djehutynakht (pronounced “Je-hooty-knocked’’) was adamant he would rather not do for all time, such as standing on his head. And here again, I’m in utter sympathy: “[T]o be upside down is my detestation,’’ he informs us in a passage of script that can be found on the inside of the outer coffin in which he was buried.
On the other hand, carousing, drinking, and eating were all on his list of activities to look forward to in the hereafter.
There is something very moving about the intensity of the ancient Egyptians’ desire not to be forgotten, not to...
SOURCE: NYT (10-16-09)
Her disappearance in 1937 and its attendant mystery account for some of the ongoing allure, but she endures because she was a pioneer whose adventures went beyond personal aggrandizement. Earhart took on the laws of nature (humans were not meant to fly) and the conventions of the time (adventure was a man...
SOURCE: BlueRidgeNow.com (10-12-09)
It's difficult to imagine how anyone could find anything humorous about the Holocaust of World War II. It was the systematic murder of 6 million European Jews and several million more "undesirables and dissidents," as Germany's Nazi regime defined those who did not meet their standard of worthy to live.
It turns out that it is no longer difficult for others to imagine it. If you didn't know that Quentin Tarantino's latest movie, Inglourious Basterds, is a story about Jewish soldiers avenging the genocide of millions of Jews by the German army during World War II, you may think the movie is a comedy when reading some of its reviews:
Jake Hamilton, CBS TV: Brad Pitt is viciously fun.
J. Hoberman of the Village Voice: Energetic, inventive,...
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-17-09)
The museum was officially reinaugurated yesterday by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, who lives opposite the cultural complex in the city's revamped centre. The renaissance of the museum, which contains 9,000 exhibits and artefacts ranging from a 700,000-year-old Stone Age shaped flint to a piece of barbed wire taken from the Berlin Wall, marks the return of one of Germany's most important cultural landmarks to the reunited city.
The event was described as a second miracle for Berlin after the fall of the dividing wall two decades ago. Michael Eissenhauer, general director of the city's museums, said the occasion was thrilling...
SOURCE: WSJ (10-15-09)
The words come from Benét's long poem, "John Brown's Body," published in 1928. They capture the complicated legacy of the man who tried to start the Civil War about a year and a half before it actually erupted. Was Brown a hero of black freedom or a bloodthirsty terrorist? Americans have weighed the question since 1859. This weekend, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park plans to observe the sesquicentennial of Brown's disastrous raid.
Events will include a series of tributes to Benét's poem—a half-forgotten piece of middlebrow literature whose own legacy is as...
SOURCE: New-York Historical Society (9-15-09)
One hundred and fifty years after John Brown’s raid, the New-York Historical Society in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History presents the exhibition John Brown: The Abolitionist and His Legacy, exploring the beliefs, activities and continuing significance of this critical figure, vilified by some as a murderer and venerated by others as a martyr.
On view from September 15, 2009 through March 25, 2010, this exhibition of rare materials from the Gilder Lehrman Collection and the New-York Historical Society...
SOURCE: The Philadelphia Inquirer (10-13-09)
He did so, beginning in the late 1940s, by capturing the lives of common folk, activists, and icons of the black community in a distinctive style that was meant to be viewed for generations to come.
His legacy includes photos of entertainers, from Josephine Baker to Michael Jackson, and the pantheon of the civil rights movement, from Malcolm X and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Philadelphia's Cecil B. Moore and Georgie Woods. The images are now housed at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, where a tribute to Franklin, who died Sept. 20 at 87, will be at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow.
Franklin, a freelancer for much of his life, was viewed as a photographer's photographer, a resolute master...
SOURCE: History Today (10-14-09)
The evolution of the art scene over the decade is striking: the style and techniques of photography changed, as well as, and almost in parallel with, pop music and culture. Most fascinating is the interaction between photography and the pop scene. To what extent did they evolve independently; how far did the two influence one another?
Photography evolved from static black and white portraits to dynamic and...
SOURCE: NYT (10-12-09)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (10-14-09)
Now the creator of the hit television series The Tudors is training his gaze on another English ruler: Henry V.
Michael Hirst, who also wrote Elizabeth, the film that made a star of Cate Blanchett, has signed up to write the screenplay for Agincourt.
This €30 million (£28 million) British film will explore the battle in 1415 where a bedraggled English task force — fronted by skilful longbowmen — pulled off one of the most celebrated military victories in history against a much larger French Army.
SOURCE: Chron (Houston Chronicle) (10-2-09)
Writers from the ultrastylish AMC series called the University of Houston historian in February, looking for specifics on Conrad Hilton and his hotel chain, circa 1963.
“They wanted to know, was Connie Hilton a milquetoast, or was he charismatic and gregarious,” said Young, who runs the Hospitality Industry Archives at UH's Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management.
They also asked for Hilton ads from the early '60s and help pinpointing the company's advertising budget at the time.
This season on Mad Men, employees of Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency are smoking, drinking and working their way through the early 1960s. A major story line features Conrad Hilton's search for a new ad agency. Don Draper, Sterling Cooper's finest, is tapped to woo the famous hotelier. In a recent episode, Draper and his wife, Betty, fly to Rome, spend a weekend at the Hilton and meet up with “Connie.”
SOURCE: Click Liverpool (10-12-09)
The Victoria Cross (VC), is the highest order of military decoration awarded to members of the British armed forces for gallantry and bravery.
This example of the medal was presented to Sergeant David Jones of the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment on 3 September 1916 for his actions at the Battle of the Somme.
His actions were described in by the London Gazette, dated 24 October 1916:
"For most conspicuous bravery, devotion to duty, and ability displayed in the handling of his platoon.
"The platoon to which he belonged was ordered to a forward position, and during the advance came under heavy machine gun fire, the officer being killed and the platoon suffering heavy losses Sgt Jones led-forward the remainder, occupied the position, and held it for two days and two...
SOURCE: Artdaily.org (10-12-09)
That's the point of a new exhibition, "Lincoln and New York," that opened Friday at the New-York Historical Society on Manhattan's Upper West Side to celebrate the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth. The exhibition runs through March 25.
It begins with Lincoln's historic speech at Cooper Union in 1860 and the iconic Mathew Brady photograph taken the same day, more than two months before he won the Republican presidential nomination. The events led Lincoln later to state: "Brady and the Cooper Union speech made me President."
It concludes with his 1865 funeral procession down Broadway, an event attended by hundreds of thousands of mourners. Along the way, it traces New Yorkers' varied reactions to Lincoln, from veneration to...
SOURCE: NYT (10-9-09)
Neither has the 16th-century Salle des Bronzes, which will soon be famous not just for its magnificent collection of ancient bronzes but for its ceiling, which is about to painted by another celebrated figure of American art: Cy Twombly.
“I’m really not doing something new,” Henri Loyrette, the Louvre’s director...
SOURCE: NYT (10-7-09)
SOURCE: NYT (10-8-09)
The scene, along with eight seconds of footage of Ruth playing the outfield, was found by a New Hampshire man in his grandfather’s home movie collection. It provides a rare look at Ruth, a showman even in defeat.
No American sport has a past as deep and cherished as baseball’s. But precious little of the sport’s history is preserved in moving images. Much occurred before the television age, leaving only grainy, scattershot clips culled from newsreels and home movies — and rarely do the clips show a player of Ruth’s stature.
The newly arrived Ruth film is part of the video collection of Major League...