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: NY Daily News (11-24-09)
That's a good thing, by the way - because no matter how much we 1960s refugees assume the Fab Four are a permanent centerpiece of popular culture, the truth is that many fine, upstanding young music fans today still need to meet the Beatles.
"On Record" tracks the group's music from the Cavern Club in 1962 to the rooftop show in 1969. It's an in-house production, directed by Bob Smeaton for Apple Corps, and accordingly, it pays zero attention to the personal drama that finally broke up the band.
So for deep Beatles fans and scholars who find the internal tension fascinating or critical, "On Record" provides no new insight.
On the other hand, those who really only care about the music should be delighted.
The show follows the group from its basic R&B-influenced tunes...
SOURCE: NYT (11-24-09)
Written by 45 historians led by Andrei Zubov, a professor at the institute that serves as university to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the weighty history — almost 1,000 pages per volume — was published this year by AST Publishers and is already in its second printing of 10,000 copies.
Retailing at the rough equivalent of $20 a volume and titled “History of Russia. XX Century,” the books try to rise above ideologically charged clashes over Russia’s historical memory. They are critical both of czarist and Communist Russia, and incorporate the history of Russian emigration and the Russian Orthodox Church into the big picture of a chaotic, violent century. While written from a clearly Christian perspective — one author is a Russian Orthodox priest — the history avoids...
SOURCE: ABC (11-23-09)
At its December 16 auction, Profiles in History also will sell a copy of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" that belonged to its author, Beatrix Potter. The items come from the collection of former U.S. professional football player Pat McInally, the auctioneer said.
"Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There," which belonged to the late Alice Liddell before it came into McInally's collection, has an estimated sales price of $150,000.
When she was 10 years-old in 1862, Alice Liddell went on a picnic with her neighbor, the Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson, who wrote under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. He told her a story that later...
SOURCE: Artdaily.org (11-24-09)
The mansion at Corsier-sur-Vevey by the shores of Lake Geneva was chosen over Los Angeles and London as the site of the first museum dedicated to the screen legend, said Michael Chaplin.
The museum has been a decade in the planning and will be finished within two years, he said. It will feature objects from Chaplin's life and displays chronicling his rise from the music halls of his native London to stardom in Hollywood's silent movie era and beyond.
"He was very happy here because he had a family life," Michael Chaplin said of the vintner's chateau where his father lived for more than 20 years and raised eight children until his death in 1977.
The actor whose film classics include "The Immigrant," ''City Lights" and...
SOURCE: Artdaily.org (11-24-09)
The museum was ransacked in the chaotic aftermath of Saddam Hussein's ouster in April 2003, and only reopened to visitors early this year. Schmidt, who toured the museum with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill on Tuesday, said it was important for the world to see Iraq's rich heritage and contribution to world culture.
"The history of the beginning of — literally — civilization is made right here and is preserved here in this museum," Schmidt said at a ceremony attended by Iraqi officials.
"I can think of no better use of our time and our resources than to make the images and ideas from your civilization, from the very beginnings of time, available to billions of people worldwide," he said.
Schmidt said Google has taken some 14,000 photographs...
SOURCE: The Philadelphia Inquirer (11-23-09)
Mayor Nutter has seen no text, images, or panels, and the design team developing the descriptive historical material has been told to rework it at least twice, according to numerous officials.
Should the President's House memorial highlight the worlds of Washington and John Adams and the formation of the nation and presidency? Should it focus on the world of Washington's slaves? What was slavery's role in early Philadelphia? How should such contradictory, clashing themes be balanced? How can the nine slaves best be memorialized? Such questions, there at the project's onset, are still unresolved, though passionately debated....
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (11-21-09)
Wearing the traditional Islamic dress, the iconic doll is going undercover for a charity auction in connection with Sotheby's for Save The Children.
More than 500 Barbies went on show yesterday at the Salone dei Cinquecento, in Florence, Italy.
Makers Mattel are backing the exhibition which is the work of Italian designer Eliana Lorena.
The auction is part of Barbie celebrations for her 50th anniversary this year. The UK's biggest Barbie fan Angela Ellis, 35, has a collection of more than 250 dolls...
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune (11-22-09)
The movie titled "Kalamazoo, River: US" made its premiere last month. Other screenings are planned and DVDs are being sold.
The movie is a mix of musical dramatization, comedic recreation and documentary-style filmmaking. It looks at the relationship between the waterway and the city of Kalamazoo, as well a the relationship between industry and nature.
SOURCE: Variety (11-18-09)
"Did the Mob Kill JFK?" relies primarily on the testimony of author Lamar Waldron and a jailhouse informant who claims that mobster Carlos Marcello boasted that organized crime had orchestrated President Kennedy's murder. The reason: Because the CIA had been working with the mob to try and assassinate Fidel Castro, with the mob participating in the hopes of getting their casinos in Cuba...
SOURCE: NYT (11-20-09)
What’s more, when it comes to a figure as protean and elusive as Welles, there are obvious complicating factors. Welles was not only a habitual fabulist — “the most unreliable narrator of his own life,” Mr. Linklater said — but also an outsize subject for the projections of others. (“I drag my myth around with me,” he told Kenneth Tynan.) His early masterpiece, “Citizen Kane” (1941), which for many came to define and haunt him, is a fittingly prismatic take on the perils of biography, one that leads its reporter character to conclude, “I don’t think any word can explain a man’s life.”
Based on a young-adult novel by Robert Kaplow, “Me and Orson Welles,” which opens on Wednesday, attempts nothing so lofty as an explanation of a life. It restricts...
SOURCE: Daily Press (11-22-09)
Winning bidder Hoffman Ma of Hong Kong will pay $420,000, including taxes and fees, for the rhinestone-studded, modified golf glove Jackson wore on his left hand for his moonwalk on Motown's 25th anniversary TV special.
The glove was the top item in a collection of Jackson memorabilia on the block at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square. Its pre-auction estimate was $40,000 to $60,000.
"It was a fairly good discount," said Ma, a 36-year-old Jackson fan who bought the pop-music treasure on behalf of the Ponte 16 Resort Hotel in Macau.
SOURCE: The New Nixon (11-21-09)
Groundbreaking for the George W. Bush Presidential Center —the latest addition to the National Archives’ system of Presidential Libraries— will begin a year from now. The designs of architect Robert A. M. Stern were unveiled in Dallas on Wednesday. Several drawings were released, and the general impression was described in today’s Washington Post by architectural writer and critic Philip Kennicott:
Architect Robert A.M. Stern’s plans for the George W. Bush Presidential Center call for a low-slung building of brick and limestone, following traditional lines and hugging the Texas landscape with a calm reserve. It’s almost as if Bush has chosen to retreat into the patrician reticence of his blue-blooded, Connecticut forebears...
SOURCE: Osprey Communications (11-20-09)
This once in a lifetime event will take place on Saturday 13th March 2010 and will follow the route of the 84 mile long Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail.
There will be around 500 individual points of light, placed at 250 metre intervals. The first one will be illuminated at Wallsend in the North East, with the line of light then making its way along the Wall to Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria over the following hour.
Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall is an ambitious project led by Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd which forms part of the world-class programme of festivals and events developed by culture10 in the North East of England and the Lakes Alive programme in Cumbria presented by Kendal Arts International and Manchester International Arts. Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall is also a flagship event of British Tourism Week 2010....
SOURCE: NYT (11-18-09)
Much of “The Sun” in fact unfolds inside the contaminated confines of Hirohito’s palace in the period leading up to and following Japan’s surrender to the United States in 1945. An act of historical imagination, the film is the third in Mr. Sokurov’s trilogy about dictators, which began with “Moloch” (1999), featuring Hitler and Eva Braun at home in the Bavarian Alps...
SOURCE: Smithsonian (11-21-09)
When you enter one of our 19 museums, a world of discovery awaits you… from Abraham Lincoln's iconic top hat in our Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life exhibition… to a brilliant 203 carat diamond in The Splendor of Diamonds exhibition… to an image of the "King of Rock & Roll" captured by equally iconic Andy Warhol.
That's why there's no place like the Smithsonian. Whatever your interest, our exhibitions connect you to people, places, and cultures from around the world and throughout time. But did you know that the vast...
Although best known for painting the masterpiece "Mona Lisa," da Vinci also designed a fantastical array of futuristic flying machines, robots, weapons and mechanical devices.
Highlights of the exhibit opening Friday include the "Great Kite" flying machine, a working prototype of his "Self-Propelled Cart, and physical models of his mechanical bat and lion...
Three fingers and a tooth were taken from the astronomer's body in 1737 and placed in a container.
Paolo Galluzzi, director of the Museum of the History of Science, said a private collector had bought a container at auction containing two fingers and a tooth. The collector contacted Florence cultural officials and the parts and the container were found to match descriptions of the Galileo relics in historical documents.
The fingers, from the right hand, and the tooth, will be shown to the public next spring...
A hundred pieces, which reveal the luxury and sophistication that this Mediterranean zone reached before the Vesuvius erupted in 79 of the Common Era, arrive to Mexico as part of the exhibition "Pompeya y una Villa Romana: Arte y Cultura alrededor de la Bahia de Napoles" (Pompeii and the Roman Villa. Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples), to be opened at the National Museum of Anthropology in November 2009.
As part of the cultural exchange program between Mexico and Italy, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) sponsors this international exhibition within its cycle “Great Civilizations”. In return, “Teotihuacan, City of Gods” will be...
But, in the end, it all comes back to a magical book written by Dickens in a six-week flurry of activity in late 1843. Greeted with universal acclaim at the time of publication, 'A Christmas Carol' might rightfully be called an “instant masterpiece.” William Makepeace Thackeray called it a “national benefit” and an American factory owner gave his workers an extra day’s holiday when he had finished reading it.
When the manuscript was returned after printing Dickens arranged for it to be finely bound in red morocco leather and presented it as a gift to his solicitor. It was purchased by...
SOURCE: The Daily Beast (11-20-09)
“My life is over now,” Peck says, from her home in Denver, where she’s taking the day off to care for Elie, her Border Collie, who has a broken foot.
Peck is perhaps the world’s leading Oprah Kremlinologist. An associate professor in the University of Colorado’s school for journalism and mass communication, she has spent the last two decades methodically analyzing Winfrey’s career moves, placing the billionaire media mogul in a political and economic context, and reading a history of the women’s movement in the dips and swells of Oprah’s ratings.
“I have watched tons of episodes of her shows,” she says. “I have ordered and bought transcripts. I have probably read transcripts, beginning in...