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: Artdaily.org (1-13-10)
President Michelle Bachelet, who was herself detained and tortured during Chile's 1973-1990 military regime, said the museum sends a powerful signal of the country's "desire to never again suffer a tragedy like the one we are remembering here."
"A tragedy that from the first day brought together denial and concealment, and the pain of captivity or death," Bachelet said at the opening of the $22 million Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Chile's capital, Santiago.
The inauguration stirred angry memories days before Chile's presidential runoff election in which the ruling center-left coalition could lose power to the right for the first time since the restoration of democracy.
Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, who...
SOURCE: Medieval News (1-11-10)
This series is a narrative global history told through the British Museum’s unparalleled world collection. The series will tap in to the unique power of objects to tell stories and make connections across the globe. To produce the series the BBC and the British Museum have come together in an ambitious partnership to ensure the widest possible access and engagement across radio, television and online.
‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’ is written and narrated by the British Museum Director, Neil MacGregor and produced by BBC Radio 4. The 15-minute programmes will be broadcast in the key timeslot of 09.45 from Monday to Friday (repeat at 19.45). Each programme will focus on one object from...
SOURCE: Artdaily.org (1-12-10)
"The MFAH launched the Arts of the Islamic World initiative in 2007 and has since given significant attention to this area, from exhibitions and collection-building to public programming," said Dr. Peter C. Marzio, MFAH director. "We are pleased to further the museum´s...
SOURCE: Britannica Blog (1-12-10)
But John William Baldry has claim to it, too, as one of the first British artists to play blues music in the late 1950s. How he got to the sound before so many others is a subject of some mystery, since he grew up in the green northern English countryside in the days before pirate radio, and far from the ports where blues records came into the country courtesy of globe-girding sailors. Still, by the age of 15 he was playing the guitar, and well enough that the following year he was invited to join the American minstrel...
SOURCE: NYT (1-10-10)
Initially some scholars believed that the painting, which depicts a woman whose penetrating eyes cast a sideways, almost spooky glance at the viewer, was the work of Leonardo da Vinci. It was, they said, the second version of a painting of the same subject that is in the permanent collection of the Louvre. Other experts, including the notorious art dealer Joseph Duveen, dismissed the canvas as a fake without ever having seen it, claiming, “The picture is a copy, hundreds of which have been made of this and other Leonardo subjects and offered in the market as genuine.”
Today 21st-century technology has dashed any hope that the painting is Leonardo’s work, but its appearance at Sotheby’s, where it is being sold on Jan. 28, has once again raised many...
SOURCE: The Live Feed (1-9-10)
"Stalin, Hitler, Mao, McCarthy -- these people have been vilified pretty thoroughly by history," Stone told reporters at the Television Critics Association's semi-annual press tour in Pasadena.
"Stalin has a complete other story," Stone said. "Not to paint him as a hero, but to tell a more factual representation. He fought the German war machine more than any single person. We can't judge people as only 'bad' or 'good.' Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and its been used cheaply. He's the product of a series of actions. It's cause and effect ... People in America don't know the connection between WWI and WWII ... I've been able to walk in Stalin's shoes and Hitler's shoes to understand their point of view. We're going to educate our minds and...
SOURCE: Lee P Ruddin (1-8-10)
Berlin is a city most of us think we know well. Rest assured, however, guided tours of WWII bunkers, around remnants of “Germania” and inside escape tunnels under the Berlin Wall offer an unusual perspective on its political history.
Before you book your tickets, though, it’s well worth purchasing a DVD copy of Matt Frei’s Berlin series (BBC Two) for the plane journey.
After all, the BBC news anchor guides viewers to the marker pointing out the most notorious underground site in the city: the Fuehrerbunkher, the fortified shelter where Adolf Hitler spent his final days in 1945. But that’s not all the German-born, American-based journalist does. He surveys vast tunnels which offer a glimpse...
SOURCE: Encyclopedia Britannica Blog (1-8-10)
10 Great Elvis Songs
“All Shook Up”
“I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You”
“Return to Sender”
“Viva Las Vegas”
Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee, was the home of singer Elvis Presley. Since his death in 1977 the mansion, estate, and gravestie have become prominent tourist attractions.
10 More Great Elvis Songs
“Are You Lonesome Tonight”
“Don’t Be Cruel”
“From a Jack to a King”
SOURCE: Artdaily.org (1-7-10)
Painted from life, the portrait shows the Princes wearing the dress uniform of the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals), exactly as worn for The Queen's Birthday Parade in 2008. The sittings for the portrait were arranged around the Princes' Army careers and official engagements.
The Princes are pictured at the Library of Clarence House, their official residence since 2002, where Prince Harry is shown seated and in conversation with Prince William who stands to his right. Artist Nicky Philipps chose to capture an informal moment, 'a behind-the-scenes glance at the human element of royal responsibility and to emphasise their brotherly relationship.'
The setting of Clarence House gave Philipps an opportunity to incorporate into...
SOURCE: NYT (1-1-10)
The museum, in the former Cossack settlement of Starogladovskaya, which served as a military base during czarist campaigns, survived the two more recent wars — begun in 1994 and 1999 — that were fought in this Russian republic and that have destroyed large swaths of the area.
It reopened on Dec. 10 in a new building with the help of Ramzan A. Kadyrov, Chechnya’s strongman president, an ally of the Kremlin who takes pride in projects that underscore this republic’s rise from ruins, and Vladimir Tolstoy, the writer’s great-great grandson and director of Yasnaya Polyana, Tolstoy’s estate in the Tula region near Moscow....
“The Chechen people think that Tolstoy wrote most truthfully of the events that happened...
SOURCE: NYT (1-1-10)
So when David Glasser, one of the museum’s chairmen, was perusing a Paris auction catalog a few months ago, he found it hard to believe what he saw: a previously unknown 1945 gouache by Marc Chagall. It was one of a small group of images Chagall made in direct response to the Holocaust, after he and his wife had fled France in 1941, after the German occupation and after he had begun to learn the details of the Nazi atrocities.
The gouache on heavy paper, which Chagall signed and titled himself lightly with a pencil in Russian — “Apocalypse in Lilac, Capriccio” — employs one of his familiar motifs, an image of a crucified Jesus, which he used as a metaphor for persecuted Jewry. But this crucifixion, painted in New York, where Chagall settled for several years, is one of the most brutal and...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-4-10)
Beatty has enjoyed high profile romances with Madonna, Jane Fonda, Isabelle Adjani, Diane Keaton, Joan Collins, Julie Christie and his current wife Annette Bening - but writer Peter Biskind has claimed that the 72 year old secretly seduced thousands of women during his heyday.
In Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America, Mr Biskind estimates the actor has slept with "12,775 women, give or take, a figure that does not include daytime quickies, drive-bys, casual gropings, stolen kisses and so on."
The author told the New York Post that he had based the figure on "simple arithmetic".
Mr Biskind, who wrote the biography after lengthy conversations with the Bonnie and Clyde star, claims older partner Joan Collins dumped Beatty because of his insatiable appetite for sex, and that he only...
SOURCE: by Jim Downs (12-31-69)
Many viewers have hailed the recent release as Oscar-worthy because it's "raw" and "powerful." As Peter Travers of Rolling Stone writes, "Once Precious gets its hooks into you, no way is it letting go." Whether the Hollywood elite reacting to exclusive private screenings or Facebook users turning their status updates into a populist endorsement of the acclaimed but controversial Lee Daniels film, they have praised its courage to delve deeply into the problems of sexual and physical abuse and poverty, while shattering the silences surrounding HIV, offering an "authentic" coming-of-age story of a young black woman who will, in Maya Angelou's vernacular, "rise."
But I'll post a warning here beyond the MPAA rating system: Viewers of this film without a solid understanding of how...
SOURCE: NYT (12-31-09)
After several previous attempts by an Indian heritage foundation and Orwell supporters to preserve the house failed, the provincial government has now pledged to protect and restore it.
“The house has been in a bad condition for years,” Vivek Singh, Bihar’s art and culture secretary, said. “The government has decided to initiate work to protect it. We will not allow George Orwell’s ancestral house, where he was born, to be lost to history. The government priority is to protect it, followed by renovation.”