December 23, 2011
Christmas Tree in East Garden Room
© AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
Source: AP Images
Enjoy your end-of-the-year festivities, and we'll see you next semester!
December 20, 2011
"The Tugendhat House" (video review)
Mies van der Rohe, Tugendhat Villa, Brno, Czech Republic, 1928-1930
Street facade, 2001
Photographer: Mark Weber/World Monuments Fund
Daniela Hammer-Tugendhat, a member of the family that originally owned Mies van der Rohe’s famous Tugendhat House, wrote a book on her family’s experiences there and for this film shares photos and stories about her family home. At the time of its construction, the argument made by many critics was that it was inhabitable and would serve better as a museum building rather than a home. However, Daniela portrays the Tugendhat House as it was when her family owned it and argues it was ideal in its architectural design as a living space. Added as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001, the film also portrays the unique architectural features Mies van der Rohe created for his masterpiece as well as its turbulent history as a family home, soldiers barrack during WWII, dance studio, hospital and finally a public museum.
December 15, 2011
"No Hop Sing, No Bruce Lee" (video review)
No Hop Sing, No Bruce Lee: what do you do when none of your heroes look like you?
Produced and Directed by Janice Tanaka
In her film Janice Tanaka addresses and examines Asian stereotypes upheld in movies and television and the often hurtful or one-dimensional nature they have. Asking the question “What do you do when none of your heroes look like you?” she examines the two limited extremes that Asians are often portrayed as: the servile and obliging character exemplified by Hop Sing in the television series Bonanza; or the mystical martial arts master portrayed in films by actors such as Bruce Lee. Interviews with Asian businessmen, actors and artists present their views and understandings of what it meant to be Asian growing up in America and how the portrayals they saw in the media affected them. All in all the film aims to present a wider view of Asian culture and peoples and to denounce the limited media stereotypes that have been imposed upon them.
December 13, 2011
Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus
Rembrandt's Amsterdam [video]
© Detroit Institute of Arts, 2011
Source: Detroit Institute of Arts website
The latest exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus, aims at presenting the two big names of Jesus and Rembrandt together in a whole new way. The main question posed by the exhibition asks: How did Rembrandt revolutionize the religious traditions surrounding the depiction of Jesus within his art? Part of the answer is found in the living models Rembrandt used for his depictions, including his Jewish neighbors, rather than painting an idealized human figure. This adds another layer to the exhibit, which examines Rembrandt’s own fascination and curiosity for the Jewish culture in the Netherlands expressed in his works. Overall it is an impressive presentation with plenty of spectacular examples of Rembrandt’s paintings and drawings and plenty for everyone to check out before the end of the show on February 12, 2012.
December 08, 2011
Diego Rivera anniversary
Carl Van Vechten, [Portrait of Diego Rivera, March 19, 1932
Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-88104 DLC
Source: American Memory, from the Library of Congress
One hundred twenty-five years ago today the Mexican muralist and painter Diego Rivera was born.
Locally, we can visit what Rivera himself believed to be the best work of his career: Detroit Industry in the Detroit Institute of Arts. This fresco cycle, created in 1932-1933, covers the walls of Rivera Court.
December 01, 2011
"Two Square Miles" (video review)
© Filmakers Library
Source: Filmakers Library
In the small town of Hudson, N.Y. many are adjusting to the changes that have occurred over the years. Having gone from an industrial town, to a mostly abandoned one, and finally to the present with local businesses on the rise and new residents moving in, Hudson citizens must decide what they want the future of their town to look like. When the city council presents a bid by Saint Lawrence Cement to put a cement plant on the outskirts of the town, there are many divided between the jobs it would provide and the environmental and health problems it would cause. However, the majority of the town’s citizens decide against the cement plant and work together to convince the city council that this is not what they want, despite the council’s eagerness to accept the plant deal. Ultimately the film asks the question: Can the citizens of a small town work together to build and shape their desired community or will corporate America win out?