Monday, July 20, 2015

Ancient Egypt this week: Artist's rendering, Egyptian Musical in Tokyo, Tut mini-series Reviews

Soviet-Born Chicago-Area Artist shows updated Ancient Egypt
Marina Muze is a 33-year old Chicago-area artist who grew up in the Soviet Union. Her current 27-piece show in Glenview is broken down into two groups: 5 pieces showing her depiction of an updated ancient Egypt and and 22 pieces, all pencil, exemplifying her latest work.

Of the Egypt pieces, Muze said, "I had this idea: What if ancient Egypt didn't become extinct? For thousands of years, they used ... and continued with their traditional art. So I made my version of modern ancient Egypt, in a humorous way, using symbols that we use -- such as computer keyboards (and the Starbucks Coffee logo)."

Musical about Ancient Egypt, Imperial Theatre in Chiyoda, Tokyo  2016
A website opened to announce that a stage musical adaptation of Chieko Hosokawa's Crest of the Royal Family shōjo manga is in the works. Hungarian composer Sylvester Levay (Elizabeth, Marie Antoinette) will compose the music, while Takarazuka Revue veteran Kōichi Ogita will direct the musical.

The story centers around Carol, an archaeology student on a study trip in Egypt. When an excavation team unearths the tomb of an Egyptian pharaoh, she goes back 3000 years to Ancient Egypt, where she meets the cruel and charismatic pharaoh, Memphis, and falls in love with him.
Tokyo anyone?

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Ancient Egyptian child mummies and their secrets unwrapped in Germany

(CNN) -- The stories of two mummified children are being unwrapped as researchers perform CT scans to determine the secret lives of the ancient Egyptians.

Rare Gift from Father of Cleopatra
A linen cloth that was once given as a gift by the father of legendary Egyptian Queen Cleopatra VII has been discovered by Polish archaeologists during excavations in Western Thebes, now the modern city of Luxor. The cloth was given to an Egyptian temple.

My favorite picture from Ancient Egypt this week

Ozymandias, anyone? Yeah, I know Ozymandias is about the broken statue of Ramses II at his mortuary temple, but the poem was the first thing that came to mind.

Tut the Mini-Series & the Reviews

There are links to a bunch of the official review, but here's my take.

So, I didn't throw anything at the television and I didn't walk out like I did for Exodus: Gods and Kings. I'll watch Parts II and III. It could have been a lot better. So, here's some my thoughts.

Historically, we don't know much about the reign of Tut, so the series can take almost any liberty they want as long as he dies before he's 20. Still, I'm think this is pretty far from the truth, but hey, it's television.

It seems like they could have done more with the family drama instead of manufacturing romances, etc. For example, Horemheb was married to Nefertiti's sister, making him Ankhe's uncle. Ay might have been her grandfather. That must have fed a few ambitions that were slightly more interesting and also gave them more authority over Tut.

It was also believed that Ahkenaten's religious heresy haunted Tut, which could have provided a little more meat for the high priest role, who should have been the bald one. :-)

The actors bear a passing resemblance to the statues and funerary paintings of Tut, Ay, and Horemheb, but Ankhesenamum is totally off base. Everyone else looked alarmingly European,

Minor irritation: I know many think that Egyptian Kings were called Pharaoh; but they weren't. The word pharaoh means "great house." Saying Pharaoh Tut is like saying White House Obama. Can we just say "King? I know, I know, people would have been disappointed.

The costumes, except for the occasional scarabs and Eyes of Horus, looked more like what is commonly ascribed to the ancient Libyans per some tomb paintings (see below).

The gold looked like plastic. And why couldn't we have some Egyptian hair? At least everyone wore the right crowns, unlike Exodus where Ramses wore the Queen's vulture crown.

The sets looked pretty authentic, although the palaces looked more like temples. But hey "Pharaoh" doesn't live in an adobe palace.

Finally, Osiris is one of my favorite gods; afterall, I'm writing a novel about Isis and Osiris, but he wasn't the only god. Not that you would know that from the mini-series where his name is evoked on almost every occasion. Maybe that will change.

What did you think?

Walk Like An Egyptian: Spike's 'Tut' Struts His Stuff