An ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists. Created in 1984, the series is both a celebration and an exploration of creativity in America, documenting the role important individuals, groups, and movements have played in the formation of our cultural identity.
American Masters Previous Broadcasts
The Doors: When You're Strange (Episode #2302)
KQED Plus: Mon, Dec 31, 2012 -- 10:30 PM
The creative chemistry of four brilliant artists -- drummer John Densmore, guitarist Robby Krieger, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, and singer Jim Morrison -- made The Doors one of America's most iconic and influential, theatrical and mysterious rock bands. This film is the first feature documentary to tell their story, with original footage shot between their formation in 1965 and Morrison's death in 1971. It follows the band from the corridors of UCLA's film school, where Manzarek and Morrison met, onto the stages of electrifying sold-out performances and chronicles the creation of their six landmark studio albums. Narrated by Johnny Depp, rare cinema verite allows an intimate glimpse into their musical collaboration -- and their offstage lives.
John Muir in the New World (Episode #2402)
KQED World: Sun, Dec 30, 2012 -- 9:00 PM
Nearly a century after his death, John Muir is remembered and revered as the father of the environmental movement, the father of conservation, and the founder of the Sierra Club. It was this Scottish-American who believed it was our responsibility as citizens to care for and protect our natural surroundings. He taught us by example and passion - through his actions, his writings, his art - how to do so. Through his tireless advocacy, he almost single-handedly saved the Yosemite Valley of California from destruction and was the force behind the creation of the National Parks Service. Filmed throughout the majestic, breathtaking landscapes and wilderness traveled by Muir those many years ago, this documentary places our nation's most important asset in a cultural and social context. Muir's story could not be a more timely reminder of America's unique and, ultimately, threatened eco-system.
- KQED World: Mon, Dec 31, 2012 -- 3:00 AM
Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About (Episode #2201)
KQED Plus: Sun, Dec 9, 2012 -- 10:00 PM
He was a master of the Broadway musical, transforming its possibilities with such works as "West Side Story," "Gypsy" and "Peter Pan," and was one of the greatest ballet choreographers this country has ever produced. Directed and produced by six-time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Judy Kinberg and written by best-selling Robbins biographer Amanda Vaill, this first and only documentary on Robbins features excerpts from his personal journals, archival performance footage and never-before-seen rehearsal recordings, as well as interviews with Robbins himself and over 40 friends and associates -- among them Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jacques d'Amboise, Suzanne Farrell, Arthur Laurents, Peter Martins, Frank Rich, Chita Rivera, Stephen Sondheim and Robbins' Fiddler collaborators Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick and Joseph Stein. The film is narrated by Ron Rifkin ("Brothers & Sisters").
- KQED Plus: Mon, Dec 10, 2012 -- 4:00 AM