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.
Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes (#2204Z) Duration: 1:26:10 STEREO TVPG
America's foremost humorist and commentator, Garrison Keillor, is a public man who remains an enigma to many. Peter Rosen's revealing documentary goes behind the scenes of America's most popular radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, and inside the imagination of the man who created it. In this intimate portrait of our "everyman philosopher," we begin to understand the man whose stories reflect the American tradition so well.
A Letter to Elia (#2305H) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVPG
His name was brought front and center to the world again during the buzz and build-up to the March 1999 Academy Awards. Elia Kazan was to be recognized with an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement, an honor that divided Hollywood and fueled social commentary across the country. Then 89 years old and best remembered for his film directing in the 1950s -- On the Waterfront, East of Eden, A Streetcar Named Desire, Gentleman's Agreement, A Face in the Crowd -- Kazan remained a controversial figure. To many, he was personally and permanently emblematic of the sin of "naming names" before HUAC in the darkest days of the Hollywood Blacklist. To others, his extraordinary body of work deserved honors, despite any questionable behavior. One of his strongest supporters was Martin Scorsese, the director of this documentary. The film is a meditation on the nature of art and influence.
Trumbo (#2205) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
Dalton Trumbo, was a successful Hollywood screenwriter who, after refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, was convicted and jailed. He was unable to work in his own name for more than a decade, writing 30 scripts under pseudonyms. He won an Oscar in 1956 for The Brave One as Robert Reich. In 1960 he was recognized publicly again when Otto Preminger credited him on Exodus and Kirk Douglas did so on Spartacus. These actions marked the end of the blacklist. As late as 1993, Trumbo was awarded a posthumous Academy Award for Roman Holiday. This film is adapted from his son Christopher's recent play based on the letters Trumbo wrote during the "Red Scare."
Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides (#2308H) Duration: 1:26:46 SRND51 TVPG
Called "the most natural and least self-conscious screen actor that has ever lived" by critic Pauline Kael, Jeff Bridges has been plying his craft most of his life. With a first role as an infant in his mother Dorothy's arms and a childhood television debut in his father Lloyd's television series Sea Hunt, he burst onto the silver screen in The Last Picture Show in 1971 and was immediately recognized with a Best Supporting Actor nomination. He has created original and memorable characters in notable films since that time. To name but a few -- Heaven's Gate, Starman, Jagged Edge, The Fisher King, Fearless, Wild Bill, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Big Lebowski, and his 2010 Oscar-winning best actor in Crazy Heart. He is an exceptional musician, an artist, a photographer, an occasional vintner and a story teller extraordinaire. He helped found the End Hunger Network in 1983 and continues to work tirelessly to reach their goals. Known for taking on-set still photographs of cast and crew during all of his recent movies, Bridges puts together a book after wrapping, presents one to everyone and sells the rest to support End Hunger. He wrote about it in his 2006 volume "Pictures". Bridges returns to the screen in 2011 with Tron Legacy and as Rooster Cogburn in the remake of True Grit.
Also on KQED.org this week ...
"The Bay Bridged" Music for June
Listen the The Bay Bridged mix of bands performing live in the Bay Area this month, including The Mantles, Cold Cave, The Spyrals, Blitzen Trapper, Monster Rally, and more. Enjoy the podcast and then go see some concerts!
Obamacare Explained: A Guide for Californians
Starting Jan 1, 2014, most Americans will be required to have health insurance or pay a fine. KQED has created a simple guide to explain how the health law affects you, your family or your small business, here in California.