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.
Lennon NYC (#2306H) Duration: 1:55:46 SRND51 TVPG-L
In October 2010, John Lennon would have been 70 years old. In December 2010, he will have been dead for 30 years. Yet, his art still haunts us. It still matters deeply and it is still deeply relevant. It still speaks to millions of people. This film establishes Lennon as an American artist. It is, essentially, a classic immigrant tale: Lennon and Ono left London in 1971 in search of freedom, both artistic and personal. We hear Lennon's song New York City and follow into their life - their commitment to peace and political activism, their struggles to remain in America and, of course, the greatest music from that period and the concert footage from Lennon's first two albums, Plastic Ono Band and Imagine. With unprecedented and exclusive cooperation from Yoko Ono, access to never-before-seen material from the Lennon archives and conversations with those closest to him - Ono, Elton John, the photographer Bob Gruen, Ringo Starr -- this program tells John Lennon's story as it has never been told before -- and as it will never be told again.
- KQED Life: Sun, Apr 20, 2014 -- 9:00pm
- KQED Life: Mon, Apr 21, 2014 -- 3:00am
A Fierce Green Fire (#2701) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG-V (Secondary audio: none)
This film is an exploration of the environmental movement - grassroots and global activism spanning 50 years from conservation to climate change. Inspired by the book of the same name by Philip Shabecoff and informed by advisors like Edward O. Wilson, this documentary chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st. It brings together all the major parts of environmentalism and connects them. It focuses on activism, people fighting to save their homes, their lives, the future - and succeeding against all odds. The film is directed and written by Mark Kitchell, Academy Award-nominated director of Berkeley in the Sixties, and narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep.
James Levine: America's Maestro (#2403H) Duration: 56:16 SRND51 TVG
To celebrate his 40th anniversary at the Metropolitan Opera in 2011, conductor James Levine's life and current work were the subject of this documentary, which captures the essence of his unparalleled musicianship and his singular teaching and performance style, while looking back at creative milestones since his Met debut in 1971 at the age of 28.
Over the course of a year, filmmaker Susan Froemke followed Levine. Included in the film are intimate scenes between the maestro and longtime collaborator Placido Domingo as they rehearse Verdi's Simon Boccanegra; intense rehearsals with the Met Orchestra as they prepare for their first performance of Beethoven's 5th Symphony at Carnegie Hall; and Levine's poignant coaching sessions with aspiring young singers preparing to launch their careers. The film provides a revealing portrait of one of classical music's giants, exploring how Levine transformed the Met's orchestra into one of the great ensembles, elicited legendary performances from leading singers, and nurtured new generations of artists.
The Doors: When You're Strange (#2302H) Duration: 1:25:40 SRND51 TV14
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.
Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself (#2702#) Duration: 1:26:46 SRND51 TVPG-L
This film showcases the life of the legendary writer, actor, risk-taker -- from his youth, to his co-founding of the Paris Review, to his life as an American journalist, writer, editor, actor, and occasional amateur sportsman. George Plimpton was famous for "participatory journalism," and in this portrait, we meet the man, the writer, and the "experiencer," who through his willingness to do anything for a story, brought his readers and viewers into the lives and careers of those he joined, so that they could be shared by all.