PBS

Mike Nichols, an American Master

Mike Nichols, an American Master

This is a brilliant biographical documentary on the late director Mike Nichols done by his early standup improv partner, Elaine May.

Mike Nichols is best known as both a theater and movie director and he’s directed some incredible movies including: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf (his first film), The Graduate, Silkwood, Heartburn, Biloxi Blues, Working Girl, Postcards from the Edge, Regarding Henry, The Birdcage, Charlie Wilson’s War, and many more.

The American Masters documentary is based in part on an interview Nichols did with the producer Julian Schlossberg where Nichols tells the story of his life. May has taken the interview and added all of the relevant contextual information including interviews with many of the people Nichols knew and worked with, period photographs and video, and much more. It’s an incredible story of an incredible life and even if you’ve never seen his films or plays, my guess is you’ll find it fascinating.

This show aired on PBS in the United States January 30th (last night) and you can watch the entire thing here on the web at the above link. The web video will expire on February 27 so I highly recommend watching it soon. I’m not sure how and where this video will be available in the future.

Here’s a small tidbit on the making of the documentary: Filmmaker Interview with Producer Julian Schlossberg.

The Amazing Life of Sand

This is a brilliant short by KQED Public Media, the PBS station in San Francisco. Great macro photography and videography and a fascinating story.

There‚Äôs a story in every grain of sand: tales of life and death, fire and water. If you scooped up a handful of sand from every beach, you’d have a history of the world sifting through your fingers. From mountain boulders to the shells of tiny ocean creatures, follow the journey that sand takes through thousands of years across entire continents to wind up stuck between your toes.

[via The Kid Should See This]

American Masters: Jimi Hendrix

The PBS show American Masters, ran a fantastic documentary the other day: Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin’. You can watch the entire thing online or on the PBS app on an iPad or any iOS device.

Even if you think you know all there is to know about the short but amazing life of this rock legend, this documentary will fill in many gaps not to mention, give you a taste of the evolution of his music.

I saw The Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Hollywood Bowl in 1968. In those days I saw a lot of bands perform live in both Los Angeles and up in San Francisco but I have to say, Jimi Hendrix was an original and whether you liked or like his music, there’s no denying he was a genius.

Johnny Carson: King of Late Night

Johnny Carson: King of Late Night

PBS’s American Masters recently ran their bio of the late late night comedian, Johnny Carson. If you missed it you can watch the entire thing, full screen (zoom it out) at the link above. It’s a fantastic biography of a fascinating man and Carson’s career runs parallel to the early history of television and the various people interviewed for this piece are also pioneers. Very worthwhile although put aside an two hours if you’re going to watch it all the way through in one shot.

Alana Nichols’ spirit

The amazing thing about Alana’s story is that she just keeps moving forward, even with a large setback in her life (a broken back). No doubt the years right after she broke her back were tough but her spirit kept her moving.

It’s an inspiring story, beautifully produced by WGBH, the PBS affiliate in Boston.

Reminds me of the excellent documentary on wheelchair basketball: Murderball.

[via The Kid Should See This]

Albany Park Theater Project

On Stage, Chicago Students Tackle Immigration, Poverty, Race

Jeffrey Brown did an excellent segment on The NewsHour last night on the Albany Park Theater Project, an after-school community theater project for high school students in Chicago.

The segment is deconstructed on their blog: Monday on the NewsHour: Albany Park Theatre Project.