King Lear

Filmed in 1998, this adroit BBC/WGBH-Boston production of William Shakespeare’s King Lear is of particular note for preserving Ian Holm’s celebrated stage performance in the title role. Stellar interpreters of Lear haven’t always been so fortunate. Laurence Olivier was frail and in ill health by the time he was  ...

Jazz

Ken Burns' new documentary series Jazz completes the trilogy that began with The Civil War and continued with Baseball. It is less a celebration of a musical idiom than his latest attempt to define the very essence of America. "Jazz music objectifies America," Wynton Marsalis says over the  ...

Jonathan Winters: On the Loose

Jonathan Winters is a difficult talent to categorize, which may help explain why he has been so under-utilized by Hollywood. The latest example of this dropping of the ball is the recent flop Rocky and Bullwinkle, in which Winters has three roles, none of them lasting more than a  ...

Howard Hughs: His Women and His Movies

When most people hear the name Howard Hughes, his career in motion pictures is probably not the first thing to spring to mind. The more likely image is that of an old man with long hair and fingernails, wearing Kleenex boxes for shoes, sitting in a sterilized environment atop  ...

Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The Early Years (1955-1970)

A ski lodge, 1965. Well-scrubbed teenagers lounge around the fireplace, lazily sipping hot chocolate. In walk four black men, nattily dressed in identical hooded floor-length dusters with enormous white lapels. One of them sports a mountainous, perfectly coifed pompadour. Heads turn: they might as well be aliens. One  ...

Hitchcock, Selznick & the End of Hollywood

Suggested reading: Hitchcock and Selznick:The Rich and Strange Collaboration of Alfred Hitchcock and David O. Selznick in Hollywood (1999), Leonard J. Leff Hitchcock's Notebooks: An authorized and Illustrated Look Inside the Creative Mind of Alfred Hitchcock (1999), Dan Auiler Hitchcock on Hitchcock: Selected Writings  ...

Great Expectations

Online references on Charles Dickens Patchwork-Look Velvety Chenille Tapestry Carpet Bag with Shoulder Strap Internet Movie Database lists seven different versions of Great Expectations including this new interpretation made by the BBC and broadcast in the U.S. by Masterpiece Theatre on PBS.  ...

Further Tales of the City

Armistead Maupin wrote the original Tales of the City in 1976 as a serial in the daily San Francisco Chronicle. At the time it was fresh and engaging, and it caught a certain tone of the life and thought then characterizing San Francisco--a city that, at least on the  ...

Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks

It would be perfectly appropriate to find a picture of Gordon Parks illustrating the entry "Renaissance Man" in any dictionary. Over the course of his 88 years, he's been a photographer for Life magazine, composer, novelist, poet, painter, lecturer, biographer, co-founder of Essence magazine, and a filmmaker – of  ...

Swingin’ with Duke

Some Ellington CDs: The Best Of The Duke Ellington Centennial Edition 16 Most Requested Songs The Complete Capitol Recordings The Duke Ellington Centenary Collection: The Travelog Edition Swingin' with Duke, produced by Oren Jacoby (The Irish in America, Benny Goodman: King of Swing), is  ...