JOHNNY CASH’S AMERICAJOHNNY CASH’S AMERICA was not red, white or blue, but black. This documentary ties together Cash’s politics, beliefs, influence and his patriotism. How did personal, national and political events shape Cash and how did he reflect it back to the country? How can one man unify so many? Cash navigated some of the most contentious issues of our time – war, prison reform, youth discontent, religion, Native
American rights – without losing his audience. What lessons can be learned from his story? How can one man speak his mind without losing his voice? Most broadly, Johnny Cash was able to unite people of vastly different political, economic, and social standings; in 2008, what can we take from Cash that may help us unite as a country,
April 5, 1968. It is the day after one of the most catastrophic moments in the history of the civil rights movement. Backstage at the Boston Garden, the mood is somber, appropriately funereal. Just 24 hours ago, Martin Luther King, Jr., the most important and beloved African American leader in America, has been assassinated, and though James Brown is booked that night for a show, nobody really wants to go onstage and play: On April 4, 1968, the leader of the nonviolent resistance movement, Martin Luther King, was assassinated in Memphis; On April 5, 1968, James Brown sang, and the city of Boston
A show about words and the people who use them.English is vexing. There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger, neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins were not invented in England nor French fries in France.
Billions of people words, and so do some apes. But while most of us are content to just learn, speak and write words, THE JOY OF LEX can’t leave it at that. Each and every word has its own story, about how it was created, shaped and changed by the generations who’ve used it. Every word has a secret life of it’s own; words are constantly in flux, being lost, found, picked apart, abused, overused and relished.
THE JOY OF LEX will explore the surprising stories, passions,
The political and social history of Los Angeles, using old stills and news footage, contemporary footage, and commentary. Bert Corona is our guide for East Los Angeles, Buck Henry for Hollywood, David Hockney for the art scene, Elaine Young for Beverly Hills, Buddy Collette and Gene Norman for Central Avenue and music, Margaret Crawford and Joan Didion for the San Fernando Valley, James Ellroy for noir L.A., Frank Wilkinson on land use and L.A.’s poor, and, throughout, the observations of Mike Davis, L.A.’s pre-eminent social historian.
A concrete history written on celluloid and in between lines of promotional brochures. Shotgun Freeway is a documentary on the multiple realities of Los Angeles after the war.
“WE HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS; IT SHALL RISE FROM THE ASHES.”
- FATHER GABRIEL RICHARD, WHO WROTE DETROIT’S MOTTO AFTER FIRE NEARLY DESTROYED THE CITY IN 1805
Detroit is an iconic city. Go anywhere in the world, say “Detroit,” and it strikes a set of images — Motown. Hockeytown. Chrysler, Ford, General Motors. Eminem, 8 Mile … Also crime, foreclosures, poverty, white flight, race … and fire.
But these are mere snapshots, glimpses into a deeper, more complex panorama.
Most celebrity documentaries feature bits and pieces of home movies, depicting the stars in relaxed, informal moments with friends and family. HOLLYWOOD HOME MOVIES is based almost entirely on such footage. The show tells the intimate story of life in Hollywood, from the 1920s to today, as it is lived by Hollywood celebrities. We see them as they are — playing at home, frolicking in the pool, playing golf, goofing at their kids’ birthday parties, on the ranch.
There is a huge collection of material, including the home movies of Jimmy Stewart, Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, Tony Curtis, Dorothy McGuire, Loretta Young, Peter Fonda, Steve McQueen, Alfred Hitchcock, Haskell Wexler, Rock Hudson, Dean Martin, Ken Murray,
By the time HANK WILLIAMS died, drunk, drugged and alone in the back seat of his Cadillac on New Year’s Eve 1952, he had redefined country music. He was 29 years old. HONKY TONK BLUES is the first feature length documentary to tell the story of country music’s most important figure and his brilliant, tortured life.
Hank was a recording artist for just six years and a star for four. He recorded 88 songs under his own name, half of which were hits: “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Hey, Good Lookin’,” “You’re Cheatin’ Heart,” “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You) and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”
HONKY TONK BLUES recovers Hank from the legend. Using
This presentation of the PBS American Masters anthology recounts the life and life’s work of the “archetypal bluesman,” Muddy Waters. Born McKinley A. Morganfield in 1915 (his nickname was bestowed on him by his mother), Waters became skilled at guitar and harmonica early on, but the racial and economic circumstances of the Mississippi Delta area in which he lived dictated that he could not support himself as a musician, thus he toiled away at a variety of depressing dead-end jobs. He might have remained in utter obscurity had it not been for the diligent efforts of African-American musicologist John Work III, who in 1941 embarked upon an expedition into the Deep South in search of authentic “ethnic” music and talented amateur musicians. Once he had committed his work to record, Waters became a international icon
Hitmakers, appropriately, starts off to the tune of the Drifters classic “This Magic Moment,” which was written by the Brill Building team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. The in-depth documentary then details one of the most fertile periods of American popular music – and a singles-driven market where super-talented teens could write a song one day, demo it the next, and see it released two weeks later.
It has come to be known as “Brill Building Pop,” but it encompasses doo-wop, R&B, and particularly the “girl group” rock’n'roll era so closely associated with legendary indie labels like Scepter and Red Bird – and, of course, the Brill Building songwriters, including renowned producers Phil Spector and Shadow Morton.
A documentary about the work of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.