American Masters

AMERICAN MASTERS
Carole King

 

Delve into the hit singer-songwriter’s life and career from 1960s New York to the music mecca of 1970s LA to the present. King joins collaborators and family in new interviews, while rare home movies, performances and photos complete the tapestry. This year also marks the 45th anniversary of King’s landmark album Tapestry, which spawned the hits “It’s Too Late,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” “You’ve Got a Friend” and “So Far Away.”

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning

 

Explore the life story of the influential “Migrant Mother” photographer through her granddaughter’s eyes. Never-before-seen photos and film footage, family memories and new interviews reveal the artist who challenged America to know itself.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand

 

From his roots as an activist and poet to his indelible mark on Broadway, this program captures the legacy of the man some call America’s Shakespeare. Film and theater luminaries such as James Earl Jones, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne, Charles Dutton and others share their stories of the career and experience of bringing Wilson’s rich theatrical voice to the stage. This film tells of his journey to the Great White Way, the triumphs and struggles along the path to such seminal works as Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Piano Lesson and others before his death in 2005.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
Althea

 

Discover the story of Althea Gibson (1927-2003), who emerged as the unlikely queen of the segregated tennis world of the 1950s. She was the first African American to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals (precursor of the U.S. Open) – a decade before Arthur Ashe. The documentary explores her mentoring by boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, former New York City mayor David Dinkins and others. Interviewees include Dinkins, Wimbledon champion Dick Savitt and all-time great Billie Jean King.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
B.B. King: The Life of Riley

AMERICAN MASTERS - B.B. King: The Life of Riley

 

Explore B.B. King’s challenging life and career through candid interviews with the King of the Blues, filmed shortly before his death in May 2015. Fellow music stars including Bono, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, John Mayer and Ringo Starr, pay tribute to King’s legend.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler

 

Discover the story of legendary musician Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987), the first truly modern violin virtuoso. Through vintage performances, master classes and Heifetz’ previously unseen home movies, this documentary portrays an artist for whom only perfection would do. New interviews include other great violinists influenced by Heifetz, including Itzhak Perlman, Ivry Gitlis and Ida Haendel, former students Ayke Agus and Sherry Kloss, and biographers John Anthony Maltese and Arthur Vered. They reveal how Heifetz was a mysterious, idiosyncratic, solitary figure who embodied the paradox of artistic genius: a dedication to his craft at all costs.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance

 

Uncover the story of the first quintessentially American dance company, the Joffrey Ballet. Founders Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino pioneered a new dance philosophy by daringly combining modern and traditional techniques and art with social statement, and integrating pop and rock music scores. Tracing the struggles and triumphs of the company from 1956 to the present, the film features interviews with former and current Joffrey dancers, the breakthroughs of choreographers Twyla Tharp, Laura Dean and Margo Sappington, and rare archival performance footage, including excerpts from signature works Astarte, Trinity and Billboards. Mandy Patinkin narrates.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
The Women’s List

 

Meet 15 women who have created and defined contemporary American culture. This documentary features intimate interviews with Madeleine Albright, Gloria Allred, Laurie Anderson, Sara Blakely, Margaret Cho, Edie Falco, Elizabeth Holmes, Betsey Johnson, Alicia Keys, Aimee Mullins, Nancy Pelosi, Rosie Perez, Shonda Rhimes, Wendy Williams and Nia Wordlaw. All trailblazers in their respective fields, these women share their experiences struggling against discrimination and overcoming challenges to make their voices heard and their influence felt.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter

 

From 1941 to 1978, the husband-and-wife team of Ray and Charles Eames brought unique talents to their partnership. He was an architect by training; she was a painter and sculptor. Together, they are considered America’s most important and influential designers, whose work literally helped shape the second half of the 20th century and remains culturally vital and commercially popular today. Ray and Charles Eames are, perhaps, best remembered for their mid-century modern furniture, built from novel materials like molded plywood, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, bent metal wire and aluminum – offering consumers beautiful, functional, yet inexpensive products. Revered for their designs and fascinating as individuals, they have risen to iconic status in American culture, but their influence on significant events and movements in American life – from the development of modernism to the rise of the computer age – has been less widely understood.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
The Day Carl Sandburg Died

 

For much of the 20th century, Carl Sandburg was synonymous with the
American experience, a spokesman on behalf of “the people.” Using his unique
life as the basis for free-verse poetry, Sandburg became one of the most
successful writers in the English language: a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner,
biographer, children’s storyteller, novelist and captivating performer. Yet,
after his death in 1967, his literary legacy faded and his poems, once taught
in schools across America, were dismissed under the weight of massive critical
attack. AMERICAN MASTERS provides a dynamic examination into the life, work and
controversy surrounding Sandburg, exposing his radical politics and anarchist
writing during WWI as well as the burgeoning resurgence of interest in him and
his contributions.

 

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