intellectual

AMERICAN MASTERS
Louisa May Alcott

 

Alcott’s reputation as a morally upstanding New England spinster, reflecting the conventional propriety of mid-19th century Concord, Massachusetts, is firmly established.  Raised among reformers, iconoclasts and Transcendentalists, the intellectual protégé of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, Alcott was actually a free thinker, with democratic ideals and progressive values about women – a worldly careerist of sorts.  Most surprising is that Alcott led, anonymously and under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard, a literary double life not discovered until the 1940s.  As Barnard, Alcott penned some thirty pulp fiction thrillers, with characters running the gamut from murderers and revolutionaries to cross-dressers and opium addicts – a far cry from her better-known works featuring fatherly mentors, courageous mothers and impish children.

 

 

INDEPENDENT LENS
Best of Enemies

 

In 1968, Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr. changed TV news forever with their explosive political debates. Live and unscripted, conservative Buckley and leftist Vidal riveted viewers as a new era in contentious public discourse was born.

 

GENIUS BY STEPHEN HAWKING
What Are We?

GENIUS BY STEPHEN HAWKING: What Are We?

 

Renowned scientist Stephen Hawking presents three everyday people with a series of physical and mental challenges that show them how to think like a genius. Through large-scale experiments and demonstrations, Hawking decodes the mysteries of evolutionary biology, astrophysics and quantum mechanics, breaking down scienti­fic concepts in ways that are more easily accessible. The program “furthers my lifelong aim to bring science to the public,” said Hawking.

 

What Are We?
See how self-assembling machines and light-up bacteria revolutionize three people’s view of life.

 

INDEPENDENT LENS
Mimi and Dona

 

Meet an unforgettable mother-daughter duo facing tough choices as they age. Mimi is 92 years old and still caring for her mentally disabled 64-year-old daughter Dona. Now Mimi’s family has decided that she can no longer care for Dona, and Dona must leave home to live in a state-run institution. After 64 years, Mimi will have an empty nest and Dona will suddenly be on her own.