Watch This: Trailer for Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise is a PBS American Masters production. Watch your local listings for the premier in September. Continue reading “Watch This: Trailer for Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise”

Watch This: Trailer for The Women’s List

The Women’s List is on your local PBS or PBS online. Fifteen women are featured in this one hour film by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

Featured women include Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 1997-2001, Gloria Allred, lawyer, Laurie Anderson, artist, Sara Blakely, entrepreneur, Margaret Cho, comedian, Edie Falco, actor, Elizabeth Holmes, scientist and entrepreneur, Betsey Johnson, fashion designer, Alicia Keys, singer-songwriter, Aimee Mullins, athlete and fashion model, Nancy Pelosi, politician, Rosie Perez, actor, Shonda Rhimes, writer-producer, Wendy Williams, talk show host, Nia Wordlaw, pilot. This is a diverse list of women, some of whom you may know, some of whom may be new faces to you.

The women share their experiences struggling against discrimination and overcoming challenges to make their voices heard.

 

The New Season on Independent Lens

It made the news when Lois Vossen was promoted to executive producer of the PBS documentary series Independent Lens. That makes Vossen one of the top ranking people at PBS. The series she’ll head caught my attention when I saw the articles about her promotion. The commitment to independent film she talks about is wonderful and important.

Independent Lens begins its 14th season on November 9. Take a look at some of the films and any female film makers to be in the new season.

Stray Dog

The season opens with Stray Dog, which is billed as a “stereotype-shattering portrait” of Vietnam veteran Ron Hall directed by Debra Granik. Granik directed the Jennifer Lawrence star-making film Winter’s Bone.

East of Salinas

East of Salinas scene

Laura Pacheco is the producer and director of East of Salinas. The director of photography is also a woman: Jackie Mow.

The film description: “East of Salinas is a story about immigration, childhood, and circumstance. With little support at home, Salinas, California third grader José Ansaldo often turns to his teacher, Oscar Ramos, once a migrant farm kid himself. Oscar helps José imagine a future beyond the lettuce fields where his parents work. But José was born in Mexico — and he’s on the cusp of understanding the implications of that. As we watch this play out, we begin to understand the cruelty of circumstance — for José and many millions of migrant kids like him. East of Salinas asks: What is lost when kids like José are denied opportunities?”

Meet the Patels

Meet the Patels is directed by Ravi Patel and Geeta Patel. Geeta Patel is the cinamatographer and a producer. Geeta Patel is also one of the writers, along with Ravi Patel and others.

Meet the Patels is described thus: “. . . a laugh-out-loud real life romantic comedy about Ravi Patel, an almost-30-year-old Indian-American who enters a love triangle with the woman of his dreams… and his parents. This hilarious heartwarming film reveals how love is a family affair.”

In Football We Trust

In Football we Trust is directed by first time feature film makers Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn. The film synopsis is “In Football we Trust intimately portrays four young Polynesian football players struggling to overcome gang violence, family pressures and near poverty as they enter the high stakes world of college recruiting and the promise of professional sports.” There’s quite a pipeline of Pacific Islanders coming to the U.S. to play football.

Autism in Love

Autism in Love “follows four adults with an autism spectrum disorder as they pursue and navigate through romantic relationships.” Matt Fuller is the director.

When the new season of Independent Lens begins in November, it will be on Monday nights on PBS.

More Makers Documentaries Coming on PBS

This fall the fabulous folks at Makers will air 6 new documentaries on PBS. I will watch them and hope you will, too.

Makers aired a documentary in 2013 on PBS about the women’s movement. Perhaps you saw it. These six new docs will focus on women in comedy, women in Hollywood, women in space, women in politics, women in business and women in war.

MAKERS is a digital and video storytelling platform that aims to be the largest and most dynamic collection of women’s stories ever assembled.

In addition to creating video, there was a conference in early 2014. I haven’t seen any news about a 2015 conference.

There are interesting and inspiring videos just bursting from the Makers website. There’s no need to wait for these particular six to reach PBS to sample the good work going on there.

As an example of the type of work that Makers create, here’s a brief video from a series with actress Zooey Deschanel.

PBS Announces Dates for Season 2 of Last Tango in Halifax and I’m Not Happy – Updated

PBS announced that the second season of Last Tango in Halifax will air on PBS beginning Sunday June 29, 2014.

You read that right: June 29. Five months from now.

As far as I’m concerned here at Old Ain’t Dead, that’s a unacceptable delay and wait.

Blimey

Okay, I am pretty upset with PBS. And I was trying to stage a revolt against the 5 month wait on my  little blog. Then I heard from Tony Gardner, who plays John on Last Tango in Halifax.

So here’s the thing. Last Tango in Halifax

  1. is pretty much the best show on earth
  2. is home to great actors and I don’t want to stuff any of them

So I’ve decided not to encourage you to violate any intellectual property laws in an effort to override the inertia of PBS. I’ve also decided to wait to publish my recaps until PBS actually airs the show in June.

I Hate This

I hate the fact that in an Internet-connected world where there is no place, no geography, any longer,  we are bound by geographic restrictions on content.

I hate PBS taking its sweet time to air something that is out in the ether in a million other ways. Why are they so slow? What’s the purpose of the delay? Why not simulcast it like Doctor Who? Why not show it shortly after the British version has shown like Downton Abbey?

Is it about money? Doesn’t the show have good enough ratings?

Yes, I’ve seen season 2 on the BBC. It isn’t that I’m dying of curiosity because I haven’t seen it yet. But – and this is a big but, I will watch the whole series AGAIN when it comes out on PBS. It isn’t that knowing season 2 is going to prevent me from seeing it on PBS. I’ll watch it on PBS. Whatever I contribute to PBS in ratings when the show airs is still coming their way.

Here’s the real point for me: PBS is taking too freaking long to bring the show to America. Too freaking long.

I may rant about this until June.