Best known for her science fiction and “Earthsea” fantasy series, celebrated author Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (1929–2018) wrote 21 novels, 11 volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, 12 children’s books, six volumes of poetry, and four of translation during her life.
Next month, American Masters presents the first documentary exploring the remarkable life and legacy of the prolific and versatile author.
Produced with Le Guin’s participation over the course of a decade, American Masters’ “Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin” tells the intimate coming-of-age story of the Portland, Oregon housewife and mother of three who forever transformed American literature by bringing science fiction into the literary mainstream.
Through her influential work, Le Guin opened doors for generations of younger writers like Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, and David Mitchell — all of whom appear in the film — to explore fantastic elements in their writing.
“Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin” premieres August 2 on PBS.
Madonna is giving fans an intimate, behind-the-scenes look into the making of her latest album “Madame X” with the short documentary, “World of Madame X.”
The 23-minute documentary finds Madonna in Lisbon, Portugal where the album was born while the megastar lived there for several years.
“I came to Lisbon because of my son. Because of his passion for playing football. That’s how it all began,” Madonna says in a clip donning several artful outfits and playing guitar. “I was a soccer mom.”
“Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes” makes a point right off that the influential jazz label is still very much a thing of the present.
The opening scene shows a convocation of young musicians, including pianist Robert Glasper and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, assembling in a studio. Don Was, the musician and producer who now oversees the label, talks up a “Blue Note All-Stars” session.
In time the younger players are joined by legends Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, surviving alumni of what jazz aficionados would term the label’s third golden age, that of the 1960s.
Francis Wolff and Alfred Lion, German jazz fans who fled Nazi Germany and landed in New York, founded the label in 1939. It soon developed a roster, including Thelonious Monk, that gave it cachet and a signature sound.
Sophie Huber’s “Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes” arrives in select theaters this summer.
One of the most intriguing films to come out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival features one of recent history’s most intriguing performers: The Amazing Johnathan.
Like the man himself, the first trailer for “The Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary” is pretty wild: After receiving a deadly diagnosis and being given a year to live, the rebellious and irreverent magician embarks on his final tour with filmmaker Ben Berman in tow.
What ensues is, apparently, an anarchic tour filled with magic, meth, and mayhem. And three years after receiving his diagnosis, the Amazing Jonathan is still alive.
Is he actually sick? What’s really real? Maybe the greatest trick the Amazing Johnathan ever pulled was this documentary,
“The Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary” arrives on Hulu and in select theaters on August 16.