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A Place to Stand - The Story of Author Jimmy Santiago Baca
This film tells the story of acclaimed author Jimmy Santiago Baca's transformation from a functionally illiterate convict to an award-winning poet, novelist and screenwriter. Based on the memoir of the same name, the film takes viewers into Baca's past and…
Burroughs: The Movie
Made up of intimate, revelatory footage of the singular author and poet filmed over the course of five years, Howard Brookner's 1983 documentary about William S. Burroughs was for decades mainly the stuff of legend; that changed when Aaron Brookner,…
Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train
We mourn the loss of author, activist, historian and beloved folk hero Howard Zinn, who has been an integral part of the First Run legacy for many years. Howard lent his support to many First Run films (many of which…
Beat Hotel
1957, Paris. A cheap no-name hotel becomes a haven for a new breed of artists struggling to free themselves from the conformity and censorship of America. Called the Beat Hotel, it soon became an epicenter of the Beat Generation. This…
In Black And White - Six Profiles of African American Authors
In Black and White is the first video series devoted to the life and work of contemporary African American authors. It introduces students and general readers to six of America's most talented and challenging writers: Charles Johnson, Toni Morrison, Gloria…
6 videos
Ralph Ellison: An American Journey
Ralph Ellison: An American Journey is the first documentary on one of the most gifted and intellectually provocative authors of modern American literature. It establishes Ellison as a central figure in contemporary debates over art, politics, race and nationhood. Narrated…
Billy Collins: On the Road with the Poet Laureate
Billy Collins is perhaps the first American poet since Robert Frost to enjoy both critical and popular acclaim. This 59-minute documentary captures the qualities that make Collins such a refreshing literary figure. With a film crew trailing him from poetry…
Poetry in Motion
Called the "Woodstock of Poetry" by American Film, and "Dazzling" by the Los Angeles Times, Poetry in Motion is an unprecedented anthology of twenty-four leading North American poets who sing, chant, anything but "read" their work. The result is a…
The Beat Generation
This documentary tells the story of the incredible and enduring friendship between Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, and how they gave birth to the literary movement of the Beat Generation. It begins in New York, at the end…
Jack London : American Original
Most people remember Jack London as the author of "Call of the Wild" but Jack London, "is the quintessential modern hero," who during his lifetime rose from poverty to become the highest paid, most controversial and most popular writer in…
I am Secretly an Important Man - The Life and Work of Poet Steven J. Bernstein
A portrait of writer and poet Steven J. Bernstein (aka Jesse Bernstein), one of Seattle's most celebrated and troubled voices. His angry, surprisingly fresh and lyrical writings are about sensitive souls, drifters and drug addicts; the people alienated by a…
I Think You're Totally Wrong: A Quarrel
Academy Award nominee James Franco (127 Hours), New York Times bestselling author David Shields (Reality Hunger), and failed artist Caleb Powell collaborate to create an unusually raw, risky, brave, provocative film, I Think You're Totally Wrong: A Quarrel. The buddy…
Steinbeck: Grapes Of Wrath & The Depression: A Video Commentary
Introduce your students to one of the most important novels of the century. The program features an expert who provides backgrounds for both the novel and movie; covers social concerns suggested by the novel; the relationship of the novel to…
Revealing Mr. Maugham
Documentary film on the life and work of author W. Somerset Maugham. His life and work discussed by writers such as Armistead Maupin and Alexander McCall-Smith and experts such as Selina Hastings.
Edgar Allan Poe: A Journey in Verse
Edgar Allan Poe was truest to his heart a poet. He has blessed American literature with some of the most striking and moving imagery ever created. His phrasing and lyricism have forever changed the landscape of poetic verse. Includes "The…
Hunter S. Thompson - Final 24: His Final Hours
Hunter S. Thompson was an author trapped in the body of a rock star. His drug-fuelled adventures were legendary and became the basis of one of the modern lit classics. A lifetime of alcohol and drug abuse was taking their…
Harper Lee: From Mockingbird to Watchman
To everyone's surprise, fifty-five years after the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird , Harper Lee published another novel. Go Set a Watchman was written before Lee's beloved masterpiece, as director Mary McDonagh Murphy explains in this update of her…
William S. Burroughs - A Man Within
William S. Burroughs: featuring never before seen footage as well as exclusive interviews with his closest friends and colleagues. Born the heir of the Burroughs' adding machine estate, he struggled throughout his life with addiction, control systems, and self. He…
Edgar Allan Poe: Literature Of Melancholy
Through dramatizations and discussions of his work, this program examines Poe's personality and his view of the intellectual as a superior but isolated being. It also investigates the invention of the detective story, his understanding of horror, violence and paranoia,…
Chuck Palahniuk: Fight Club, Choke & Invisible Monsters (Commonwealth Club)
Award-winning author Chuck Palahniuk discusses his new book, Invisible Monsters Remix, and reflects on past works such as Fight Club and Choke. The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation's oldest and largest public affairs forum, bringing together its members…