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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…
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…
Ralph Ellison: An American Journey
Part of the Series: Diversity Training & Multiculturalism
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…
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…
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…
Robert Bly: A Thousand Years of Joy - An American Poet and Anti-War Activist
Poet Robert Bly stands out even among the celebrated, revolutionary generation of American artists who burst forth in the 1950s. ROBERT BLY: A THOUSAND YEARS OF JOY charts Bly's singular path as a farmer's son on a wintry Minnesota farm…
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
Eileen Myles: An Interview
Part of the Series: Video Data Bank On Art & Artists: Criticism and Theory
In this interview, American writer, artist, performer Eileen Myles (b.1949) discusses the various philosophies that motivate her work, including the language of film, embodied performance, and the alienation evoked by bodily vulgarity. Myles links her wide range of artistic and…
Dickinson - The Life and Work of Emily Dickinson
Recognized as one of the best American poets in history, Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) made great strides while living in an age of predominantly male poets. This film traces Dickinson's life in 19th Century New England and her remarkable work during…
Ferlinghetti
This incisive and entertaining portrait of American poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti explores his vital role as catalyst for numerous literary careers and for the Beat movement itself. Interviews with Ferlinghetti and others reveal a rich melange of characters and events that…
Ten Years In An Open Necked Shirt
"In a vain attempt at bourgeois credibility, Lenny changed his name to John Cooper Clarke and under this title embarked on a poly-syllabic excursion through thrillsville U.K.. Yes it was be there or be square as, clad in the slum…
Charles Bukowski - Bukowski At Bellevue
In the Spring of 1970 Charles Bukowski, then little known, packed his overnight bag, locked the door of his tumbledown East Hollywood apartment behind him, and took his first plane ride to the state of Washington to read at Bellevue…
James Thurber: The Life and Hard Times - A Great American Humoristst
James Thurber: The Life and Hard Times is the first major documentary on the life and work of one of America's greatest humorists. Known for his classic short story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Thurber was a legendary contributor…
Nelson Algren: The End is Nothing, the Road is All
Nelson Algren: The End is Nothing, the Road is All is an in-depth documentary of one of America's greatest and least understood authors. This compelling life story reveals a unique literary voice through rare interviews, historic footage and the gritty…
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…
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…
Cooper and Hemingway: The True Gen - The Friendship of a Writer and an Actor
Ernest Hemingway: Writer, war correspondent, international adventurer, lover, drinker, brawler. The tabloid reputation -- filled with truths, half-truths and flat-out untruths -- grows ever wider. If you made up a character like Ernest Hemingway, how many would believe it? The…
Walt Whitman: An American Original
Extensive readings, critical insights and biographical details are used to develop a texteured portrait of Walt Whitman and to demonstrate his innovative influences on American literature. The program explores his visions of political democracy, social harmony, and sensual joy in…