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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,…
American Anarchist - The Man Who Wrote "The Anarchist Cookbook"
In 1970, William Powell wanted to help build a new society so he taught the world how to blow the old one up. As the heady days of the late 60's counterculture and political upheaval turned darker, Powell, at 19,…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
Mark Twain Finds His Voice: 88 Days in the Mother Lode
In the winter of 1864/65, a young Samuel Clemens spent 88 days in the Sierra Nevada Mother Lode country of California hiding out from the San Francisco police. He lived in a small log cabin with several gold miners, and…
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…
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…
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…
In Black And White - Six Profiles of African American Authors
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 Naylor, Alice Walker, John Edgar…
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