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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,…
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,…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
James Salter: A Sport and a Past Time
This 54-minute documentary traces the writer James Salter's lifelong love affair with France, unforgettably expressed in his 1967 masterpiece, A Sport and a Pastime. The novel, a transcendent examination of sexual desire, follows an ill-fated love affair between a Yale…
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…
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…
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…
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…
Heroes and Legends - The Most Influential Characters of Literature Series
Heroes hold a special place in our imagination. Names such as Odysseus, Beowulf, and Queen Guinevere summon up mythic legends, while Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, and Huckleberry Finn are some of the most recognizable figures in world literature. Study some of…
24 videos
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…