Literary Documentary

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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,…
Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life
This Academy Award nominated documentary is the first authorized film look at the life and work of the controversial Russian-born author Ayn Rand. The writer of such renowned novels as The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged is the subject of Michael…
Write Down, I am an Arab
"Write Down, I am an Arab" tells the story of Mahmoud Darwish, the Palestinian national poet and one of the most influential writers of the Arab world. His writing shaped Palestinian identity and helped galvanize generations of Palestinians to their…
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…
Dear Mr. Watterson - The Era of Calvin & Hobbes
Calvin & Hobbes dominated the Sunday comics in thousands of newspapers for over 10 years, having a profound effect on millions of readers across the globe. When the strip's creator, Bill Watterson, retired the strip on New Year's Eve in…
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…
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…
The Mystery of Agatha Christie with David Suchet
PBS
David Suchet, TV's Poirot, has spent more of his life acting out the plots and dramas created by Agatha Christie than anyone else in the world. Suchet is embarking on a journey to learn more about the woman who created…
In the Wake of the Flood - Author Margaret Atwood
On the eve of her 70th birthday, Canadian writer Margaret Atwood set out on an international tour criss-crossing the British Isles and North America to celebrate the publication of her new dystopian novel, The Year of the Flood . Rather…
The Real Middle Earth
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is the most popular work of fiction ever created. It is a tale of epic proportions held together by its unforgettable setting, Middle Earth. The great trilogy introduced the world to Gandalf, Frodo…
The Paper Mirror
In the winter of 2010, Alison Bechdel is entrenched in the process of writing "Are You My Mother", a hauntingly personal graphic memoir about her mother, and a follow up of sorts to 2006's award-winning "Fun Home." Known best for…
Harold Pinter: Art, Truth & Politics
"[A] passionate and astonishing speech, which mixed moral vigour with forensic detail... This was a man delivering an attack on American foreign policy, and Britain's subscription to it, with a controlled anger and a deadly irony. And, paradoxically, it reminded…
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…
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…
Dangerous Edge - A Life of Graham Greene
PBS
British actor Sir Derek Jacobi narrates this portrait of author Graham Greene: a British spy, doubting Catholic, and manic-depressive who wrote critically acclaimed best-sellers including The Quiet American, Brighton Rock, The End of the Affair and The Third Man. Weaving…
Triptych: 3 Women Making Art
Art is one of the oldest activities on Earth, even predating science or math. But too often we forget it is a basic part of a balanced, healthy life. And women and art rarely get serious attention in our culture.…
Hubert Selby Jr - It Will Be Better Tomorrow
Narrated by Robert Downey, Jr, featuring: Lou Reed, Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Darren Aronofsky, Uli Edel, Henry Rollins, Jerry Stahl, Richard Price, Nick Tosches. This documentary is a harrowing and engaging exploration into the life and art of the renowned…
Author Julia Franck
The life story of Julia Franck is representative of the experience of millions of people in Germany of the last century. Her best-selling novel Die Mittagsfrau (English title, The Blind Side of the Heart) in drawing from her own family…
The Twain Legacy - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Part of the Series: Masters of American Literature
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark Twain (1835-1910): The Twain Legacy introduces an overview of Mark Twain's life, times and interpretation of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. There are extensive references to his early childhood in Hannibal, Missouri, his use of African…
William S. Burroughs - Commissioner Of Sewers
Commissioner Of Sewers combines interview and archival material, paintings, and clips of William S. Burroughs' film appearances (including "Decoder" and Gus Van Zant's "Drugstore Cowboy" and "Thanksgiving Prayer") with footage from Burroughs' last European reading in Berlin on May 9th,…