An insightful illumination of author Paul Bowles’ original and lesser-known career as an avant-garde composer, Owsley Brown’s Night Waltz is an elegant and soulful document of discovery. Interviewed in Morocco during the last months of his life, Bowles journeys back to his early years as a contemporary and occasional collaborator of other such iconic figures as Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson and Orson Welles. Bowles’ uncut compositions–performed by the Eos Orchestra–are punctuated with stunning visual essays by filmmakers Nathaniel Dorsky and Rudy Burckhardt. Long after retiring from his more well-known profession, Bowles kept music as a vital part of his life, tapping out fresh rhythms on his Tangier table tops until the end of his days.
Told in flashback as Prince Mieszko I lies feverish in his bed just before the Battle of Cedynia, Gniazdo recounts how the revered leader extended Poland’s borders, formed an alliance with Emperor Otto I, and ultimately strengthened his country’s autonomy by achieving victory during that crucial battle in the year 972.
Affectionately known as “Smithy”, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith astonished the world in 1928 with his pioneering Trans Pacific flight from America to Australia. He went on to establish Australian National Airways and set many air distance and endurance records. Director Ken G. Hall’s last feature film is a gripping and inspiring tribute to a national hero and his fellow pioneers. Contributing to the stunning aerial shots, Smithy’s famous plane, the Southern Cross, appears in what was to be its last flight. Released in 1946, the film was a smash hit and achieved worldwide recognition.
Based on a short story by Paul Gallico, this drama stars Sissy Spacek as Verna Vane, a small-town girl who dreams of hitting it big in show business. Verna isn’t much of a singer or a dancer, but she is able to land a job with a U.S.O. troupe entertaining American soldiers in Europe during World War II. Verna imagines this is a major stepping stone in her career as an entertainer, but even though Maureen and Eddie, two veteran vaudevillians touring with Verna, know better, they don’t have the heart to tell her. While in Belgium, Verna meets Walter, a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army who becomes smitten with her. Verna: USO Girl was first aired in 1978 as part of the PBS series Great Performances.
In 1914, with men gone to war, Marcel Proust hired Céleste Albaret as his attendant. More than eight years later, she was at his side when he died. During this entire time, she only entered his room when he rang for her, sleeping from 9 AM to 3 PM to wait during the night while he wrote. Marcel uses her as more than a servant: she is his muse, telling stories of her childhood to stir his remembrance of things past; she’s in cahoots with him as he manipulates those he wants to draw on for his writing; she listens appalled to his descriptions of the underside of Paris. Hers is a life of love and sweet devotion as he races time to finish his work before death.
This mini-series looks at the early years of America’s most dashing president from his early childhood through his nomination for Congress. Based on Nigel Hamilton’s New York Times best-selling biography, JFK: Reckless Youth follows a young Kennedy as he makes the decisions that will shape his future: 35th President of the United States. Mischievous college student, competitive younger brother of Joe Jr., overseas traveller, Dutch journalist Inga Arvad’s lover, and commander of PT 109, this critically-acclaimed miniseries is a vivid, rich portrait of a President in the making.
The life story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, born Lothar Berflede. Miss Charlotte survived the Nazi reign and the repression of the Communists as a transvestite and helped start the German gay liberation movement. Documentary with some dramatized scenes. Two actors play the young and middle aged Charlotte and she plays herself in the later years.
Jean Stapleton stars as Eleanor Roosevelt in this made-for-TV biography, first telecast May 12, 1982. The film recounts Mrs. Roosevelt’s life after the 1945 death of her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. At the request of new president Truman, Eleanor serves as a United Nations delegate, spending much of her time tilting with dedicated anti-FDR politico John Foster Dulles. She goes on to spearhead the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proving to Dulles–and to Soviet delegate Freddie Jones–that she’s anything but soft on Communism.