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Ken Burns

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ENTERTAINMENT
October 1, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
Let's raise a toast to Ken Burns, and not just any old swill. How about a sidecar? Or an aviation? Or a clover club? Or any of dozens of elegant cocktails that were popular and widely consumed in the 1920s, when alcohol was illegal in the United States and the country, nevertheless, became the biggest importer of cocktail shakers in the world. Burns and his collaborator, Lynn Novick, have held the reins taut and produced a rarity for them - a historical documentary that sticks to the point and runs at a reasonable length.
NEWS
November 19, 2012 | By David Hiltbrand, INQUIRER TV WRITER
You get the impression that we'll run out of history before Ken Burns runs out of film. PBS' prized documentarian adds to his American chronicles - baseball, jazz, the Civil War, the national parks - another impressive period piece, The Dust Bowl . It's a deeply researched, visually superb two-part study of what the film terms "a decade-long natural catastrophe of biblical proportions. " Fittingly, the tone of narrator Peter Coyote's voice is reminiscent of Henry Fonda's, who starred in Hollywood's classic Dust Bowl saga, The Grapes of Wrath . The first chapter on Sunday night (8 p.m)
ENTERTAINMENT
September 30, 2011
SURE, THAT CUP of bathtub gin might be laced with deadly wood alcohol. But bouts of blindness, leg amputation and sudden death notwithstanding, boozing during the Prohibition - at least as depicted in the new Ken Burns three-part docu-film airing on PBS next week - sure looks fun. The dandies in tuxedos, the girls in flapper dresses dancing to the raucous music of jazz bands as gallons of lager sprays from speakeasy faucets - wow, the...
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 2001 | By Jonathan Storm, INQUIRER TELEVISION CRITIC
Down in New Orleans, back before the turn of the century - the 20th century - a bandleader named Buddy Bolden was becoming one of the grandfathers of jazz. He'd play hot licks in the evening, and then after midnight, he'd turn down the heat, and the dancers would slow, because everybody wanted it to last all night. In his latest documentary, Jazz, which starts tomorrow night, Ken Burns outdoes Buddy Bolden, with a slow, if sometimes brilliant, traipse down memory lane that makes "all night" seem like a heartbeat.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 1997 | By Robert Strauss, FOR THE INQUIRER
My father was a Thomas Jefferson nut. One of my favorite legacies from him is his framed photograph of Jefferson's will, a photograph no one was supposed to be able to take. He browbeat the security guards at the University of Virginia library so long one day about 30 years ago that they opened up a vault and pushed us in so that he could take his clandestine snapshot, and they could get rid of him. Ken Burns is also a Jefferson nut. Three years ago, as he was finishing his epic Baseball maxi-series, he showed me the backyard of his Walpole, N.H., studio/house.
NEWS
November 16, 2012
* THE DUST BOWL. 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday, WHYY 12. THEIR FACES are as weathered as the land they once lived on, but it's the survivors who bring PBS' "The Dust Bowl" to life. Still children when a frenzy of plowing and planting combined with years of drought to cause a disaster that for a period turned the country's heartland into a desert, they're one reason that Ken Burns' latest documentary couldn't have waited any longer. "We were very anxious, coming off ['The War']
ENTERTAINMENT
August 12, 2007 | By Gail Shister, Inquirer Staff Writer
The presence of Ken Burns' father looms large in his son's latest PBS epic. But viewers won't know it. An unidentified photograph of Lt. Robert Kyle Burns Jr. is the first and last image in The War , a 15-hour documentary series about World War II. It launches Sept. 23. Burns hadn't planned to use the photo, a beloved possession since college. After all, his dad had spoken to him about the war only once before his death in 2001. But as War began taking shape as personal reminiscences of vets from various American towns, Burns decided the image "would be a quiet way to honor my father," he said during a recent visit here.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 1994 | By Jonathan Storm, INQUIRER TELEVISION CRITIC
These are the words of Bill "Spaceman" Lee about the effect of the changes that took place in the '70s in major-league baseball that have brought us to this sad day: "The owners made money. The players made money. The only people that got hurt were the American public, the fans, the integrity of baseball and eventually the planet Earth. " Lee, a Red Sox hurler whose best pitch was the oddball, is one of, oh, about a million players, owners, managers, fans, hot dog salesmen, writers, broadcasters and paleontologists who talk baseball and related matters in Baseball, which starts tonight on PBS. The film is from Ken Burns, the man who made The Civil War. It is much longer than that film, which was PBS's biggest hit. Baseball, which sets out to detail the history of the game - and supposedly much more - is almost as long as the Civil War itself.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 12, 2007 | By Gail Shister INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The presence of Ken Burns' father looms large in his son's latest PBS epic. But viewers won't know it. An unidentified photograph of Lt. Robert Kyle Burns Jr. is the first and last image in The War, a 15-hour documentary series about World War II. It launches Sept. 23. Burns hadn't planned to use the photo, a beloved possession since college. After all, his dad had spoken to him about the war only once before his death in 2001. But as War began taking shape as personal reminiscences of vets from various American towns, Burns decided the image "would be a quiet way to honor my father," he said during a recent visit here.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 1986 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
Everyone wanted to crown Huey Long, the populist demagogue who was governor of Louisiana during the '20s and its U.S. senator during the '30s. Repeatedly charged with bribery and corruption but never convicted by state prosecutors he had handpicked, Long crowned himself the Kingfish and became a bayou demigod for building bridges and paving roads, and for bringing Louisiana out of feudalism. And into futilism. His enemies dubbed him variously "Hooey XIV, Emperor of Louisiana," and "the dictator who makes Americans regret the Louisiana Purchase.
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NEWS
September 26, 2014
IT TOOK documentarian Ken Burns more than 11 hours to document the devastation of the Civil War. It took the creators of "The Civil War - The Musical" about a fifth of that time to convey with equal power and intensity, the story of the defining episode in our nation's history. There is much to praise about the production at Hammonton's Eagle Theatre, which runs through Oct. 5, beginning with the surprisingly solid and affecting score, which defies major expectations. Going in, the idea of recounting such a brutal and universally destructive event via contemporary musical formats, including rock and country, seemed frivolous and lightweight at best, trivializing and disrespectful at worst.
NEWS
September 14, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
They are three of the most important individuals in American history. All had the last name Roosevelt, and all were beset by personal demons that threatened to cut them down. Theodore, Franklin Delano, and Eleanor Roosevelt helped define the American century, said Ken Burns, creator and director of PBS's epic 14-hour documentary, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History . Divided into seven two-hour episodes, it will air on consecutive nights beginning Sunday at 8 p.m. on PBS (locally on WHYY-TV12)
NEWS
September 12, 2014 | By Ellen Gray
* THE ROOSEVELTS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY. 8 p.m. Sunday through Sept. 20, WHYY12.   GEOFFREY C. Ward went into his interview with filmmaker Ken Burns determined to hold it together on camera. But as the biographer and longtime Burns collaborator speaks about Franklin D. Roosevelt being stricken with polio in 1921, for the fourth installment of PBS' "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History," he appears a bit choked up. "It produces terror," says Ward in one of the most moving passages of the series, which premieres Sunday and runs for 14 hours over seven nights.
NEWS
May 17, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania State Archives released never-before-seen footage Thursday that captures what few Americans ever saw: President Franklin D. Roosevelt walking. Paralyzed by polio in 1921, Roosevelt went to great lengths to hide his disability from the public throughout his long political career, and news organizations complied, leaving extremely little in the way of a visual record of him walking. In the summer of 1937, Harrisburg native James "Jimmie" DeShong - who pitched for the Philadelphia Athletics - trained his home movie camera on Roosevelt as the president arrived at Griffith Stadium in Washington to watch the All-Star Game.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 15, 2014 | By Ellen Gray
* THE ADDRESS. 9 p.m. tomorrow, WHYY12.   KEN BURNS spent years hoping someone would make "The Address. " An intimate, uplifting film about a Vermont boarding school for students with learning disabilities for whom memorizing and reciting Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" is a rite of passage, "The Address" struck Burns ("Baseball," "The War") as a great idea - for someone else. "They asked me about 10 years ago to be a judge" at the school's annual competition, said Burns, who lives and works in New Hampshire, not far from the Greenwood School, in Putney, Vt. "And I went and I just wept like a baby.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 17, 2013 | By Ellen Gray
* THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE. 9 p.m. Tuesday, WHYY 12.   SARAH BURNS didn't set out to become the Sofia Coppola of documentary filmmakers. Or to become a filmmaker at all. "I think I'd actually, in some ways, stayed away from it, because it was there," said Burns, whose first documentary, "The Central Park Five" - written, directed and produced with her father, Ken Burns ("The Civil War," "Baseball"), and her husband, David McMahon - makes its TV premiere Tuesday on PBS. "My mom [Ken Burns' first wife, Amy Stechler]
NEWS
November 19, 2012 | By David Hiltbrand, INQUIRER TV WRITER
You get the impression that we'll run out of history before Ken Burns runs out of film. PBS' prized documentarian adds to his American chronicles - baseball, jazz, the Civil War, the national parks - another impressive period piece, The Dust Bowl . It's a deeply researched, visually superb two-part study of what the film terms "a decade-long natural catastrophe of biblical proportions. " Fittingly, the tone of narrator Peter Coyote's voice is reminiscent of Henry Fonda's, who starred in Hollywood's classic Dust Bowl saga, The Grapes of Wrath . The first chapter on Sunday night (8 p.m)
NEWS
November 16, 2012
* THE DUST BOWL. 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday, WHYY 12. THEIR FACES are as weathered as the land they once lived on, but it's the survivors who bring PBS' "The Dust Bowl" to life. Still children when a frenzy of plowing and planting combined with years of drought to cause a disaster that for a period turned the country's heartland into a desert, they're one reason that Ken Burns' latest documentary couldn't have waited any longer. "We were very anxious, coming off ['The War']
NEWS
October 4, 2012 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK - Lawyers for the city are seeking access to footage gathered by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns in research for his movie about the five men exonerated in the Central Park jogger rape case. The city has issued a subpoena for the outtakes and other materials from the film "The Central Park Five," its Law Department confirmed Wednesday. The request is connected to a $250 million federal lawsuit filed by the men against the city nine years ago, after their sentences were vacated.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 1, 2011 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Columnist
Let's raise a toast to Ken Burns, and not just any old swill. How about a sidecar? Or an aviation? Or a clover club? Or any of dozens of elegant cocktails that were popular and widely consumed in the 1920s, when alcohol was illegal in the United States and the country, nevertheless, became the biggest importer of cocktail shakers in the world. Burns and his collaborator, Lynn Novick, have held the reins taut and produced a rarity for them - a historical documentary that sticks to the point and runs at a reasonable length.
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