“Dirty Wars” director Richard Rowley talks to chief arts correspondent Jeffrey Brown about the dangers of investigating covert American wars in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill are both war reporters who have been covering America’s military … Continue reading
Every year when the Academy Awards roll around, most nominated films and performers have already captivated the public’s attention. But often there’s a handful of films that viewers don’t know quite as well. Here are six you might want to check out for yourself. Continue reading
It was the middle of the night in 1969. Merry Clayton, a respected back-up singer, receives a call to help the Rolling Stones. Donning her robe and curlers, Clayton trots over to the studio and records the now-famous screaming vocals on “Gimme Shelter.” In three takes. “That is probably the greatest back-up performance of all time … that song has such energy and anger — the screaming voice of Merry,” said Morgan Neville, who directed the Oscar nominated documentary “20 Feet from Stardom.” Clayton is one of the backup singers heavily featured. Continue reading
The Oscar nominated documentary “The Act of Killing” challenges Anwar Congo, a death squad leader during the mass killings in 1965 Indonesia, to re-enact the horrors of his past. Director Joshua Oppenheimer spoke to the NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown about why Anwar and his friends were so boastful about their actions and what it was like to get a glimpse into the minds of killers. Continue reading
Filmmaker Greg Whiteley speaks to chief arts correspondent Jeffrey Brown about the behind-the-scenes view of former Massachusetts Gov. Romney over the course of two political campaigns depicted in the documentary “Mitt.”
When Greg Whiteley first heard about a meeting the Romney family held to discuss whether Mitt Romney should run for president in 2008, Whiteley thought it sounded like the beginning of a great documentary.
Little did he know that he would end up with “Mitt,” a Netflix original documentary that provides an intimate look at the former presidential nominee and his family over the course of two campaigns.
“I found myself in situations and places where I had to pinch myself,” Whiteley told chief arts correspondent Jeffrey Brown during a recent Skype conversation. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I couldn’t believe that I was allowed to have a camera rolling while these things were happening.”
“These Birds Walk,” a documentary by Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq, tells the story and the struggles of runaway children and those who look after them at the Edhi Foundation in Karachi, Pakistan.
In a busy neighborhood of Karachi, Pakistan, there is an elderly man who lives in the back room of a modest building in a cramped alley. Abdul Sattar Edhi sleeps on a simple cot and knows that his days are numbered. “I feel as if I could die tomorrow,” he says. “But the days keep coming.”
His long, wavy, white beard, dark kufi cap and the deep wrinkles in his face give him the appearance of any old man living a simple life in the heart of a bustling city. But this is a man who is revered across Pakistan — he’s known to the people as a “living saint.” And he runs the most well-known humanitarian organization in the country — The Edhi Foundation, established in 1951.
“These Birds Walk” is a feature-length documentary directed by filmmakers Bassam Tariq and Omar Mullick, who spent three years traveling to Pakistan to spend time with Edhi, the people working for his organization and those it benefits.
In 2013, renowned performer Rita Morena spoke with former NewsHour correspondent Ray Suarez about her life in show business and self-titled memoir.
Rita Moreno is the only Latino American to win an Emmy, Grammy, Tony and an Oscar. And on Saturday, the 82-year-old actress will receive a new award: the Screen Actor Guild (SAG) Life Achievement Award.
Photo by Flickr user “when i was a bird”
With the New Year approaching fast, we here at Art Beat are reflecting on this past year. On Thursday, we rediscovered all the great musicians we listened to in 2013 and today, it’s all about movies and TV.
From political satire to heart-wrenching documentaries, here are a few highlights from Art Beat’s coverage in 2013 that we think are worth revisiting.
The 2013 Oscar Documentaries, Part 1: ‘How to Survive a Plague’
In “How to Survive a Plague,” filmmaker David France re-examines the in-your-face brand of AIDS activism that forced the nation to pay attention in the early days of the epidemic and eventually convinced the federal government to speed the approval of life-saving drugs. Former NewsHour correspondent Ray Suarez spoke with France about why a film primarily composed of archival, handheld video footage from the 1980s and ’90s remains so relevant to today’s fight.
The Oscar Documentaries, Part 2: ‘Searching for Sugar Man’
In 1970, a singer-songwriter going by the name Rodriguez released an album called “Cold Fact.” It got some good reviews but sold next to nothing, and within a few years Rodriguez had returned to life as a laborer in Detroit. But in a kind of strange celestial fluke, his music was heard and caught on big in South Africa, where he became a major star — as famous as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. But his South African fans knew little or nothing about the man and he had no clue about them (or his status in their country) either. Jeffrey Brown spoke to the director of “Searching for Sugar Man,” which eventually won the Oscar, about his first film and the unassuming star at the center of it.