American Masters http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters A series examining the lives, works, and creative processes of outstanding artists. Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:03:35 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.4 en hourly 1 The Boomer List: Film Outtake: Deepak Chopra, M.D., on Shamanism in American Medicine http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtake-deepak-chopra-m-d-on-shamanism-in-american-medicine/3423/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtake-deepak-chopra-m-d-on-shamanism-in-american-medicine/3423/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:22:46 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3423 View full post to see video)

In this film outtake, the alternative medicine “guru” Deepak Chopra, M.D. (b.1947), describes his introduction to American medicine in 1970, during his first night as an intern at a New Jersey hospital. Chopra had worked as a doctor in India before immigrating to the United States, which faced a doctor shortage during the Vietnam War.

Chopra did not know the technical jargon used by American hospitals to addressed death, such as “expiration” and “pronounce dead,” and confusion arose when a patient died and Chopra and the nurses did not understand each other’s terminology.

When he was asked to “pronounce” a person dead, Chopra thought, “In America your soul is not allowed to leave your body until a medical deity — otherwise known as M.D. — says ‘I release you.’ They’re like shamans. They wear white coats, stethoscopes, pronounce Latin mantras instead of aborigine mantras. Dance around cat scanners instead of fires. There’s no difference from thousands of years ago.”

American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom.

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The Boomer List: Photo Gallery: Portraits of 19 Iconic Baby Boomers http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/photo-gallery-portraits-of-19-iconic-baby-boomers/3328/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/photo-gallery-portraits-of-19-iconic-baby-boomers/3328/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 18:57:07 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3328 Nineteen iconic baby boomers whose lives, careers and dreams for the future capture the zeitgeist of a generation are the subject of American Masters: The Boomer List, by filmmaker/photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (The Black List, The Latino List, The Out List). This influential generation born between 1946 and 1964 makes up nearly a quarter of the U.S. population and has significantly changed our world. Portraits by Greenfield-Sanders introduce the 19 boomers, one for each year of the baby boom.



Tim O’Brien

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“I can’t cop out by saying, ‘Well, I don’t know if I killed anybody.’ I was part of the war. I’m responsible. And so was all of America in the end.”


Deepak Chopra, M.D.

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“My colleagues thought I was an embarrassment because I was talking about mind, body, spirit. So I was called a quack. I was called a fraud, which I initially resented, but then I got used to it.”


Samuel L. Jackson

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“Everything that I’ve gone through informs me and my opinions in a way, I guess because I am a child of segregation. I lived through it. I lived in it. I was of it.”


Billy Joel

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“Our parents’ generation had it a lot tougher than we did. They had to live through the Depression, World War II, and then they had to, you know, try to pick up the pieces of their lives and bring up their children. And, it was a great example for us. I guess we grew up with a certain amount of the ethics our parents had, which is, you know: work hard, make your own way, be independent.”


Steve Wozniak

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“What Steve Jobs and I did—and at the same time Bill Gates and Paul Allen did—we had no savings accounts, no friends that could loan us money. But we had ideas, and I wanted all my life to be a part of a revolution.”


Tommy Hilfiger

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“I saw my future. I pictured it, but didn’t quite know how to get there. But I knew that I should never give up.”


Amy Tan

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“My mother didn’t teach me lessons about being Chinese as strongly as she did the notion of who I was as a female.”


Eve Ensler

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“I think about Marvin Gaye and ‘Sexual Healing.’ What a radical idea that sex was healing. I learned my politics through that music.”


Julieanna Richardson

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“The turbulence of the 1960s set the ground for our generation to really soar. There’s no doubt that we are the beneficiaries of those who came before us. We are the affirmative action babies.”


Maria Shriver

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“I was raised by a formidable woman. She always pushed me to be competitive in a man’s world. That’s maybe one of the attractions to journalism in the beginning. It was a male profession, and I was comfortable in that.”


Kim Cattrall

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“As a young actress, it was very frustrating because if we stood up for what we believed, we were thought of as being difficult or a bitch. And then the word passionate got introduced…”


Virginia Rometty

AM_BoomerList_Rometty“One of the most important things for any leader is to never let anyone else define who you are. And you define who you are. I never think of myself as being a woman CEO of this company. I think of myself as a steward of a great institution.”


Ellen Ochoa

AM_BoomerList_Ochoa“I was born in 1958, the same year NASA was established, which I like to think of as not a coincidence. I was 11 when they landed on the moon, Apollo Eleven. And, of course, everybody in the whole world was watching that. But I can tell you, at that time, nobody ever asked a girl, ‘Is that something you want to grow up and do?’”


Ronnie Lott

AM_BoomerList_Lott“Trying to be the best. Failing. Getting back up. Those characteristics are going to allow you to make great decisions. They are going to allow you to compete. They are going to allow you to achieve your best. That’s the American dream.”


Erin Brockovich

AM_BoomerList_Brockovich“Had there not been the film, my name would not represent somebody that’s out there fighting for the environment.”


Peter Staley

AM_BoomerList_Staley“AIDS forced the gay community out of the closet. It’s one of the great American civil disobedience movements.”


Rosie O’Donnell

AM_BoomerList_ODonnell“Public school teachers in Long Island, New York, saved my life in the ’70s. They were involved and invested and helpful. One took me into her family and loved me back to life. She taught me that love is not formed and families are not formed by blood. That love makes a family.”


David LaChapelle

AM_BoomerList_LaChapelle“What’s shocking is cruelty and torture, and that’s become our entertainment. Kids can play violent video games, but God forbid they look at a naked woman. That’s pornography, that’s perverse. No!”


John Leguizamo

AM_BoomerList_Leguizamo“I wasn’t supposed to make it. I just wasn’t. Not statistically. I didn’t see my people anywhere that was important, except in the news, which is where you don’t want to be. I just didn’t feel like I was part of the American fabric.”



American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom.

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The Boomer List: Film Outtake: Kim Cattrall on Risk and Freedom http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtake-kim-cattrall-on-risk-and-freedom/3422/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtake-kim-cattrall-on-risk-and-freedom/3422/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 14:19:03 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3422 View full post to see video)

In this film outtake, actor Kim Cattrall (b. 1956) speaks about risk and freedom, particularly after her starring role in the HBO series Sex and the City. Early in her career, she had sought advice from the great Jack Lemmon, with whom Cattrall appeared in one of her first films, Tribute (1980).

Cattrall took Lemmon aside and asked, “I want to have longevity as an actor. What do you suggest I do?”

According to Cattrall he answered, “Take things that scare you, scare the pants off of you.”

She says that approach has “kept me in good stead” throughout her career.

American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom.

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The Boomer List: Film Outtake: Erin Brockovich Is Not Waiting for Superman http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtake-erin-brockovich-is-not-waiting-for-superman/3401/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtake-erin-brockovich-is-not-waiting-for-superman/3401/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 18:39:01 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3401 (View full post to see video)
Baby boomer Erin Brockovich (b. 1960) is an advocate for communities and people whose health is adversely affected by environmental pollution, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Although she herself is a famous advocate, in this film outtake she warns that there is no single-person solution to environmental health issues: “Superman is not coming.” (Adventures of Superman, starring George Reeves as the problem-solving superhero, ran from 1952 to 1958, making it one of the first boomer generation television series.)

Today Brockovich is tracking environmental health issues in thousands of communities. She is best known for her research that led to a lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), which was dramatized in the film Erin Brockovich (2000). The 1996 settlement, $333 million, was awarded to families in Hinkley, CA, who suffered illnesses due to groundwater contamination from PG&E’s cooling towers. It was the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in the United States.

Learn more about Brockovich’s research and advocacy in the PG&E case on Makers.com, a PBS initiative.

American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom.

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The Boomer List: Film Excerpt: John Leguizamo on the Limited Roles for Latino Actors http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-excerpt-john-leguizamo-on-the-limited-roles-for-latino-actors/3382/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-excerpt-john-leguizamo-on-the-limited-roles-for-latino-actors/3382/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 18:50:16 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3382 (View full post to see video)
“Every audition I would go to, you know, was either for a drug dealer, a murderer, or a janitor. It’d be me, Benicio del Toro, Luis Guzmán, Benjamin Bratt,” says an exasperated John Leguizamo in this film excerpt. The actor and comedian, acclaimed for his one-man shows, was born in Colombia in 1964, the last year of the boomer generation (1946-1964), and moved to New York City with his family at the age of four.

“If there is a really great Latin role, it didn’t go to us,” Leguizamo explains. “It went to, you know, Al Pacino or De Niro. I just knew that Latin people were really funny. My family was really funny to me. And we had incredible stories to tell. Where is that on TV? Where is that in movies? Where is that in plays?”

Among Leguizamo’s early films are the Vietnam drama Casualities of War (1989); Hangin’ with the Homeboys (1991); and To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995), in which he starred with Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes.

The actor is best known for the comedic and autobiographical one-man shows he has written and starred in, including Mambo Mouth (1991), Spic-O-Rama (1992), Freak (1998), Sexaholix…a Love Story (2001), and most recently, Ghetto Klown, which premiered on Broadway in 2011.

American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom.

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The Boomer List: Film Excerpt: A Generation Defined by Vietnam http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-excerpt-a-generation-defined-by-vietnam/3292/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-excerpt-a-generation-defined-by-vietnam/3292/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 19:36:28 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3292 View full post to see video)

“Vietnam was the defining event for my generation. It spilled over into all facets of American life—into music, into the pulpits, in churches of our country. It spilled over into the city streets, police forces. And even if you were born late in the generation, Vietnam was still part of your childhood.” — Tim O’Brien (b. 1946), author and Vietnam War veteran.

The Vietnam War is a focus of O’Brien’s memoir and many written works including If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home (1973); Going After Cacciato (1978), which won the National Book Award for Fiction; and the acclaimed short story collection The Things They Carried (1992).

American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom (1946 to 1964).

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Dorothea Lange: Watch Full Film: Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/dorothea-lange/watch-full-film-dorothea-lange-grab-a-hunk-of-lightning/3260/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/dorothea-lange/watch-full-film-dorothea-lange-grab-a-hunk-of-lightning/3260/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 04:26:19 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3260 View full post to see video)

Her celebrated photograph Migrant Mother is one of the most recognized and arresting images in the world, a haunting portrait that came to represent the suffering of America’s Great Depression. Yet few know the story, struggles and profound body of work of the woman who created the portrait: Dorothea Lange (May 26, 1895 — Oct. 11, 1965).

American Masters — Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning premiering nationwide Friday, August 29 at 9-11 pm on PBS (check local listings) explores the life, passions and uncompromising vision of the influential photographer, whose enduring images document five turbulent decades of American history, including the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and World War II Japanese internment camps. Peabody- and five-time Emmy award-winning cinematographer Dyanna Taylor — the granddaughter of Lange and writer/social scientist Paul Schuster Taylor — directs and narrates this intimate American Masters documentary.

Taylor, who learned to see the visual world through her grandmother’s eyes, combines family memories and journals with never-before-seen photos and film footage to bring Lange’s story into sharp focus. The result is a personal documentary of the artist whose empathy for people on the margins of society challenged America to know itself.

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