November 17, 2012 |
Ken Burns, public television's signature chronicler of great American moments, pastimes and inventions, has turned his Ken Burns Effect loose upon "The Dust Bowl. " One would say it was almost inevitable that two things so huge were bound to meet. The four-hour film premieres Sunday and Monday on PBS and tells the story of the great drought that befell the Southern plains in the 1930s and the poor farming practices that made it into something far worse. Though it has the pokey pace and flat affect of his other films - for Burns, history is elegy - it is also one of his best works: more tightly focused than usual in time and place, with a clear shape, dramatic arcs and a conclusion that is at once cautionary and moving, topical and timeless.
September 28, 2010 |
Ken Burns stands behind home plate at Dodger Stadium, unsuccessfully trying to corral his preternatural boyish grin. He plucks at the webbing of his Kirby Puckett-endorsed mitt before strolling to the pitcher's mound. Toeing the rubber, the 57-year-old Burns hurls a well-aimed pitch to Dodgers catcher Brad Ausmus, then leaves the field to polite applause. "That was a strike all the way," he says, beaming, "and [Dodgers manager] Joe Torre gave me the thumbs-up. " The evening has just begun for the hardest-working documentary filmmaker this side of Michael Moore.
January 26, 1992 |
Ken Burns, the Emmy-winning filmmaker of "The Civil War," turns his eye on a little-known chapter in American history in "Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio." Based on Tom Lewis' book, "Empire of the Air" examines the dark, tragic backstage drama in the lives of three remarkable men who were radio pioneers--David Sarnoff, Lee de Forest and Edwin Howard Armstrong. De Forest, who called himself the "Father of Radio," invented the radio tube but didn't know how it worked.
March 5, 2012 |
Filmmaker Ken Burns stars in a five-day Civil War tour of Washington, D.C., designed to capture the story he told in his documentary about the war and its aftermath. For the second year, Connecticut-based Tauck travel company teamed with Burns to create an itinerary that includes private access to some of the capital's biggest landmarks. The Civil War saga is told through talks and lectures with experts like Burns, who will give a keynote speech and chat with guests during an after-hours event at the National Archives, and Harold Holzer, a Civil War historian who will speak at an evening event at the National Building Museum.
December 5, 2011 |
There's a holiday in December that comes way before Hanukkah or Christmas and might be a whole lot jollier: It's Repeal Day, and it's Monday. As Ken Burns reminds us in his documentary "Prohibition," there was a time in this country when a glass of wine or a pint of beer could land you in the slammer. It was against the law, specifically the 18th Amendment. Bootleggers, speakeasies and all sorts of black-market goings-ons defined the Prohibition era from January 1920 to Dec. 5, 1933, when the law was repealed.
August 6, 2000 |
Ken Burns recalled a conversation in which it was suggested to him that "my whole work was an attempt to make people long gone come back alive." Losing his mother to breast cancer when he was 11, he told San Francisco's public television magazine "Focus," inspired not just his love of the past, but also his sense of direction and obsessive work style. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1953 to professional parents, Burns and his brother Ric moved frequently while growing up.