Welcome to Cohen Media Group’s Blu-ray and DVD Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti.
To be or not to be . . . the owner of Shakespeare Uncovered: Series 3 (PBS Distribution). The answer is obvious: Be!
The fascinating history behind Shakespeare’s greatest plays concludes with celebrated new hosts Helen Hunt, F. Murray Abraham, Romola Garai, Brian Cox, Simon Russell Beale and Sir Antony Sher who seamlessly weave their personal passions with history, biography, iconic performances and new analysis to tell the stories behind Shakespeare’s most famous works. The final season investigates Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, Julius Caesar, The Winter’s Tale and Richard III.
The program reveals not just the elements in the play, but the history of the play itself. What sparked the creation of each of these works? Where did Shakespeare find his plots and what new forms of theater did he forge? What cultural, political and religious factors influenced his writing? How have the plays been staged and interpreted from Shakespeare’s time to now? Why at different times has each play been popular — or ignored? Why has this body of work endured so thoroughly? What, in the end, makes Shakespeare unique.
Masterpiece: Poldark, the rip-roaring TV drama called “swoon-worthy” by the Los Angeles Times returns for a fourth season of action-packed episodes, starring Aidan Turner as the roguish Ross Poldark and Eleanor Tomlinson as his fiery partner, Demelza. In Season 4, it’s 1796, and to defend Cornwall and those he loves from an empowered George, Ross must play the political game on a journey that takes him to the nation’s capital and into new perils.
Send in the clowns! And elephants and trapeze artists and jugglers and, of course, the ring master.
American Experience: The Circus (PBS Distribution) is a four-hour, two-part documentary exploring the colorful history of this popular, influential and distinctly American form of entertainment. A transformative place for reinvention, where young women could become lion tamers and young men traveled the world as roustabouts, the circus allowed people to be liberated from the roles assigned by society and find an accepting community that had eluded them elsewhere.
Drawing upon a vast and richly visual archive, and featuring a host of performers, historians and aficionados, The Circus brings to life an era when Circus Day would shut down a town, its stars were among the most famous people in the country, and multitudes gathered to see the improbable and the impossible, the exotic and the spectacular.
The program begins with the history (Part One) of the first one-ring show at the end of the 18th century in Philadelphia when the circus met the disapproval of the religious. In a society that valued sobriety and hard work, a wide-eyed day peering at half-naked aerialists amid shifty circus workers was frowned upon. Soon, circuses began to add elaborate menageries of exotic animals including lions, hippos and elephants, and “human oddities” from across the globe—rebranding themselves as “educational” experiences to concerned communities. Once the infamous showman and huckster P. T. Barnum transformed the trade in 1871, he and his partners created the largest touring show in existence.
The program continues (Part Two) as James Bailey takes his circus to Europe on a five-year tour. When the show paraded through British streets for the first time, throngs of people turned up to watch—and the scene was repeated in towns across Europe. Upon returning the circus tour to the U.S. the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey merged, creating a moving town of more than 1100 people, 735 horses, nearly 1000 other animals and 28 tents.
Featured were some of the most storied circus performers in history, including the famed aerialist Lillian Leitzel; May Worth, who stunned audiences by somersaulting on horseback; and big cat trainer Mabel Stark. In an era when women were still fighting for the right to vote, women circus performers stepped to the forefront of the suffrage movement.
For more than a century, the circus had brought daily life to a standstill. Shows took over rail yards. Parades clogged Main Street. Acres of billowing canvas appeared mirage-like on the outskirts of town. And then, when day broke, the miracle had vanished. Equestrians, sideshow performers, clowns, roustabouts, an enormous collection of curious beasts—all became just figments of a glorious dream.
Adolph Frump doesn’t believe in life.
Yet we are facing down the end of the world as we know it. Previous director of public affairs for two federal science agencies and current executive director of Climate Nexus, Jeff Nesbit offers a “nonpartisan call-to-arms” (Publishers Weekly) to face the environmental challenges humans have created with This is the Way the World Ends: How Droughts and Die-offs, Heat Waves, and Hurricanes Are Converging on America (Thomas Dunne Books, $29.99).
The world itself won’t end, of course. Only ours will: our livelihoods, our homes, our cultures. And we’re squarely at the tipping point. Longer droughts in the Middle East. Growing desertification in China and Africa. The monsoon season shrinking in India. Amped-up heat waves in Australia. More intense hurricanes reaching America. Water wars in the Horn of Africa. Rebellions, refugees and starving children across the globe. These are not disconnected events. These are the pieces of a larger puzzle that environmental expert Jeff Nesbit puts together, check this out: Facts from TIHTWE
Unless we start addressing the causes of climate change and stop simply navigating its effects, we will be facing a series of unstoppable catastrophes by the time our preschoolers graduate from college. Our world is in trouble . . . right now. This Is the Way the World Ends tells the real stories of the substantial impacts to Earth’s systems unfolding across each continent. The bad news? Within two decades or so, our carbon budget will reach a point of no return.
But there’s good news. Like every significant challenge we’ve faced—from creating civilization in the shadow of the last ice age to the Industrial Revolution—we can get out of this box canyon by understanding the realities, changing the worn-out climate conversation to one that’s relevant to every person. Nesbit provides a clear blueprint for real-time, workable solutions we can tackle together.
How good is the book? Says Senator John Kerry: “With This is the Way the World Ends Jeff Nesbit has delivered an enlightening—and alarming—explanation of climate challenge as it exists today. Climate change is no far-off threat. It’s impacting communities all over the world at this very moment, and we ignore the scientific reality at our own peril. The good news? As Nesbit underscores, disaster is not preordained. The global community can meet this moment—and we must.”
The ninth season of Art21’s Art in the Twenty-First Century underscores what great art (and a great Peabody Award-winning series) is all about. Season 9 charts art making in three urban centers-–Berlin, Johannesburg and the San Francisco Bay Area-–featuring twelve artists and one non-profit art center who each respond to the forces shaping the places where they live and work, while pursuing their personal visions for a better future.
Viewers will travel the world with Art21 to be inspired by the creative processes of today’s most compelling artists in the ninth season of the series gives viewers unprecedented access to the leading creative minds of our time, drawing upon artists’ relationships with the places in which they work.
Formed in 1970, Queen went on to become one of the most popular—and most successful—rock bands of all time. Even following the untimely death of beloved and magnetic frontman Freddie Mercury, and nearly 50 years after their formation, interest in the band has continued, evidenced by scores of reissues, arena tours with surviving members, and the upcoming feature-film biopic.
In this new installment in Voyageur Press’s Album by Album series, Martin Popoff convenes a cast of 19 Queen experts and superfans to discuss all 15 of the band’s studio albums (including their soundtrack for the 1980 film Flash Gordon). Among the cast of musicians, journalists and music industry pros exploring Queen’s recorded output are Paul McCartney, Dee Snider, Dave Ellefson, Queen producer Mack, Derek Shulman, Jeb Wright, Daniel Nester and many other experts. The results are freewheeling discussions delving into the individual songs, the circumstances that surrounded the recording of each album, the band and contemporary rock contexts into which they were released.
The engaging text of this beautifully designed book is illustrated throughout with rare live performance and candid offstage photography, as well as scads of rare Queen ephemera.
The Album by Album series is a unique approach to the rock bio, injecting the varied voices of several contributors. The results have even the most diehard fans rushing back to their MP3 players (or turntables) to confirm the details and opinions expressed.
From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis, the exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, a 1940-50s writer and poet and the only woman C. S. Lewis ever married. In the vein of popular exploratory novels that uplift and uncover brilliant women forgotten to the past, comes the untold story of the woman who helped inspire some of Lewis’ best known works.
“Joy Davidman has been portrayed as the dying woman in Shadowlands,” explains Callahan, “but in researching Joy, I came to believe that she’d like to be understood as more than a woman who died well on a movie screen. She was a fiery woman who lived bravely and was alert and curious to the mysterious world she wanted to understand.”
When Joy began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known to close friends and family as “Jack”—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage to her abusive, alcoholic husband William Lindsay Gresham, a well-regarded author during the era.
“There were conflicting narratives about her and I wanted to know this woman,” adds Callahan. “I wanted to understand her and how she changed not only her life but also the life and work of one of our most beloved authors of the twentieth century—C.S. Lewis.”
Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.
In this masterful exploration, we meet a fiercely independent mother and a passionate woman who lived during a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.
“Joy matters today because we are just now seeing these fascinating women dredged from the mud of the past. Joy is rarely given credit for the muse, best friend, co-author, love and wife she was to C. S. Lewis, and I hope this book helps to right that. Let’s meet the woman beside the man.”