As this new documentary shows, Jim Tully (1886-1947) was a larger-than-life character: stocky, short, and with a tussle of red hair, this rough and tumble writer was hard to miss either in person or on the printed page.
New Yorkers expect the best of everything, and recently I had the opportunity to see one of the best: Zoltan Maga, Hungary's most celebrated violin virtuoso, a man who brings Hungarian cultural traditions to the rest of the world.
While making Secret State of North Korea for the investigative journalism series FRONTLINE, we found a group of defectors who are risking their lives once again to fight back against the regime of Kim Jong-un.
The documentary is not intended to "unmask" Philip Roth in the sense that you learn every possible thing about him. What the film unmasks is the solitary life of the writer, the life of one who has become, as Manera articulated, "a self-appointed slave to his writing."
The women we look up to in the arts -- from New York City Ballet's Wendy Whelan soaring above the stage at Lincoln Center to action hero Elizabeth Streb scaling a building in London -- have their own inspiring heroines, some famous and others less known.
On the one hand, genomic science promises us an unprecedented look at the material sources of our lives, and on the other hand, this science may tempt some to think that we are nothing more than our genetic makeup.
The team at PBS consists of dedicated people; constantly looking for ways to increase their audience. But there is always a danger, in any organization, of only seeing the world from the top down, and then counting heads to measure whether something is good or not.
Instead of fear, a chaotic economy in the West and upheavals elsewhere causing us to think nationally and turn inwards, now is actually the time to reach out towards other parts of the planet. Will this happen? Documentaries can help us move in this direction.
I suspect those who only watch the first few episodes will be teetering on the edge of boredom. Those who stay around longer, or just cherry-pick an episode to watch among the later ones will end up much more excited and satisfied.