Exclusive Q&A: ‘By Sidney Lumet’ Director Nancy Buirski

 

Season 31 of American Masters premieres with the eye-opening and immersive documentary By Sidney Lumet. Directed by Nancy Buirski (The Loving Story), the feature takes an in-depth look at Lumet’s lifelong cinematic (and humanistic) passions. Culling from his extensive body of work and a 2008 interview conducted by Daniel Anker, Buirski crafts an illuminating look at one of cinema’s most prodigious storytellers. Our Q&A with Buirski is found after the jump.

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Ricky Jay Gets “Deceptive” For ‘American Masters’ Season Premiere

Ricky Jay is the subject of the Season 29 premiere of American Masters, as Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice premieres Friday, January 23 at 9 p.m. (PBS).

Known for his lifelong collaboration with director/writer/playwright David Mamet (House of Games, The Spanish Prisoner) and his recurring role on HBO’s DeadwoodJay has carved out a successful career as a magician, bestselling writer, history and actor.

RickyJayPremiere

Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice, narrated by Dick Cavett, features rare performance footage of Jay and new interviews with his friends and collaborators (Mamet is also interviewed in the special).

“I am truly honored to be included in this iconic series, and grateful to be able to introduce viewers to the great sleight-of-hand artists who were my mentors and my inspiration,” says Jay.

 Ricky Jay. Photo credit: Theo Westenberger/Autry Museum

Ricky Jay. Photo credit: Theo Westenberger/Autry Museum

For more info, please check out: http://pbs.org/americanmasters.

 

TV Spotlight: American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered Airs Tonight

It’ll be a “White Christmas” for millions of people this holiday season, and in celebration of the holidays (and a great artist), the documentary American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered premieres tonight at 8 pm on PBS (check local listings).

The installment, which serves as the series’ Season 28 finale, centers on Crosby’s illustrious career and his family life (the movie is also available on DVD per PBS Distribution). The documentary also has a holiday encore presentation on Friday, December 26 on PBS at 9 pm.

Narrated by Oscar nominated actor Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), the project features interviews with Cosby’s widow Kathryn, daughters Mary and his sons Harry and Nathaniel.

(l to r) Nathaniel, Mary and Harry with their parents Kathryn and Bing Crosby as seen in "American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered." Photo credit: Courtesy of Bing Crosby Enterprises
(l to r) Nathaniel, Mary and Harry with their parents Kathryn and Bing Crosby as seen in “American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered.” Photo credit: Courtesy of Bing Crosby Enterprises

The project doesn’t sugarcoat the entertainer’s personal life, as it details his own struggles with his first wife Dixie and their sons Gary (he penned the 1983 memoir Going My Own Way), Dennis, Phillip, and Lindsay. Entertainers Michael Feinstein, Tony Bennett, biographer Garry Giddens, and record producer Ken Barnes are also interviewed for the doc.

“I’ve never seen an entertainer more comfortable in his own skin, more certain of who he was,” says Emmy-winning filmmaker Robert Trachtenberg, whose previous American Masters documentaries include Mel Brooks: Make a Noise, On Cukor, Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer and Cary Grant: A Class Apart. “With the new material I’ve found, I think the breadth, depth and candor of his story will hopefully allow people to see him in a new light.”

Photo credit: Courtesy of Bing Crosby Enterprises
Photo credit: Courtesy of Bing Crosby Enterprises

During his career, Crosby amassed almost 400 hit singles, starred in the popular “Road” films with comedian Bob Hope, and won the Oscar for the 1944 flick Going My Way.

For more info, check out the official site for American Masters.