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Documentary Film

The Brian Lehrer Show

The Pleasures of Print and Jazz

Monday, June 30, 2014

David Lewis, the producer and director of "The Pleasures of Being Out of Step", discusses his new documentary following the life and journey of Nat Hentoff, a jazz journalist who documented and lived some of the most significant political and cultural changes of the last generation.  Long-time guest Hentoff, now a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, joins in to talk about how he went from jazz to free speech to the contradictions of being an "atheist pro-lifer."

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The Takeaway

What Happens After 'I Do'?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A wedding videographer filmed 112 picture-perfect ceremonies. But after cake is cut and the flowers are tossed, real life begins. His new documentary explores life after the big day.

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Soundcheck

A New Documentary Honors The Life And Music Of B.B. King

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Director John Brewer talks about his new documentary that examines the life and legacy of B.B. King. 

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Soundcheck

Shep Gordon On 'Supermensch'

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Music industry veteran Shep Gordon talks about his career managing acts like Alice Cooper and Blondie with Soundcheck host John Schaefer. Gordon is the subject of a new documentary directed by Mike Myers Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. 

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Soundcheck

The Legend Of Shep Gordon; Warren Haynes Plays Live; A New B.B. King Doc

Thursday, June 05, 2014

In this episode: Entertainment mogul Shep Gordon has worked with all sorts of big names. But in a decades-long career in the midst of some of the world’s most famous people, he has an aversion to fame. Gordon's life is now profiled in the new film Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, directed by Mike Myers. 

Then: Guitarist Warren Haynes has lead the hard-working improvisational blues rock band Gov’t Mule for 20 years, and has played with the Allman Brothers Band for even longer. But in his recent session in the Soundcheck studio, he plays solo -- just him and electric guitar.

And: Director Jon Brewer talks about the making of the film The Life Of Riley, a new documentary portrait of blues icon B.B. King -- which includes appearances from Eric Clapton, Bono, Carlos Santana, Ronnie Wood, and others.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Sebastian Junger's 'Korengal'

Friday, May 30, 2014

The documentary "Korengal” is the follow up to the Oscar-nominated film “Restrepo,” which Junger co-directed with his late friend, Tim Hetherington.

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Soundcheck

Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks Play Live; Free Concerts Guide; The National Are 'Mistaken For Strangers'

Thursday, May 22, 2014

In this episode: Stephen Malkmus has now released more music as a solo artist than he did with his influential former group, Pavement. Now, he and his band The Jicks have recently released their new album, Wig Out At Jagbags. Hear Malkmus and the Jicks play some of it live in the Soundcheck studio.

Then: Summer has a way of really taking a chunk out of your bank account. But there's one thing you don't need to pay for this summer: live music. And in New York, free shows are happening all over the city practically every night from June to September. Patrick McNamara from the concert listings website Oh My Rockness shares some highlights to look forward to this summer.

And: Lead singer of The National Matt Berninger and his brother Tom talk about Tom’s new film Mistaken for Strangers. It started as a documentary about the band, but became a funny, unsparing look at living in the shadow of a rock-star brother.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Behind the Oscar Docs: The Act of Killing

Friday, February 14, 2014

This week we kicked off our annual series on Oscar nominated documentaries. We'll speak with the filmmakers behind all five films over the coming days: Cutie and the Boxer (Tuesday); The Square (Wednesday); 20 Feet from Stardom (Thursday); The Act of Killing (Friday); Dirty Wars (Monday).

Joshua Oppenheimer, director of the Oscar-nominated feature documentary "The Act of Killing", talks about his film about coming to terms with human rights abuses -- by the perpetrators. The film looks at the repercussions of death squads mobilized against "communists" in northern Indonesia in the 1960's.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Behind the Oscar Docs: The Square

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Our annual series on Oscar nominated documentaries kicked off yesterday. We'll speak with the filmmakers behind all five films over the coming days: Cutie and the Boxer (Tuesday); The Square (Wednesday); 20 Feet from Stardom (Thursday); The Act of Killing (Friday); Dirty Wars (Monday)

Director and cinematographer, Jehane Noujaim of the Oscar-nominated feature documentary "The Square" talks about her film documenting the events in Cairo's Tahrir Square and the ongoing struggle in Egypt.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Behind the Oscar Docs: Cutie and the Boxer

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Our annual series on Oscar nominated documentaries kicks off today. We'll speak with the filmmakers behind all five films over the coming days: The Square (Wednesday); 20 Feet from Stardom (Thursday); An Act of Killing (Friday); Dirty Wars (Monday)

Zachary Heinzerling, director of the Oscar nominated feature documentary, "Cutie and the Boxer", talks about his film featuring DUMBO artists Noriko and Ushio Shinohara. He discusses their story, how the film came together, and what the impact has been on the protagonists.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

“Let the Fire Burn”

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Filmmaker Jason Osder talks about his documentary “Let the Fire Burn,” about the catastrophic 1985 police bombing of the radical group MOVE in Philadelphia. The bomb set off a fire, and as men, women, and children fled the building, a spectacular firefight with the police ensued — broadcast on live TV. Eleven people died and 61 homes burned to the ground. “Let the Fire Burn” is playing at Film Forum through October 15.

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Schoolbook

Building a New School, With Cameras Rolling

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The story of starting a new school is at the heart of a documentary film airing on PBS Tuesday night called The New Public. It's an unvarnished view into the teachers and students who took a leap, and created a high school from scratch in the heart of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

“The Muslims Are Coming!”

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Comedians Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah discuss their documentary “The Muslims Are Coming!” Farsad and Obeidallah lead a group of Muslim-American standup comedians as they go on the road to counter Islamophobia using the only weapon they have: jokes. The film follows them to big cities, rural villages, and everything in between to do shows, meet locals, and counter the haters. “The Muslims Are Coming! opens September 20 at the Quad Cinema.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

“My Afghanistan: Life in the Forbidden Zone”

Monday, June 17, 2013

Director Nagieb Khaja talks about his documentary “My Afghanistan: Life in the Forbidden Zone.” Khaja, a Danish journalist of Afghan origin, travels to Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province in Afghanistan, and gives people mobile phones equipped with cameras and asks them to film their daily lives, providing a rare glimpse into the war-torn existence of ordinary Afghans. “My Afghanistan” depicts how Afghans struggle to live in the constant shadow of violence. It’s playing at Film Society of Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

"Twenty Feet from Stardom"

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Morgan Neville, director of “Twenty Feet from Stardom,”  a documentary about backup singers, talks about the film with Darlene Love and Merry Clayton, who are featured in it. The film features interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, and Sting, to name a few. It opens June 14 at the Angelika and at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Theater at Lincoln Center.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

“Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer”

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Directors Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin discuss their documentary “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer.” It tells the story of Nadia, Masha, and Katia, members of the feminist art collective who were arrested and charged with religious hatred after they performed a 40 second "punk prayer" inside Russia's main cathedral.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

"Dirty Wars"

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Jeremy Scahill and Richard Rowley talk about the documentary “Dirty Wars.” Directed by Rowley, “Dirty Wars” follows investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill as he covers America’s covert wars, from Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond. The film unfolds through Scahill’s investigation and personal journey as he chases down one of the most important stories of our time. "Dirty Wars" opens at IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Tributes: Jean Bach

Friday, May 31, 2013

Jean Bach's lifelong love of jazz, and fascination with a black-and-white photograph of a group of 57 musical titans gathered on the stoop of 17 East 126th Street, would lead to her making a documentary about that moment, called "A Great Day in Harlem."  It would be nominated for an Academy Award in 1994.  The always fashionable former radio producer was such a fixture in the New York jazz world that reputedly Frank Sinatra would always ask upon coming to town, "What's happening down at Jean's?"  She died just recently at the age of 94.  And you can hear Leonard's interview with her from 1995 about the making of "A Great Day in Harlem."

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The Leonard Lopate Show

“Outlawed in Pakistan”

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Filmmakers Habiba Nosheen and Hilke Schellmann discuss their Frontline documentary “Outlawed in Pakistan,” about a 13-year-old Pakistani girl who accused four men of gang rape, risking her reputation, her education, and even her life. In Pakistan, women and girls who allege rape are often more strongly condemned than their alleged rapists. The film shines a light on Pakistan's flawed justice system—and find that those rare rape cases that do make it to court are often fraught with complications, from police non-cooperation to a systemic lack of forensic evidence. “Outlawed in Pakistan” airs Tuesday, May 28, 2013, at 10 p.m. on PBS.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Story of Wikileaks

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney talks about his new film “We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks.” He details the creation of Julian Assange’s controversial website Wikileaks, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history. “We Steal Secrets: the story of Wikileaks” opens May 24 at Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center at Lincoln Center and the Angelika Film Center.

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