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Women: Six Films, Six Weeks October 1, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies.
43 comments

Over the next six weeks, PBS and Makers.com are presenting a series of 6 documentaries focused on women’s achievements in Comedy, Hollywood, Politics, Business, War, and Space:

1. MAKERS: Women in Comedy 

Produced and Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

WOMEN IN COMEDY tracks the rise of women in the world of comedy, from the “dangerous” comedy of 70s sitcoms like Norman Lear’s Maude to the groundbreaking women of the 1980s American comedy club boom and building to today’s multifaceted landscape. Today, movies like Bridesmaids break box office records and the women of Saturday Night Live are often more famous than their male counterparts, but it didn’t start out that way. Contemporary comics, including Chelsea Handler, Margaret Cho, Mo’Nique, Sarah Silverman, Joan Rivers, Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Lynch and Kathy Griffin, talk about where women started in this competitive, male-dominated profession and where they are determined to go. Narrated by Leslie Mann.

Premiered September 30th, 9/8c on PBS

Special Screening TONIGHT October 1st, 8 PM EST on MAKERS.com

2. MAKERS: Women in Hollywood

Produced and Directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton, Produced by Rory Kennedy

WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD showcases the women of showbiz, from the earliest pioneers to present-day power players, as they influence the creation of one of the country’s biggest commodities: entertainment. Audiences hear from actress-producer-activist Jane Fonda, television powerhouse Shonda Rhimes, who created Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal; screenwriter Linda Woolverton, who re-imagined the traditional Disney princess by making Belle (Beauty and the Beast) a self-possessed, strong-willed young woman; writer-director-actress Lena Dunham, who mines comedy and drama gold by exploring what it’s really like to be a young woman today, and six-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close. The film is narrated by Julia Roberts.

Airing October 7th, 9/8c on PBS

Special Screening October 8th, 8 PM EST on MAKERS.com

3. MAKERS: Women in Space

Produced by Michael Epstein and Sara Wolitzky, Directed by Michael Epstein

WOMEN IN SPACE traces the history of women pioneers in the U.S. space program. Some, like aviators Wally Funk and Jerrie Cobb, passed the same grueling tests as male astronauts, only to be dismissed by NASA, the military, and even Lyndon Johnson, as a distraction. It wasn’t until 1995 that Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a spacecraft. The program includes interviews with Collins, as well as Sally Ride’s classmates Shannon Lucid, Rhea Seddon andKathryn Sullivan, and features Mae Jemison, the first woman of color astronaut, and Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station. The hour ends with the next generation of women engineers, mathematicians and astronauts—the new group of pioneers, like Marleen Martinez, who continue to make small but significant steps forward. Narrated by Jodie Foster.

Airing October 14th, 9/8c on PBS

Special Screening October 15th, 8 PM EST on MAKERS.com

4. MAKERS: Women in War

Produced and Directed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing

WOMEN IN WAR looks at American women’s increasing participation in war—from Vietnam to the present—as nurses, soldiers, journalists, diplomats and spies. Among those featured are Linda Bray, the first woman to lead troops into battle, and Valerie Plame Wilson, whose career was sabotaged after she was “outed” as a high-level spy. Viewers hear from war correspondents like Molly Moore about life on the battlefield. The film shares the stories of military leaders who have broken through gender barriers, like General Angela Salinas, at her retirement the highest ranking woman serving in the USMC, and Vice Admiral Michelle Howard, the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. Navy. Produced and directed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing. Narrated by Christiane Amanpour.

Airing October 21st, 9/8c on PBS

Special Screening October 22nd, 8 PM EST on MAKERS.com

5. MAKERS: Women in Business

Directed by Jamila Wignot Produced by Leah Williams

WOMEN IN BUSINESS tells the story of the exceptional women—past and present—who have taken the world of business by storm. Told by female business leaders themselves, this is a candid exploration of what it takes to make it and a celebration of the extraordinary individuals who, over the course of 50 years, have proven—on Wall Street, in corporate America or business empires of their own—that a woman’s place is wherever she believes it to be. Some of the featured business leaders include Ursula Burns, the CEO of Xerox and the first African-American woman to head a Fortune 500 company; Sallie Krawcheck, Wall Street powerhouse and current owner of the global networking platform for women, Ellevate (formerly 85 Broads);  Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi Co; and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, whose provocative book, Lean In, ignited a national conversation about women, feminism and equality in the workplace.

Airing October 28th, 9/8c on PBS

Special Screening October 29th, 8 PM EST on MAKERS.com

6. MAKERS: Women in Politics

Produced and Directed by Grace Lee, Produced by Rory Kennedy

WOMEN IN POLITICS profiles the long, slow fight for female political representation over the last century, from the first woman elected to Congress in 1916 to a young woman running for Detroit City Council in 2013. Trailblazing leaders like Hillary Clinton, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Olympia Snowe, the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the House of Representatives, and Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman to serve in Congress, provide a backdrop for younger women like Rashida Tlaib, the first Muslim-American woman elected to the Michigan House. Today’s leaders in Washington, including Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the first female Senator from Massachusetts, Susan Collins (R-ME), who led the Senate in shaping a deal to end the government shutdown, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), currently the youngest woman serving in Congress, are also represented. Narrated by Alfre Woodard.

Airing November 4th, 9/8c on PBS

Special Screening November 5th, 8 PM EST on MAKERS.com

The shows are broadcast at 9 PM Eastern Time  on PBS on Tuesday nights and at 8 PM Eastern Time on Makers.com on Wednesday nights.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Girl Power? Grrrrrrr! (L. Marie) * Gender Rules: Why Does Breaking Them Freak Us Out So Much? (Eric J. Baker) * Dear Young Men (Raptitude)

Out Of This World October 1, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Travel & Leisure.
37 comments

We took a star-studded tour of the known Universe at the Planetarium on Saturday morning.

With Tom Hanks narrating, we flew out past the edges of the Milky Way via Passport to the Universe.

We saw stars!  Billions and billions of stars.  And Earth from a decidedly different perspective.

Imagine everyone you’ve ever known on that pale blue dot . . .

At the far reaches of outer space, we found a Black Hole and used it as a short cut to shoot back across the Universe, saving us millions of light years.

Back on Earth, we bumped into H.G. Wells and his Time Machine.

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It’s quite a brilliant mode of transport, allowing passengers to travel through time and space without undergoing groping and probing at TSA checkpoints.

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Just punch in the coordinates and GO!

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But it was time for lunch . . . so we’ll save that adventure for another day.

Aah . . . that’s better!