Video: Preview "The Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes"

November 25th, 2009

“Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes” premieres Saturday, November 28 at 8 p.m. on THIRTEEN

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the world-famous Rockettes, has become America’s number-one holiday show over its storied 77-year history. This multifaceted show includes dynamic Rockette performances that showcase the dancers’ signature precision dance style. Traditional fan favorites such as the “Living Nativity” scene and “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” which have been in the show since its inception in 1933, remain a vital part of the show’s core.

"The Ascent of Money" Wins International Emmy® Award

November 24th, 2009

British broadcaster Channel 4 picked up an International Emmy® Award for best documentary for historian Niall Ferguson’s series “The Ascent of Money”. The series charts the financial history of the world, demonstrating the effect that finance had on some of the most momentous historic events. Watch the four-hour series “The Ascent of Money” now.

Tonight, Niall Ferguson himself will answer questions from you live here on THIRTEEN. Ask your questions now, and come back tonight at 6 p.m. to see what Ferguson has to say.

Video: Great Performances — "Sting – A Winter's Night"

November 24th, 2009

“Sting – A Winter’s Night” premieres Thanksgiving Thursday, November 26 at 10 p.m. on Great Performances

Rock and pop superstar Sting welcomes the holidays with an atmospheric musical celebration of wintertime — days of solitude and reflection, as well as rebirth and festivity. Recorded at the magnificent Durham Cathedral near his hometown of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in northern England, this program conjures the moods and spirits of the season with a diverse collection of songs, carols and lullabies spanning the centuries. Also featured are some new songs, as well as Sting’s interpretation of classical favorites.

Video: Andrea Bocelli & David Foster's "My Christmas"

November 23rd, 2009

“Andrea Bocelli and David Foster: My Christmas” premieres Thanksgiving Thursday at 8 p.m. on Great Performances

David Foster joins superstar tenor Andrea Bocelli for a new Christmas concert of seasonal favorites. Showcasing Bocelli’s soaring vocals are lush new arrangements given the distinctive Foster touch. Recorded at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, the program features special guests Natalie Cole, Mary J. Blige, Reba McEntire, Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins, the Muppets and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z24YNcKouk&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Q&A: "New York on the Clock" Goes in the DJ Booth

November 23rd, 2009

Vivian Host is the subject of the latest installment of New York on the Clock. Known as DJ Star Eyes, Vivian has been a DJ for over 15 years. She moved from California five years ago and joined up with Brooklyn’s Trouble & Bass crew. A fan of fast mixing and the D.I.Y. aesthetic, she and Trouble & Bass try to keep some of the rave chaos in New York’s nightlife. Inside THIRTEEN spoke with a producer of New York on the Clock, Bijan Rezvani, about Vivian and the secret life of DJs.

Q. So what genres of music does Vivian play? Any that you’d never heard of before?

A. One of the interesting things about the whole Trouble & Bass crew is that they play a wide range of genres, as she mentions in the video — dubstep, grime, house, techno, Baltimore club, hip-hop, whatever. Most electronic music scenes limit themselves to narrow genre boundaries, but
Vivian tries to keep a more open attitude.

Q. Does she do most of her work here in the States, or overseas?

A. She lives in Brooklyn and most of her gigs are domestic, but she’s traveling all the time. Right now she’s on a Midwest tour, last week she was touring Europe, and this weekend she’s playing a party in Chinatown.

Q. In the film, Vivian talks about life after DJ-ing — does she have plans for the future? Where do DJs go when they retire?

A. I’m not sure what Vivian’s post-DJ plans are, but as DJs will often do, she’s getting more into producing music and just put out an EP this past June.

Q. Does Vivian pull down enough cash as a club DJ to not have a day job?

A. This is her job and how she supports herself, but it incorporates more than listening to music and playing records. Being a part of a crew like Trouble & Bass means producing and promoting events, necessary activity on social networks, and a long list of other tasks. She spent several years as the editor of XLR8R but finally left the magazine in June.

Q. Did she offer any insight into what makes a good DJ?

A. Vivian put a lot of emphasis on the positive performance aspect of the DJ. Who wants to watch a DJ who’s not having fun herself?

Watch Vivian’s story and more of the people that make New York tick on New York on the Clock.

Video: Latin Music Around New York City

November 20th, 2009

by Rebecca Fasanello
Office Manager, Content
WNET.ORG

Latin music permeates the air of New York City: It’s in the streets, the clubs, the subways, the classroom, the concert stage, in our homes and schools. Like all the arts, it’s at once a stimulus, a playground, and a reflection of humanity. It can fire up our souls and send us soaring. Why does it have such wide appeal?

In order to explore this appeal, I helped produce these four short “interstitials” as locally-aired companion pieces to PBS’s Latin Music USA series, which premiered nationally in October 2009.

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Q&A: Gary Hustwit, Director of "Objectified"

November 20th, 2009

How does the design of a cell phone, toothbrush or couch affect your life? Did you ever stop to think about it? Director Gary Hustwit (“Helvetica”) looks at our complex relationship with manufactured objects, the people who design them and the creative process behind their work. Step inside the offices of the world’s most influential product designers to see how these objects influence us — often without our even knowing it. “Objectified” premieres on Independent Lens on Tuesday, November 24 at 10pm. Inside THIRTEEN spoke with director Gary Hustwit about the film.

Q. What got you interested in going “behind the scenes” into our relationship with everyday objects?

A. You know, sometimes I just look around my apartment and think, “Where did all this stuff come from? Who made it? Why did I buy all of it? Do I really need any of it?” Just basic questions that I think we all have sometimes. I also think it’s interesting how archaeologists learn about ancient civilizations mostly through the objects they leave behind. So 100 or 1,000 years from now, what will the objects designed in our lifetime say about our culture? And I was interested in the idea that we’re having a relationship with the people who design all this stuff, through the objects themselves. Maybe it’s just me, but these are the sort of ideas I obsess over!

French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec


Q. So is this a film for design nerds? What will a non-designer learn from your film?

A. Well, we all buy and consume these objects, from computers to cars to toothbrushes. So I think we can all benefit from learning about the creative processes and thinking of the people who design them. I think it’s amazing that there’s so little public discourse about the design of all these products. In the mass media, all we get are buying guides that tout the latest crop of gadgets or whatever, but no real discussion about whether or not these things should be made, or how they’re made, or how they’ll be disposed of once we’re done using them.

Q. Is there an object that you came across during filming that particularly inspired you?

A. What inspires me the most are probably the objects we take for granted and think of as the least “designed”. Have you even noticed those toothpicks with the serrated edges on one end? Do you know why they’re there, and what the story is behind them? Like Henry Ford once said, “Every object tells a story, if you know how to read it.” So I enjoy digging into these little stories behind the hundreds of objects we touch every day, that usually go unnoticed.

Clock designed by Naoto Fukasawa

Q. One of the people you profile in the film has created some of the most familiar and ever-present designs in recent memory – Jonathan Ive, the designer of the iPod, iPhone, and a slew of Apple hardware. What is the source of his inspiration and creativity?

A. I think Ive embodies some of the qualities of craftsmen from hundreds of years ago, with his complete immersion in the materials and obsessive attention to detail. He’s also very focused on the manufacturing process, and the strengths and weaknesses of producing in huge volume. His team spends as much time designing the manufacturing systems that enable them to make the objects as they spend on designing the objects themselves. That’s not very glamorous, but probably a big part of Apple’s success.

Q. Objectified is the second film of a trilogy – can you tell us a bit about your first film (Helvetica) and your plans for the next film in the series?

A. I guess I just make films about things that I want to learn more about personally. Helvetica looked at the world of fonts and graphic design, which is a subject I’m fascinated by, and one that I couldn’t believe no one had done a proper documentary on. So I’m drawn to subjects that influence our lives, but that most of us don’t really think about. The third film will follow that idea as well, but I think it’s probably more ambitious than the first two films in terms of its scope. So I’m looking forward to showing it to THIRTEEN viewers a few years from now.

Video: Interview with Artist Jeanne-Claude, Co-creator of "The Gates"

November 20th, 2009

The artist Jeanne-Claude, who created the 2005 installation “The Gates” in Central Park with her husband Christo, has died at age 74. Her family says the artist died Wednesday night after suffering a brain aneurysm. “The Gates,” a series of metal archways bearing bright orange drapery, was viewed by more than five million people and is credited with bringing more than $250 million to the city’s economy.

Watch a interview with Christo and Jeanne-Claude about their 26-year effort to bring about “The Gates” on New York Voices.

Live Q&A with Niall Ferguson, host of THE ASCENT OF MONEY

November 19th, 2009

Don’t miss the opportunity to ask questions of Niall Ferguson, the author and host of THE ASCENT OF MONEY.

Niall Ferguson, a financial historian and Harvard professor, will put the economic crisis of the past year in its historical context. His perspective of these economic cycles provides all of us with a better understanding of the world we are living in today.

The live Q&A begins on Tuesday, November 24 at 6pm EST. Ask your questions now.

This exclusive event was made possible by T. Rowe Price.

Q&A: Adventurers Denis Belliveau and Francis O'Donnell of "In the Footsteps of Marco Polo"

November 16th, 2009

Many people have big dreams, but only a few bold adventurers live them. Denis Belliveau and Francis O’Donnell took a wild idea — retrace Marco Polo’s entire 25,000-mile, land-and-sea route from Venice to China and back — and spent two years of their lives making their dream a reality. “In the Footsteps of Marco Polo” chronicles the journey of Denis — a wedding photographer — and Francis — an artist and former Marine — as they set out to follow Polo’s historic route. “In the Footsteps of Marco Polo” airs Thursday, November 19 at 8 p.m. but you can also watch it online now. Inside THIRTEEN spoke with Denis and Francis about their incredible journey.

Francis and Denis at the end of their journey, with the original copy of Marco Polo's journal

Q. So what made you and Denis decide to go on a 25,000-mile trip to retrace Marco Polo’s journey?

Francis: Well the main reason is that no one had ever retraced Marco Polo’s entire route, several Expeditions tried and failed for a lot of different reasons. Plus we love art, history, travel & adventure. What better way than to follow the path of the world’s greatest traveler? How often are you confronted with an opportunity like that?

Denis: Also there has always been controversy regarding Polo’s account. Even in his own lifetime he gained the nickname Il millione, which means the man of a million unbelievable stories! So we took his book and used it as our guide. What we would do is go to the city, place or town that Polo wrote about and try to find the things he mentioned seven hundred years ago, and see for ourselves whether his account rings true!
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