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Burroughs: The Movie
Made up of intimate, revelatory footage of the singular author and poet filmed over the course of five years, Howard Brookner's 1983 documentary about William S. Burroughs was for decades mainly the stuff of legend; that changed when Aaron Brookner,…
A Place to Stand - The Story of Author Jimmy Santiago Baca
This film tells the story of acclaimed author Jimmy Santiago Baca's transformation from a functionally illiterate convict to an award-winning poet, novelist and screenwriter. Based on the memoir of the same name, the film takes viewers into Baca's past and…
Ralph Ellison: An American Journey
RALPH ELLISON: AN AMERICAN JOURNEY is the first documentary on one of the most gifted and intellectually provocative authors of modern American literature. It establishes Ellison as a central figure in contemporary debates over art, politics, race and nationhood. Narrated…
Robert Bly: A Thousand Years of Joy - An American Poet and Anti-War Activist
Poet Robert Bly stands out even among the celebrated, revolutionary generation of American artists who burst forth in the 1950s. ROBERT BLY: A THOUSAND YEARS OF JOY charts Bly's singular path as a farmer's son on a wintry Minnesota farm…
Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train
We mourn the loss of author, activist, historian and beloved folk hero Howard Zinn, who has been an integral part of the First Run legacy for many years. Howard lent his support to many First Run films (many of which…
The Beat Generation
This documentary tells the story of the incredible and enduring friendship between Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, and how they gave birth to the literary movement of the Beat Generation. It begins in New York, at the end…
Beat Hotel
1957, Paris. A cheap no-name hotel becomes a haven for a new breed of artists struggling to free themselves from the conformity and censorship of America. Called the Beat Hotel, it soon became an epicenter of the Beat Generation. This…
James Thurber: The Life and Hard Times - A Great American Humoristst
James Thurber: The Life and Hard Times is the first major documentary on the life and work of one of America's greatest humorists. Known for his classic short story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Thurber was a legendary contributor…
William S. Burroughs - A Man Within
William S. Burroughs: featuring never before seen footage as well as exclusive interviews with his closest friends and colleagues. Born the heir of the Burroughs' adding machine estate, he struggled throughout his life with addiction, control systems, and self. He…
Poetry in Motion
Called the "Woodstock of Poetry" by American Film, and "Dazzling" by the Los Angeles Times, Poetry in Motion is an unprecedented anthology of twenty-four leading North American poets who sing, chant, anything but "read" their work. The result is a…
American Anarchist - The Man Who Wrote "The Anarchist Cookbook"
In 1970, William Powell wanted to help build a new society so he taught the world how to blow the old one up. As the heady days of the late 60's counterculture and political upheaval turned darker, Powell, at 19,…
Cooper and Hemingway: The True Gen - The Friendship of a Writer and an Actor
Ernest Hemingway: Writer, war correspondent, international adventurer, lover, drinker, brawler. The tabloid reputation -- filled with truths, half-truths and flat-out untruths -- grows ever wider. If you made up a character like Ernest Hemingway, how many would believe it? The…
Dickinson - The Life and Work of Emily Dickinson
Recognized as one of the best American poets in history, Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) made great strides while living in an age of predominantly male poets. This film traces Dickinson's life in 19th Century New England and her remarkable work during…
Hubert Selby Jr - It Will Be Better Tomorrow
Narrated by Robert Downey, Jr, featuring: Lou Reed, Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Darren Aronofsky, Uli Edel, Henry Rollins, Jerry Stahl, Richard Price, Nick Tosches. This documentary is a harrowing and engaging exploration into the life and art of the renowned…
Nelson Algren: The End is Nothing, the Road is All
Nelson Algren: The End is Nothing, the Road is All is an in-depth documentary of one of America's greatest and least understood authors. This compelling life story reveals a unique literary voice through rare interviews, historic footage and the gritty…
I am Secretly an Important Man - The Life and Work of Poet Steven J. Bernstein
A portrait of writer and poet Steven J. Bernstein (aka Jesse Bernstein), one of Seattle's most celebrated and troubled voices. His angry, surprisingly fresh and lyrical writings are about sensitive souls, drifters and drug addicts; the people alienated by a…
Ferlinghetti
This incisive and entertaining portrait of American poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti explores his vital role as catalyst for numerous literary careers and for the Beat movement itself. Interviews with Ferlinghetti and others reveal a rich melange of characters and events that…
Billy Collins: On the Road with the Poet Laureate
Billy Collins is perhaps the first American poet since Robert Frost to enjoy both critical and popular acclaim. This 59-minute documentary captures the qualities that make Collins such a refreshing literary figure. With a film crew trailing him from poetry…
Eileen Myles: An Interview
Part of the Series: Video Data Bank On Art & Artists: Criticism and Theory
In this interview, American writer, artist, performer Eileen Myles (b.1949) discusses the various philosophies that motivate her work, including the language of film, embodied performance, and the alienation evoked by bodily vulgarity. Myles links her wide range of artistic and…
Jack London : American Original
Most people remember Jack London as the author of "Call of the Wild" but Jack London, "is the quintessential modern hero," who during his lifetime rose from poverty to become the highest paid, most controversial and most popular writer in…