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Description: The season's schedule for major league baseball affects the lives and moods of millions of Americans. Every year executives and managers ridicule the logic, sportswriters and broadcasters question the sanity, and athletes and fanatics cast blame. Yet not many folks know how it is that the MLB schedule is figured out, and even fewer have any concept what is involved. The masterminds for 25 years behind this heavy logistical undertaking were Henry and Holly Stephenson. A husband and wife duo working out of an upstairs bedroom in their Staten Island home with a computer, a pencil and a nice deal of cooperation. How did this mom-and-pop squad ever end up with the daunting and thankless job of MLB scheduling? This is the storyline of how the Stephensons landed their first MLB contract and became "The Schedule Makers."
Description: How did the economy receive started? Meet Ugg, Glugg and Tugg, three enterprising cave boys who accidentally invented trade, marketing and the base elements of the modern store economy. The first movie in the WE THE ECONOMY series.
Description: We know about the swing. We know about the swagger. But what most Americans don't know about Venus Williams is how she changed the course of her sport. In a stunning situation that captured the European public beginning in 2005, Williams challenged the long-held practice of paying girls tennis users less than their male counterparts at Wimbledon. With a deep sense of obligation to the legacy of Billie Jean King, Williams lobbied British Parliament, UNESCO and Fleet Road for financial parity. And it was her poignant op-ed piece in The London Times that convinced many folks that the Wimbledon competition organizers were "on the wrong side of history." Roland Garros and Wimbledon finally relented in 2007. That year at Wimbledon, Venus became the first women's winner to earn as much as the men's singles champion (Roger Federer). VENUS VS. chronicles Williams' war for pay equality.
Description: C. Vivian Stringer is one of the most prolific coaches in the history of college basketball. She was the first to lead three various schools to the NCAA Final Four (Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Iowa and Rutgers) and received the highest honor of all in 2009 -- a zone alongside Michael Jordan, John Stockton, Jerry Sloan and David Robinson as an inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Coach Stringer became more well known to the non-sports globe in 2007, when the words "nappy headed hoes" were used to describe the group of young girls she led, in spite of tremendous odds, to the National Championship minigame that same year. Perhaps because Stringer is also a mother whose career successes have been intertwined with private tragedy, her response to the 2007 incident showed she wasn't just a nice coach, but the excellent example of grace under fire.
Description: Suffering from scoliosis as a teenager, Audrey Mestre found freedom in the ocean. Years later, she discovered other reason to love the water: the elusive, often raucous gratis diver Pipin Ferreras. As Mestre follows Ferreras's almost spiritual quest to push his limits underwater, she moves from supporter to ardent gratis diver to world-class competitor. Then a challenge from a rival pushes the couple to the brink of what is possible, both above and below the surface.
Description: The globe of women's sports was kicked upside down on July 10, 1999. Before a sold-out crowd of more than 90,000 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and an estimated 40 million Americans watching on television, the U.S. women's soccer squad reached a cultural and athletic pinnacle with its penalty-kick shootout win vs China to victory the Women's Globe Cup.
Description: Mary Decker obliterated enemies and records with blazing speed and a starving hunger to win. She dominated her sport, holding US records in each distance from 800 to 10,000 meters, and she did it all without the Olympics. She was too young in '72, harm in '76 and shut out by the U.S. boycott in '80. As Sports Illustrated's cover Sportswoman of the Year in 1983, she was ready: 1984 was the target, with the Olympics in LA and her skills at their 25 year-old peak. But the storyline leads to a single shocking moment in the 1984 Olympics, with Mary writhing on the ground in physical pain and emotional heartbreak with the entire globe watching.
Description: Sheryl Swoopes famously has been labeled as the female Michael Jordan, but that's only part of the story. On the court, she was nearly as dominant as Jordan, winning a national championship with Texas Tech, three Olympic gold medals, three MVP awards and four consecutive championships with the Houston Comets of the WNBA, the league she helped start. She even had a Nike shoe called after her, the Air Swoopes. Off the court, she has had a life full of transitions. She gave birth to her son, Jordan, during the inaugural season of the WNBA. Later, she divorced her high school sweetheart and became the highest-profile athlete in her sport to acknowledge she was gay. She has struggled with love, cash and private identity, but has never lost her spirit. In this portrait, you will meet someone who is not your daily superstar, but a girl who has defied a multitude of labels.
Description: Sports is supposed to be the ultimate lvl testing field, but in the media and on Madison Avenue, sometimes looks matter more than accomplishments. This movie explores the double standard placed on female athletes to be the greatest users on the field and the sexiest off of it. Through stories of the girls who have faced and tackled this question including Mary Lou Retton, Chris Evert, Lolo Jones, and Gabby Reece, "Branded" explores the question: can women's sports ever gain an equal footing with their male counterparts or will sex appeal everytime override achievement?
Description: Follows few of Cuba's top drag racers as they struggle to prepare their classic American vehicles for the first official vehicle race since the Cuban Revolution. It says a personal, character-driven storyline that tackles how Cuba's newest reforms have affected the lives of these racers and their vibrant community.
Description: This documentary is an in-depth look into not only Eminem's career, but also the careers of the all the artists' who graced the label over the years. First and foremost, we spoke to Em and Paul, whose partnership and special friendship is what made the label possible. But we also spoke to the boy who helped turn Em into a superstar, Dr. Dre, and the boy who Em helped turn into a superstar, 50 Cent. With extra interviews from Mr. Porter and Royce Da 5'9", this documentary is the definitive look into how one of the rap's best juggernauts came to be.
Description: IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE explores identity and legacy in the African-American family, as Grammy award-winning rapper Che 'Rhymefest' Smith and his long-lost father reconnect and test to build a fresh future in Chicago's turbulent South Side. Himself a kid of a broken home, Che hasn't seen his father, Brian, in over 20 years, and presumes him dead. But after purchasing his father's childhood home, Che sets out to search him, and learns that his is actually a homeless alcoholic living only few blocks away/ The movie offers a probing take on memory and identity in a family two generations removed from slavery as it tracks Che and Brian's shared adventure to make a fresh legacy for themselves, their community and the next generation of family.
Description: Diagnosed with ALS and given 2 to 5 years to live, Fresh York Town DJ, internet personality, and filmmaker, TransFatty, brings his camera along for the ride in this unconventional examination of life, death, and everything in between.
Description: As a group of refugees tries to enter Europe illegally by boat, a storm suddenly appears and all hell breaks loose when an old boy falls overboard. His perception shifts into other dimension: a dark, hallucinatory place. Driven by a mysterious power and desperately in find of his loved ones, his soul passes by the daily reality of many castaway refugees at the border of the alleged paradise, Europe. The old man's spirit observes folks on the road being chased away like dogs, follows an illegal worker and a drug-addicted mother and slips inside crowded refugee shelters. Wandering through this limbo, the old boy questions the meaning of his existence.
Description: David Cole Interviews Dr. Franciszek Piper, director of the Auschwitz Museum. Swimming pool, sports field, theater, hospital, camp-issued currency, identity tattoos. This documentary shows that not only was fraudulent Soviet evidence admitted as fact at Nuremberg, but also that survivors and experts can be wrong.
Description: Documentary presenting the theory and app of the Theology of Liberation via interviews to priests from humble parishes in the slums of Lima. A fruitful labor of a Catholic Church sector committed to address social issues.
Description: Karl Pilkington, greatest known for his podcasts with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant and his travel present An Idiot Abroad goes on a quest to search out if intelligence, really makes you happier.
Description: Water – a living substance, the most common and least understood. It defies the primary laws of physics, yet holds the keys to life. Known to ancients as a transmitter to and from the higher realms, water retains memory and conveys notification to DNA. However, water can die if treated poorly. Influences such as sound, thoughts, intention, as well as toxins such as chlorine, structure water’s molecular arrangement– affecting all it comes in contact with. Prominent scientists support reveal the secret of water, allowing us to test this nice element to heal ourselves and our planet. The film details Nassim Haramein, Patrick Flanagan, Dr. Masaru Emoto, Konstantin Korotkov, Lynne McTaggart, and Larry Dossey.
Description: Diego works the night shift in an isolated gas station close to the Galician-Portuguese border. His work is solitary, silent, monotonous, somniferous. One night, two unexpected visitors present up and unsettle the routine of the place.
Description: What does the violent heart of revolution feel like? As the anger and hatred glow white hot is there a language its users test to speak to one another? And what becomes of the gun toting authorities when their fiefdom is destroyed, nobody is any longer afraid, and all things are ablaze? Just some of the questions addressed in this visceral documentary from Maidan square in the violent Ukrainian winter of 2013-14.
Description: Frida Kahlo: declared a symbol of Mexican national heritage, made into a cult figure by the women's movement, praised by the likes of Picasso and Breton, this movie uses photos and melody to reveal the soul of an icon.
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I saw this movie at the 2004 Toronto International Movie Festival. It may seem difficult to believe, but I've never seen a Ken Burns film. I've everytime meant to, of course, but watching a multi- part documentary series is something of a commitment. So I jumped at the possibility to see an whole movie in one sitting. Clocking in at an impressive 218 mins (and including a short intermission and a lively Q&A session, I was in the theatre for almost 4½ hours), I was hoping that the quantity would be matched by the quality. I was not disappointed.Jack Johnson was a real original. The first black boy to keep the heavyweight boxing championship, he was a self-assured boy who dressed well, drove quick cars, and kept white girls as girlfriends. While not unusual now, this was highly irregular a hundred years ago, at a time when black lynchings were at their peak and the press regularly printed offensive cartoons to go along with its racist rhetoric. In the ring, he was a highly clever boxer, favouring a defensive style unknown in his day. He was also incredibly sensitive and articulate, especially for a boy with only five years of formal education. But the struggles Johnson faced were almost insurmountable. No white winner would accept to war a black man. Jim Jeffries preferred to retire undefeated rather than face Johnson, and Johnson had to travel around chasing champ Tommy Burns, hounding him to give him a game shot. When Burns finally accepted to a war in 1908 (for a purse of $35,000, an wonderful sum in those days), the contest wasn't even close, with Johnson dancing around, taunting his opponent, and talking to folks in the ringside seats. The police stepped in during the fourteenth round to prevent him from knocking out the badly beaten Burns.Johnson held the game from 1908 until 1915, with his most popular bout in 1910, vs ex- champ Jeffries, whom he soundly defeated. This led to race riots all over the country, and many folks were killed. From the moment he won the championship, it seemed that white society looked for methods to discredit him. The press were relentless, printing hostile editorials and calling for a "Great White Hope" who would return boxing's crown to its rightful zone (and race). When a 37-year old Johnson finally lost the championship to Jess Willard, a giant boy ten years his junior, it seemed to many that the black race had been taught an necessary lesson.Johnson's life was troubled, and he continued to face persecution from the press and even law enforcement, who prosecuted him on charges similar to his "debauchery" with white women. He eventually served a year in prison. There would not be other black heavyweight winner until Joe Louis, 22 years later.This is a remarkable movie for many reasons. First of all, in the little-known storyline of Jack Johnson, Burns has found a microcosm of the racial case of the day, and one that has many echoes even now. Muhammad Ali, after seeing James Earl Jones portray Johnson in the Broadway enjoy "The Nice White Hope" (later made into a film), declared that Johnson's life storyline was related to his own. A black boy selecting to live as a gratis individual on his own terms is something that is still difficult for some white folks to tolerate.Burns' movie is also remarkable for the method in which it uses current archival movie of Johnson's bouts. Using silent film, Burns and his team have added sound results such as crowd noise and the sounds of blows connecting, and it gives these scenes the visceral punch they require. Finally, the magnificent "talking heads" (including the late George Plimpton, James Earl Jones, and the witty Stanley Crouch) and voice talent (Samuel L. Jackson is the voice of Johnson; others contain Billy Bob Thornton, Derek Jacobi, Brian Cox, and Alan Rickman) bring the extraordinary storyline of Jack Johnson vividly to life.As an added bonus, you receive to hear James Earl Jones tell "balls". Twice.(9/10)
Ken Burns has done an nice documentary on the life of Jack Johnson -but even more nice is the storyline he says of the times in which Johnson lived. There is still racism in this country, for sure - one wants to trust that at least in most parts of the country, it is a tiny more circumspect than racism was during Johnson's life. This documentary provides a truly astounding look at this country at the beginning of the century, and a lot of it is unattractive. Johnson, named "The Ethiopian," should not go after the heavyweight game because the white warriors swore no black boy would ever have it. When he finally did receive it, Jim Jefferson, the undefeated champion, who had refused to war Johnson, was dragged out of retirement 10 years and 100 pounds soon to test to reclaim the title. He failed, and commented that in his prime, he should never have beat Johnson.In his belief system, Johnson came up vs a contemporary, Booker T. Washington, who believed that, rather than worry about segregation, blacks could build a power, education, and cash base first. Johnson preferred to live as if segregation did not exist. He lived in white neighborhoods, moved his mother into one, flaunted his money, and consorted with white women. His quest for individualism cost him dearly. He bucked a system that simply would not stand for it.This is a fascinating piece of our history, one that could not be missed.
As the creator of a biography about Canadian heavyweight winner Tommy Burns, I can say you Unforgivable Blackness didn't say the entire storyline by portraying Tommy as a racist who had to be badgered into fighting Jack Johnson. Until Tommy Burns came along, all the heavyweight lords had been white Americans who openly drew the so-called 'colour line,' refusing to war blacks. Tommy, who fought seven African-American boxers on his method up, announced the day that he won the game that he would take on all comers, regardless of race or religion. Among another things, Tommy Burns did the following: * Break the colour line by becoming the first white champ to war a black boxer (Jack Johnson). * Become the first champ to give a Jewish boxer (Joseph Smith) a crack at the title. * Married a black woman. * Hire two black sparring partners. * Befriend and socialize with black warrior Billy Woods. Tommy Burns was a racist by the standards of 2007, often using the 'n' word in interviews. But by the standards of his era, he was a very progressive individual. And although director Ken Burns doesn't acknowledge it in his otherwise very nice film, if it wasn't for Tommy Burns, no one alive today would know or care who Jack Johnson was. Dan McCaffery, author, Tommy Burns: Canada's Unknown Globe Heavyweight Winner
New York, NY 10013
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