American Masters Season 33
S33 E01Jan 2, 2019
James Watson: Decoding Watson Jan 2, 2019 Thrust into the limelight for discovering the secret of life at age 25 with Francis Crick, influential Nobel Prize-winning scientist James Watson has thrived on making headlines ever since. His discovery of DNA's structure, the double helix, revolutionized human understanding of how life works. He was a relentless and sometimes ruthless visionary who led the Human Genome project and turned Harvard University and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory into powerhouses of molecular biology. With unprecedented access to Watson, his wife Elizabeth and sons Rufus and Duncan over the course of a year, American Masters explores Watson's evolution from socially awkward postdoc to notorious scientific genius to discredited nonagenarian, also interviewing his friends, his colleagues, scientists and historians. Controversial and unapologetic, Watson still thrives on competition and disruption. The film uncovers his signature achievements, complexities and contradictions, including his penchant for expressing unfiltered and objectionable points of view. Directed and produced by Mark Mannucci.
S33 E02Feb 19, 2019
Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me Feb 19, 2019 This episode page reflects the reshowing of the original title Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me (2019) as part of the American Masters Series
S33 E02Feb 19, 2019
Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me Feb 19, 2019 The first major film documentary of the life and art of entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.
S33 E03Feb 22, 2019
Charley Pride: I'm Just Me Feb 22, 2019 American Masters - Charley Pride: I'm Just Me traces the improbable journey of Charley Pride, from his humble beginnings as a sharecropper's son on a cotton farm in segregated Sledge, Mississippi to his career as a Negro American League baseball player and his meteoric rise as a trailblazing country music superstar. The new documentary reveals how Pride's love for music led him from the Delta to a larger, grander world. In the 1940s, radio transcended racial barriers, making it possible for Pride to grow up listening to and imitating Grand Ole Opry stars like Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff. The singer arrived in Nashville in 1963 while the city roiled with sit-ins and racial violence. But with boldness, perseverance and undeniable musical talent, he managed to parlay a series of fortuitous encounters with music industry insiders into a legacy of hit singles, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Narrated by Grammy-nominated country singer Tanya Tucker, the film features original interviews with country music royalty, including Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker and Marty Stuart, as well as on-camera conversations between Pride and special guests, including Rozene Pride (his wife of 61 years), Willie Nelson and fellow musicians. "At a time when African-American singers were more notable for R&B hits, Charley Pride followed his passion for country music, overcoming obstacles through determination and raw talent to make a lasting impact on the genre and create a legacy that continues today," said Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters. "We are honored to share the inspiring, and largely untold, story of this barrier-breaking performer with viewers nationwide."
S33 E04Mar 1, 2019
Holly Near: Singing for Our Lives Mar 1, 2019 American Masters - Holly Near: Singing for Our Lives tells the tale of a talented performer whose virtuoso vocals and songwriting inspired generations of people working to "bend the arc of justice forward." From Free the Army tour performances with Jane Fonda to million-person global peace rallies, from women-only concerts and sold-out shows with Ronnie Gilbert to midnight marches against campus sexual assault or police brutality, Near's on-stage charisma and songwriting have captured, fueled and melded together social change movements, spreading new feminism, gender identity, lesbian politics and more since the 1960s. Best known for her coming-out anthem "Imagine My Surprise" and the LGBT movement anthem "Singing for Our Lives," written after Harvey Milk's assassination, Near was also at the forefront of DIY music recording and distribution, founding Redwood Records in her home in 1976 to support the release of her first album, "Hang in There." One of the pioneering independent record companies run by women, Redwood Records was active for 18 years and sold over 1.5 million records by lesbian and politically-conscious artists from around the world. Early in her career, Near was an actress with roles in "The Partridge Family," "All in the Family," "Hair" on Broadway and more. In addition to new interviews with Near, the film features insights from the performer's friends, family and collaborators in music and the social justice movement, including Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, the late Ronnie Gilbert of The Weavers, her cousin, actor Kevin Bacon, the late author, activist and politician Tom Hayden, pianist and composer Jeff Langley, her sister Timothy Near, singer-songwriter and Women on Wheels tour mate Margie Adam, her Redwood Records partner, activist and author Torie Osborn, musician and founder of the Berkeley Women's Music Collective Nancy Vogl and more.
S33 E05Apr 12, 2019
Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People Apr 12, 2019 Discover the man behind the award. A journalist who became a media mogul with an outspoken, cantankerous editorial voice and two best-selling newspapers, Joseph Pulitzer championed what he regarded as the sacred role of the free press in a democracy.
S33 E06Apr 19, 2019
Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable Apr 19, 2019 Discover the life and work of Garry Winogrand, the epic storyteller in pictures who harnessed the serendipity of the streets to capture the American 1960s-70s. His "snapshot aesthetic" is now the universal language of contemporary image making.
S33 E07Jun 14, 2019
Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life Jun 14, 2019 Playwright, librettist, scriptwriter and outspoken LGBTQ activist Terrence McNally has long believed in the power of the arts to transform society and make a difference. The film lifts the curtain on the life, career and inspirations of the complicated and brilliant Emmy- and four-time Tony Award-winning writer.
S33 E08Jun 21, 2019
Robert Shaw - Man of Many Voices Jun 21, 2019 Narrated by David Hyde Pierce, "American Masters: Robert Shaw - Man of Many Voices" traces the journey of one of America's greatest choral music conductors. Renowned for his interpretations of classical music's choral masterpieces, Robert Shaw (April 30, 1916 - January 25, 1999) had no formal training yet inspired generations of musicians with the power of music. Known as the "dean of American choral singing," Shaw's career spanned six decades. He sold millions of recordings and received 16 Grammy Awards, a George Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Music in America, a Guggenheim fellowship and a National Medal of the Arts. Amidst the triumphs of his musical career, the documentary reveals the demons that haunted - and sometimes threatened to derail - this complex and flawed man.
S33 E09Aug 2, 2019
Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin Aug 2, 2019 Explore the remarkable life and legacy of late feminist author Ursula K. Le Guin whose groundbreaking work, including “The Left Hand of Darkness,” transformed American literature by bringing science fiction into the literary mainstream.
S33 E10Sep 13, 2019
Raul Julia: The World's a Stage Sep 13, 2019 "American Masters - Raúl Juliá: The World's a Stage" is a Special Presentation of American Masters and VOCES. Produced by Latino PBS, VOCES is an acclaimed PBS documentary series featuring the best Latino arts, culture and history.
S33 E11Oct 25, 2019
Rothko: Pictures Must Be Miraculous Oct 25, 2019 Mark Rothko, a master of abstract expressionism, created 835 paintings during his five-decade career.
S33 E12Nov 18, 2019
N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear Nov 18, 2019 The mysterious life and mind of Pulitzer Prize-winning author and poet N. Scott Momaday, a formative voice of the Native American Renaissance in art and literature.