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PBS looks at the darker side of changing the world

Digging up dirt
Sometimes you want to give PBS a big grateful kiss just for staying the course while most of TV, losing ground to the interweb age, hovers between cultural hemorrhage and commercial death.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  January 11, 2011


Review: God in America

PBS puts American religion in its proper place
For all our bragging about separating church and state, throughout our nation's history, religion has never been on the sidelines. If
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  October 10, 2010


A blood-boiled appeal to the young and bewildered Boston newbies

You again?
You students are back. We locals, many of the best of whom began our lives here as scholar-transplants from that Other America ourselves, know this without consulting a calendar.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  August 31, 2010


Review: The World That Never Was

Lies your teacher told you about anarchism
Some marketing wizard gave Oxford-based historian Alex Butterworth's exhaustive history of the international anarchist movement a fun title it doesn't deserve.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  August 17, 2010


Fashionably great

Richard Avedon dresses up the MFA, plus Nicholas Nixon's family album
New-York-born-and-based photographer Richard Avedon (1923–2004), who's rightly credited with revolutionizing fashion photography, was more than a couturier-mag genius.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  August 10, 2010


Review: My Tale of Two Cities

Pittsburgh doc not Pittsburgh-y enough
The smoky, solid-iron Pittsburgh that Woody Guthrie sang about faded away after WW2, leaving a vacuum eventually supplanted by a cleaner but still soulful civic iteration.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  July 28, 2010


BU offers the class of 1970 a second chance at complacency

After School Special
Boston University’s class of 2010 celebrates its commencement this weekend, and BU has invited the class of 1970 to tag along.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  May 12, 2010


This must be the place

A short paper on Harvard Square's roots
It is a place so confident, so much an institution, as to presume to call itself by its last name. When someone says they’re going to the Square, nobody expects them to turn up at the Statler Building in Park Square or under the CITGO sign in Kenmore Square or in Elmer N. Buswell Square.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  April 23, 2010


Fess Elisha Parker, 1924–2010

In memoriam
The King of the Wild Frontier is dead.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  March 24, 2010


Wild about Harry

Trailblazing along a narrow path
What I want to do — what most photographers want to do — is write Harry Callahan a love letter. At the very least, he deserves an elaborate thank-you note for innovating or validating 80 percent of the successful photographs we ever took.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  December 09, 2009


Interview: Ken Burns

On his latest PBS documentary, The National Parks
After watching The National Parks: America's Best Idea , it would be easy to conclude that it all could have been said a lot faster. Ken Burns disagrees — but he's not just being defensive.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  September 25, 2009


Holy landscape!

Ken Burns worships America's spiritual resource
At its core, Ken Burns's PBS 12-hour epic The National Parks: America's Best Idea (nightly on WGBH Channel 2 at 8 pm, from September 27 through October 2) is a selective, initiative by initiative, advocate by advocate, chronicle of the evolution of the National Parks system and the changing roles protected lands have played in American culture since Congress validated Yosemite in 1864.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  September 24, 2009

RyanBulger list

Michael Ryan: 1951-2009

A celebration of the good old days by someone who knew him when
Every proper obit should begin with something long-winded and amusing. In this case, that's easy.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  August 31, 2009


K is for clown

The lighter side of global annihilation
The lighter side of global annihilation
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  June 30, 2009


Lost tribes found

'GBH puts a human face on history
Nobody likes a guilt trip. That's why filmmaker Ric Burns's 1995 Manifest Destiny documentary The Way West was such a drag.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  April 07, 2009


Review: MI-5

Breaking new ground with old tools
When in 2002 BBC1 launched Spooks , from independent producer Kudos Film and Television, it must have been something of a courageous act.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  March 31, 2009


Noir film

Jerry Berndt and Eugene Richards: The inescapable romance of decay
Fatalism and depression are consequences of life, not goals. Cheer up and don't let this dust-to-dust business slow you down.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  March 03, 2009


Keough sweeps Oscars

Way better than average
Is our Phoenix film editor good, or what? This past week, Peter Keough predicted six major Oscar categories and earlier went out on a limb and called the two short-subject winners.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  February 25, 2009


Phoenix group harvests 17 regional press prizes

Bragging-Rights Night at New England Press Association
The New England Press Association (NEPA) annual newspaper contest has always been good to us.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  February 12, 2009


Eloquent Nude: The Love and Legacy of Edward Weston & Charis Wilson

Model wife
Ian McCluskey's exploration of the legendary "model wife" collaboration between Modernist photo master Edward Weston and moneyed bohemian Charis Wilson is no casual or incidental documentary but a well-crafted display of living history.
By: CLIF GARBODEN  |  December 11, 2008
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