It’s not every day that you pick up the newspaper and read that three of your friends have been subpoenaed—assuming, that is, that you don’t work for an international bank, the mafia, or the New York State Assembly.
The friends in question are the documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, his daughter, the author and filmmaker Sarah Burns, and Sarah’s husband, David McMahon, who has worked with Ken for the last 14 years. I first met and worked with them all when I consulted on the updated version of Ken Burns’s Baseball series and wrote a new chapter for the accompanying book.
The subpoena involves a new documentary the three of them are making called The Central Park Five, an adaptation of the book Sarah Burns published earlier this year, The Central Park Five: Chronicle of a City Wilding, which revisits the brutal rape of Trisha Meili, the 28-year-old investment banker who would be known ever after as “the Central Park jogger.”
On a damp evening in May, the great and the gray trooped up the marble stairs of one of New York City’s most hallowed institutions, the New York Public Library, for its centennial celebration. A smorgasbord of talent had been hired to showcase the library’s varied nature, including an outdoor electric harpist, the Abyssinian Baptist Read More
When Ken Burns goes to the movies, he sits wherever he wants. Not through any kind of documentarian intimidation tactic, but by showing up very early. On Monday night, at the New York premiere of Cairo Time, Mr. Burns arrived 45 minutes before the rest of the crowd to secure seats in the Read More
1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Maya Hayuk’s "Sexy Gazebo: Believing Is Believing," an ongoing show through March 15, opens today at Cinders on 103 Havemeyer Street. "Sexy Gazebo" features abstractions and figurative drawings, also highlighted gazebo installation.
6 p.m. Documentarian Ken Burns celebrates Lincoln’s 200th birthday with a discussion of his Civil War series Read More
On the evening of Monday, Sept. 17, Bank of America and PBS hosted a preview of Ken Burns’ new documentary The War, about how World War II affected American lives. After the screening, a silent, somber crowd filed into the Museum of Modern Art’s lobby area for cocktails and dinner.
“Well, that was something,” Read More
Consider the odd case of Wynton Marsalis, artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Pulitzer Prize–winner and Ken Burns poster child, who over the past decade has consolidated his position as the official face of jazz at about the same rate that he’s been disappearing as an influential stylistic force within the inner sanctum of Read More
When my grandmother, a Southerner inordinately fond of family stories about the gracious old plantation days, confessed a grudging admiration for the first few episodes of the PBS Jazz series, I knew that Ken Burns had done something seriously right. Within the world of the jazz cognoscenti, the idea that black Americans were largely responsible Read More
As almost everyone in New York knows by now , Jazz , a 10-part, 19-hour documentary that began airing on PBS station WNET-TV on Jan. 8, is the latest opus by nonfiction filmmaker Ken Burns. As almost everyone here also knows, titles can be deceiving. And though Mr. Burns may have been the man behind Read More
I recently received an invitation to a television and video festival in Biarritz, Switzerland, and was casting about for an interesting hour of television–”something you feel passionate about”–to present at a panel with critics from four other countries. I’d just worked up an appetite for the trip–balmy weather in January, an excursion to Bilbao, Spain–and Read More