Top Picks: 'Expedition Great White,' Ron Galella documentary, a look at Old Havana, and more recommendations
New series from National Geographic 'Expedition Great White,' documentary 'Smash His Camera' about paparazzo Ron Galella's own life, 'Havana Revisited, a new book on Old Havana, and more top picks.
Inclusive arts festival
More than 600 artists from all over the globe are descending on Washington, D.C., June 6-12 for the largest celebration of arts and disability in the world. A mix of dance, music, theater, visual arts, and film, the 2010 International VSA Festival includes headliners such as Mali's Salif Keita, Patti LaBelle, and glass sculptor Dale Chihuly.
Brando broke his jaw
If you have mixed feelings about today's celebrity culture, HBO's "Smash His Camera" about legendary paparazzo Ron Galella offers a fascinating look at hit-and-run photography. Controversial and often vilified, Galella captured some of the most iconic images of the past 50 years. But his tactics got him sued twice by Jacqueline Onassis and slugged by Marlon Brando. Watching the documentary is like getting tips on how to be a sociopath. Airs June 7 at 9 p.m.
Havana past and present
Walking around Old Havana may be off limits to most Americans, but a new book takes you on a visual tour of its elegant architecture with an interesting twist. "Havana Revisited: An Architectural Heritage," by Cathryn Griffith (W.W. Norton, $49.95) juxtaposes dozens of colorized postcards from 1900 to the 1930s next to photos from the present day. Some landmarks have fared better than others in the intervening years. And some have disappeared entirely. It's a window on the forces that have shaped Cuba, from Spanish possession through independence and revolution.
Love in a time of war
Set in a quiet English village four years into World War II, the British drama "We'll Meet Again" captures the romance, friction, and intrigue that follows the arrival of American servicemen at the new US airbase. The 4-volume DVD (www.acornonline.com, $59.99) stars Susannah York and Michael Shannon and was first aired on public television in the 1980s.
If happiness is a bar of chocolate
For those with rarefied tastes in chocolate, Chocomize.com can deliver. Starting with a base of Belgian chocolate, you can create a customized bar from a list of 90 ingredients, including such exotic fare as black peppercorns, cantaloupe melon, and beef jerky. Bars start at $4.
Catch and release – with sharks
This is a shark tale that ends well. National Geographic's new series "Expedition Great White" follows a research crew in Guadalupe, Mexico, as they use a sophisticated system of bait and buoys to land great whites and tag them. The goal is to solve the mystery of where the sharks – both the predators and the garbagemen in the marine ecosystem – migrate and why. But catching a 3,000 lb. fish is a dangerous game. Series premières June 6 at 9 p.m. immediately followed at 10 p.m. by another episode.