Top Picks: 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Blu-ray, Michael Feinstein's musical journey, and more
Lena Dunham's film 'Tiny Furniture' is a lively movie with sharp dialogue, PBS examines a little-known civil rights activist, film critics rank a list of the greatest movies ever, and more top picks.
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As To Kill a Mockingbird hits its 50th birthday this year, Universal Studios Home Entertainment is putting out a Blu-ray version for the first time. The Limited Edition Collector's Series includes fascinating extras such as a copy of the script with Gregory Peck's notes, plus the documentary "Fearful Symmetry," featuring interviews with the cast and crew and a tour of author Harper Lee's hometown.
Film fun and facts
Film critics Gail Kinn and Jim Piazza have revised their list of The Greatest Movies Ever for their new book of the same name, picking 101 films in total with new inclusions like "Slumdog Millionaire." Even better, each selection comes with extras such as "The Great Scene," which pinpoints the best portion of a movie, and "Send in the Clones," a list of films that were spawned by the success of a certain movie. (For example, "Some Like It Hot" led to "Tootsie" and "Victor/Victoria.")
Doing Willie Nelson proud
Pop chanteuse Norah Jones formed the Little Willies in 2003 with four pals who happened to share her love of old-school country. Three years later, the band (named for, yes, Willie Nelson) bowed with a debut of well-rendered covers. They hew to the same formula on their new release For the Good Times, from an appropriately sassy take on Loretta Lynn's "Fist City" to a slinky, playful version of "Foul Owl on the Prowl." It's loose and fun and all but irresistible, especially when Jones puts her own wistful spin on the Dolly Parton classic "Jolene."
A songbook through the ages
Music historian and performer Michael Feinstein takes viewers across America and through musical history in three new episodes of his show Michael Feinstein's American Songbook. In the première, "Time Machines," learn how technology has preserved – and altered – the way we think about the great songs and singers of the past. Season 2 premières Feb. 3 at 9 p.m. on PBS.
Lena Dunham, the writer-director-star of the microbudget Tiny Furniture (out on DVD Feb. 14) has a distinctive comedic take on the world – a kind of haggard spiritedness. She plays a film studies major living with her artist mother and overachiever high school senior sister in her family's Tribeca loft. Dunham has a sharp eye for visual composition and a sharp ear, too.
Forgotten First Lady
Part of PBS's celebration of Black History Month, Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock, from "Independent Lens," tells the story of an unconventional revolutionary who paid dearly for her public support of nine black students who registered to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., which culminated in a constitutional crisis – pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself. It airs Feb. 2.