Internationally renowned architect I.M. Pei dared to put a glass pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum in Paris and moved a mountaintop to create a new museum in Kyoto, Japan. In "I.M. Pei: Building China Modern," a new documentary in PBS's "American Masters" series airing March 31, he returns to his ancestral homeland to create a modern museum in the 2,500-year-old city of Suzhou. What he hoped would be a final project, Pei now calls "his biography."
Expanding its commitment to wildlife research and documentary filmmaking, the National Geographic Society extends its cable franchise with Nat Geo WILD on March 29. The new channel's many shows will include a look at attempts to revive the Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique; the prankster – and endangered – monkeys of Jaipur; and the daunting task of retraining a 900-pound grizzly bear, raised by humans, to return to the wilds of Alaska's Kodiak Island.
Mr. Fox & Co.
Wes Anderson's stop-motion "Fantastic Mr. Fox," just out on DVD, brings a much-needed sense of wonderment to family entertainment. Based on Roald Dahl's 1970 children's book, "Fox" has a sophisticated puppet primitivism backdropped by near-psychedelic colorations. George Clooney voices the dapper Mr. Fox, who leads a grab bag of critters on missions of plunder.
Comic on tour
When the musical chairs at the late-night comedy desks recently stopped, Conan O'Brien was the last comic standing. So, the red-haired comedian is taking his show on the road. The 30-city tour will start in Eugene, Ore., on April 12 and eventually make it to New York and Boston.
Ireland's indefatigable Chieftains and multiple Grammy-winner Ry Cooder have collaborated on a recording that combines traditional Irish and Mexican music. The resulting CD, "San Patricio," is a gem. The project was conceived to honor the San Patricio Battalion, a conscripted group of mostly Irish immigrants who deserted the US Army to fight with their Roman Catholic brothers-in-arms during the Mexican-American War (1846-48). Historians are split on the merit of their stand, but we're unanimous in recommending this stirring tribute. Linda Ronstadt, Lila Downs, and actor Liam Neeson are guest stars.
Tour de force
Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her uncanny portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy, a Memphis socialite who changes the life of an urban teen by taking him into her home and, eventually, her heart. Based on the true story of Michael Oher, now in the NFL, "The Blind Side" was a surprise hit at the box office and arrives on DVD March 23.