Dancing down the years
To promote a new shopping center in East London, The Viral Factory created a YouTube video (www.westfieldstratfordcity2011.com/style/100-years-style-east-london) that shows a hundred years of East London fashion – and dance styles and music – in a hundred seconds. A dancing couple breezes through the evolution of the area's culture in blink-and-you-miss-'em flashes, so get ready to hit replay. Check out the girl dancing by herself for a few seconds while the guy's away fighting in World War II.
As a young man, Georges I. Gurdjieff traveled widely in Europe, Central Asia, and North Africa, studying with mystics and holy men from Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist traditions. The music of this Armenian writer and spiritual leader is imbued with the sounds he heard in monasteries and other sacred places. In this spellbinding collection, Music of Georges I. Gurdjieff (ECM), Gurdjieff's compositions are rendered on traditional Middle Eastern and Central Asian instruments by an accomplished ensemble.
Comic genius dissected
Seriously Funny: The Comic Art of Woody Allen is a two-part documentary looking at the life and work of the Brooklyn-born comedian. The show airs on Nov. 20 and 21 on PBS's "American Masters" program. Check local listings for times.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the eighth and final film in the long-running series based on the books by J.K. Rowling, arrives on DVD and Blu-ray Nov. 11 with a suite of extras. These include an interview with Rowling and Emma Watson, as well as a look at the new Pottermore website, the home of all things Harry Potter.
The wild side of turkeys
Just in time for Thanksgiving, My Life as a Turkey on PBS's "Nature" Nov. 16 is a gentle, wry look at the life of a clutch of wild turkeys who imprint on the show's host and narrator. The program takes us through the lives of these young fowls and makes clear that although they are cousins of the poultry that graces American dinner tables, the relation and resemblance are as distant as a pet dog to a wild wolf.
The Beach Boys Smile
Even the most casual Beach Boys fan is aware of Brian Wilson's "lost masterpiece" "Smile." In 1967, 80 sessions for the follow-up to "Pet Sounds" were scrapped after the members disagreed on the band's musical direction. The Smile Sessions (19 songs and dozens of snippets, studio chatter, and outtakes) attempts to re-create what the legendary album might have been. It unspools a few transcendent moments (Brian's aching vocal on "Surf's Up") and much beautiful, aimless noodling. For fans only.