Top Picks: Eric Clapton's guitar festival, the Sundance Channel's film journey through the decades, and more

The website Videolicious lets you create professional-looking videos, 'The Law in These Parts' looks at how Israel maintains law and order on the West Bank, and more top picks.

Rock it out

Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013 assembled luminaries of pop, rock, and jazz guitar for two evenings of jamming and performance at Madison Square Garden this past April. On Aug. 13, national audiences can share the best of the two nights in a single film presentation that includes special backstage access. Performers include the Allman Brothers Band, Blake Mills, Booker T., Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks, Doyle Bramhall II, and others, as well as Clapton himself. Check the NC Fathom Events website (www.fathomevents.com) for a nearby movie theater.

Moviethon

Just in time for the dog days of summer, the Sundance Channel is offering a month-long movie retrospective that spans the decades. Beginning on Aug. 5, the network will air four decades of pop-culture classics from the 1970s through 2000s with its Decades summer movie marathon. Fill up that popcorn bowl and get ready to chill out.

Law and the West Bank

Lift a curtain on the little-known ways and means by which Israel maintains law and order on the West Bank. The Law in These Parts is an inside look at the military rule that has evolved over 40 years, as told through the words of judges, prosecutors, and high-ranking officers. One admits “security comes before human rights,” and another recalls “the heavy feeling that I’m not being told the truth.”  It airs Monday Aug. 19 at 10 p.m. on PBS under POV.

Share those memories

Do you assemble family photos into catchy videos with soundtracks? Or do post videos on your blog? Videolicious is an easy editing tool that uses your photos, voice-over, and music to create professional-looking videos in minutes. There’s a website (videolicious.com), and also a free app. The free “personal” membership transforms as many as 10 photos or videos into seamless one-minute presentations that can be e-mailed or posted on Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter. The “business” memberships offer more storage for a small monthly fee.

Digital wonders

Simple but alluring, the British company Safestyle Windows has created an online portal through which to explore Google Maps images from around the world. Simply click on “the Secret Door” and – presto! – you are inside the White House or an underground cave in China or on top of Japan’s Great Seto Bridge. Guiding arrows offer panoramic views. Check it out at http://bit.ly/sdoor.

Belt it out

The Italian composer Riccardo Zandonai’s masterpiece is Francesca da Rimini and hasn’t been staged by the Metropolitan Opera in more than 25 years. This Great Performances at the Met production airs Aug. 18 at noon on PBS, and stars Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek and Italian tenor Marcello Giordani. The opera showcases an unconventional mix of musical styles ranging from Italian verismo to the harmonics of Debussy and the muscularity of Richard Strauss.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.