Top Picks: The movie 'Words and Pictures,' the jazz musician Jon Batiste and his band Stay Human, and more

Ken Burns' new series 'The Roosevelts: An Intimate History' is a look at fascinating history through the lens of a remarkable family, a stage production of 'A Streetcar Name Desire' starring Gillian Anderson, Ben Foster, and Vanessa Kirby comes to movie theaters, and more top picks.


The art of teaching

In Words and Pictures, starring Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche, an English teacher (Owen) at a prep school clashes with the new art teacher (Binoche), causing the students to try to decide whether literature or art is better. Owen and Binoche deliver high-energy performances under the direction of Fred Schepisi, one of the world’s best. The film is available on DVD and Blu-ray. 

Scottish fantasy

As Scotland prepares to vote on its independence Sept. 18, a new series on Starz will have you dreaming in plaid. Outlander, based on the bestselling series by Diana Gabaldon, follows World War II nurse Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), who falls through a Druid time warp and ends up in 18th-century Scotland. See it Saturdays at 9 p.m., or find previous episodes on The series features some adult content.

Ken Burns returns

PBS presents a new seven-part series by documentarian Ken Burns, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. The series tells the personal stories of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt as well as showing their imprint on American politics. See the creation of the National Park system, the digging of the Panama Canal, the implementation of the New Deal, and the defeat of Hitler through the lens of a remarkable family. It premières on Sept. 14 and is available on DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 16.

A night at the theater

A Streetcar Named Desire comes to the big screen for one night only on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. local time. Presented by Fathom Events, National Theatre Live, and BY Experience, the broadcast from London’s Young Vic Theatre of Tennessee Williams’s timeless masterpiece stars Gillian Anderson, Ben Foster, and Vanessa Kirby. Check for participating theaters. 

Dancing on the keyboard

If you think the world seems like a pretty sad place these days – and that jazz has run out of ideas – you haven’t heard Jon Batiste and Stay Human. The gifted young New Orleans keyboard player and his eclectic band blew the roof off last month’s Newport Jazz Festival, and suffice it to say, you have never heard anything like the exotic, melodic, rhapsodic music they make. Their album is available on and iTunes.

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