Top Picks: PBS's 'The Story of China,' the Jørgen Emborg Quartet’s album 'What's Left?,' and more

'Toni Erdmann' tells the story of a corporate strategist and her mischievous father who loves playing pranks on people, artist Thomas Dambo's 'The 6 Forgotten Giants' brings creatures out of fairy tales to life, and more top picks.

COURTESY OF MICK DUFFIELD

China past

Curious about the tale of how China came to be and how the country attained the world status it holds today? PBS’s new series The Story of China is hosted by Michael Wood and depicts him traveling all over the country from Beijing to Luoyang, which has intriguing historical sites such as the Longmen Grottoes. The six-part series debuts June 20 at 8 p.m.

Live fairy tale

Creatures out of fairy tales have come to life in Copenhagen, Denmark. Artist Thomas Dambo has created large giants (with names like Oscar Under the Bridge and Sleeping Louis) out of scrap wood for the project The 6 Forgotten Giants and invited the curious to find them with the help of a map. Not traveling to Copenhagen anytime soon? At www.thomasdambo.com, you can see what the giants look like and see photos of how they were created.

AP

Mischievous prankster

The movie Toni Erdmann, which is written and directed by German filmmaker Maren Ade, tells the story of Ines (Sandra Hüller), who works as a corporate strategist and whose mischievous father (Peter Simonischek) is a grade school teacher who loves playing pranks on people. The movie is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Movie photos

Here’s something to interest photography and movie fans: Artist Jason Shulman has created long-exposure photos that depict whole movies, including classics such as “Fantasia,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Check out his photographs and see if you can detect the movies you know so well at http://bit.ly/moviephotos.

Joyous jazz        

Tuneful, uplifting, surprising, inspired ... and Danish. What’s Left? is a very good question, and it also doubles as the title of the Jørgen Emborg Quartet’s captivating new album. Keyboard whiz/composer Emborg teams up with gifted chromatic harmonica master Mathias Heise (echoes of the late virtuoso Toots Thielemans) to create 10 joyous tracks in an exhilarating new jazz hybrid. Standouts are “That’s Why” and the touching “Theme for Toots.”

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