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Friday, August 01, 2014
8/29 PBS: new Dorothea Lange doc by granddaughter Dyanna Taylor!
THIRTEEN's American Masters Series Co-Produces New Documentary about "Migrant Mother" Photographer Dorothea Lange by Her Granddaughter, Award-Winning Cinematographer Dyanna Taylor
Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning Premieres Nationwide
Friday, August 29 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
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Her celebrated photograph "Migrant Mother" is
one of the most recognized and arresting images in the world, a
haunting portrait that came to represent the suffering of America's
Great Depression. Yet few know the story, struggles and profound body of
work of the woman behind the camera:
Dorothea Lange (May 26, 1895 - Oct. 11, 1965).
American Masters - Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning,
premiering nationwide Friday, August 29, 9-11 p.m. on PBS
(check local listings), explores the life, passions and uncompromising
vision of the influential photographer. Her enduring images document
five turbulent decades of American history, including the Great
Depression, the Dust Bowl and World War II Japanese American internment
camps. Peabody- and five-time Emmy award-winning cinematographer Dyanna Taylor -the granddaughter of Lange and writer/social scientist Paul Schuster Taylor - directs and narrates this intimate American Masters documentary.
who learned to see the visual world through her grandmother's eyes,
combines family memories and journals with never-before-seen photos and
film footage to bring Lange's story into sharp focus.The result is a
personal documentary of the artist whose empathy for people on the
margins of society challenged America to know itself.
film includes newly discovered interviews with Lange from her Bay Area
home studio, circa 1964-1965, as she and her colleagues prepare for an
unprecedented, one-woman career retrospective at New York's Museum of
Modern Art (MoMA). Showcasing more than 800 works by Lange, her first
husband Maynard Dixon and second husband Paul Schuster Taylor combined, American Masters - Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning
the camera as Lange's first muse and the confluence of artists at work
and in love. Explaining the impact of these relationships on Lange's
life and documentary photography style, filmmaker/narrator Dyanna Taylor
demonstrates the challenges of balancing artistic pursuits and
The documentary weaves Lange telling her own story with new interviews of family, friends and colleagues, including Lange's son Daniel Dixon; Lange's goddaughter and biographer Elizabeth Partridge; Richard
Conrad, Lange's assistant for the MoMA exhibit; photographer Rondal
Partridge, Lange's assistant and son of photographers Imogen Cunningham
and Roi Partridge; Becky Jenkins, Maynard Dixon's granddaughter; Dr.
Margot Taylor-Fanger, Paul Taylor's daughter; and many others.
grandmother's photographs grew out of her depth as a person. Ever since
I began my career in filmmaking, I've wanted to make a film which would express the true breadth of her work and the ways she perceived the world," said Dyanna Taylor, whose past work on American Masters films includes Ernest Hemingway: Rivers to the Sea and F. Scott Fitzgerald - Winter Dreams.
"During my young years, as we spent time together, she taught me how
to see, to understand that nothing is as it appears at first glance.
are fortunate to have a family member, who is also a talented
filmmaker, telling Dorothea Lange's remarkable life story in a way that
no one else possibly could,"said Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters.
A DVD will be available September 9, 2014, from PBS Distribution. The film's companion book, Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning (Chronicle Books) by Elizabeth Partridge, is available now.
Launched in 1986 by series creator Susan Lacy, American Masters
has earned 26 Emmy Awards - including nine for Outstanding Non-Fiction
Series since 1999 and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special - 12
Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards, and many
other honors. Now in its 28th season on PBS, the series is a production of THIRTEEN
Productions LLC for WNET.
WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York's public
television stations, and operator of NJTV. For more than 50 years,
THIRTEEN has been a partner with the tri-state community, using its rich
resources to inform and inspire the passionate people of New York and
the world to better understand and address the issues that challenge our
To take American Masters
beyond the television broadcast and further explore the themes, stories
and personalities of masters past and present, the companion website (http://pbs.org/americanmasters
) offers streaming video of select films, interviews, photos, outtakes, essays, and other resources. American Masters
is also seen on the WORLD channel, a 24/7, full-service multicast
channel featuring public television's signature nonfiction documentary,
science and news programming, broadcast in nearly two-thirds of the
Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning is a co-production of Raven Rouge, Inc., Katahdin Productions and THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC's American Masters for WNET.Dyanna
Taylor is producer, writer and director. Roberta Grossman is producer.
David Leach is editor. Jami Sieber and Evan Schiller are original score
composers. Susan Lacy, Michael Kantor and Lisa Thomas are executive
American Masters is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind
P. Walter, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rolf and
Elizabeth Rosenthal, Jack Rudin, Vital Projects Fund, The André and
Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation,
and public television viewers. Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning
is made possible by the support of the National Endowment for the
Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Cal Humanities.
As New York's flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN
and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV,
WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to
more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such
acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose
and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and
cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational
programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase
and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life
in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique
culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS