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Believe It Or Not, There Is Still "Craft In America"

2 hours ago

The PBS documentary Craft in America: Industry dives into the artistry of craftsmanship that is still alive and well in the United States. The business of making things with your hands is still economically viable, and this documentary highlights various types of handmade objects from throughout the nation.

From quilt-making to boat-making to jewelry-making, there are interest pieces for nearly anyone embedded in this film. “Professional quilter” Joe Cunningham takes us to Alabama and a historical group of quilters in Gee’s Bend. They’ve spent generations passing down their hand-stitched quilting techniques, and it’s been an economic boost as well.

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- John Keith

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Do You Really Need Convincing To Spend An Hour With "Snow Monkeys"?

4 hours ago

The latest PBS Nature documentary follows a year in the life of the snow monkeys of Hell’s Valley in the Japanese Alps. These pink-faced monkeys with ashy coats of fur form a functional community in their valley, with life cycles as predictable as the seasons. For these monkeys, “family is survival” and they rely on their new, withdrawn leader Kuro-san to guide them through these seasons. The documentary follows Kuro-san’s rise to a confident leader and how one-year-old Hero helps him achieve that. Curious and rambunctious, Hero is the least likely companion for solemn Kuro-san; but through various tribulations the two forge an adorable bond.

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- John Keith

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Bend Your Ear To "Mobilize"

4 hours ago

You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: cell phones cause cancer. The radiation from the cell phones is causing brain cancer (and infertility!), and we’ve been warned to limit our cell phone usage and so forth. But as we become even more heavily reliant on technology, is there even a way to limit radiation exposure? The World Hearth Organization stated, in 2011, “The electromagnetic fields produced by mobile phones are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as possibly carcinogenic to humans.” It’s the “possibly” in that statement that has everyone in a tizzy in this new, hot-button documentary Mobilize.

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- John Keith

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Try Unlocking This "Chinese Puzzle"

5 hours ago

For Xavier Rousseau (Romain Duris), life is complicated. He’s just moved to New York City to be close to his kids because his British ex-wife Wendy (Kelly Reilly) moved there to be with a very tall American man. This also brings him close to his best lesbian friend Isabelle (Cecile De France) who is having his baby with her girlfriend Ju (Sandrine Holt). Meanwhile, he’s adapting to life in the States while pretending to be married to Nancy (Li Jun Li) for a Green Card. And, all the while, he finds himself pining after ex-girlfriend Martine (Audrey Tautou). Such complex situations should be familiar to those who’ve followed Xavier’s life in 2002’s The Spanish Apartment and 2005’s Russian Dolls both of which were also written and directed by Cedric Klapisch.

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- John Keith

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You Can "Drive Hard", But You Won't Like It When You Get There

7 hours ago

Former race car driver Peter Roberts (Thomas Jane) is having a terrible day. His wife isn’t supporting his dream to open a racing school, the bills are piling up, and he is bored with his job as a driving instructor. To make matters worse, his latest student Simon Keller (John Cusack) is a bank robber in search of a getaway driver, and Keller has decided that Roberts is the man for the job. Together, they have to escape the cops and the former gangsters running the bank, and if they succeed, they will split the take of $9 million.

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- Rachel Kolb

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