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TV Worth Watching

By D Magazine |

American Masters: Katherine Anne Porter: The Eye of Memory

Friday, July 1, at 9 p.m.

This film portrait of author Katherine Anne Porter focuses on her semi-autobiographical short stories set in the farming country of Central Texas. The KERA production interweaves dramatizations of three of her stories- The Grave, The Witness, and The Circus, starring Paul Winfield and Diana Chandel (pictured) – in a unique examination of the effect of one’s environment on the creative process. The hour-long special also features interviews with some of Porter’s close professional associates like Eudora Welty and Robert Penn Warren.

POV: Acting Our Age and American Tongues

Tuesdays at 11 p.m.

This new ten-part series (the title stands for “point of view”) features a select group of award-winning, independently produced films, some of which have played theatrically around the country. The series opens with two films, Acting Our Age and American Tongues, on July 5. Acting Our Age is an engaging and refreshing film, offering new perspectives on aging through the eyes of six women, aged 65-75, who candidly discuss sexuality, family life, changing body image, and dealing with death. The second film, American Tongues, is rich in humor and uses the prism of language to reveal attitudes about the way other people speak. From Boston Brahmins to black Louisiana teenagers, from Texas cowboys to New York professionals, the film elicits funny, perceptive, and sometimes shocking comments on American English in all its diversity.

Live From Lincoln Center: An Evening of Mostly Mozart

Wednesday, July 13, at 8 p.m.

Lincoln Center celebrates the twenty-second anniversary of the Mostly Mozart Festival with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra conducted by Gerard Schwarz with performances by pianist Vladimir Feltsman and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade. The two-hour program will include a Mozart concert aria for mezzo-soprano, piano, and orchestra, “Ch’io mi scordi di te, K. 505”; and Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat, K. 595.”

A Capitol Fourth 1988

Monday, July 4, at 8 p.m.

The red, white, and blue music of the legendary Irving Berlin highlights this special as the National Symphony Orchestra celebrates the composer’s 100th birthday during its annual Fourth of July concert on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Music director Mstislav Rostropovich conducts the orchestra, and Metropolitan Opera baritone Sherrill Milnes performs.

16 Days of Glory

Wednesdays at 8 p.m. beginning July 20

Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Bud Greenspan takes viewers behind the scenes of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in this new six-part series. The programs focus on the stories and events of the individual athletes as they vie for medals. Among those featured are U.S. track and field star Edwin Moses (pictured); U.S. gymnast Mary Lou Retton; women’s high jumpers Ulrike Meyfarth of West Germany and Sara Simeoni of Italy; and four-time U.S. gold medal winner Carl Lewis.

A Salute to Frank Capra

Saturdays at 8 p.m. beginning July 9

This month Channel 13 pays tribute to Academy Award-winning director Frank Capra by airing four of his best-loved movies. It Happened One Night on July 9, stars Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in a zany adventure about a dizzy society girl who flees from her father and finds romance with a reporter on a crosscountry bus. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, airing July 16, stars Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur (pictured) in a comedy masterpiece about a millionaire who gets involved with New York con artists. The following week, Jean Arthur stars with James Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Stewart plays a naive U.S. senator who doesn’t conform to the pattern set for him by his backers. And on July 30, Katharine Hepburn stars with Rossano Brazzi in Summertime, a romantic story set in Venice about a American schoolteacher and the Italian merchant with whom she falls in love.

Mystery!: The Return of Sherlock Holmes

Thursdays at 9 p.m. beginning July 14

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous sleuth encounters seven extraordinary adventures as the popular series is back for the summer. Jeremy Brett (pictured), called “the best Sherlock ever,” again plays the title role, with Edward Hardwicke as Dr. Watson. The series begins with Holmes’ reappearance after supposedly falling to his death in a struggle with his archenemy, Professor Moriarty. In the first adventure, Empty House, Holmes returns to solve the murder of the Honorable Ronald Adair.

American Masters: Duke Ellington: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Friday, July 22 and 29, at 9 p.m.

An outstanding film portrait, this two-part documentary is the first retrospective study of Ellington’s life and works. The program features the American broadcast premiere of a number of Ellington’s European performances and recollections by the artists who knew him intimately, including Harry Carney, Charlie Mingus, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Ben Webster, and Teddy Wilson. Commentary by Ellington offers reflections on his unique methods and lengthy career.

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