Martha Graham: Dance on Film

Movements came just stark out of the body, as though it had never happened before, says choreographer Agnes de Mille of the dance inspirations of Martha Graham. There's probably been no better evocation of Graham's genius for creating dances that are primal and sophisticated, abstract and powerfully physical at the same time. De Mille's comments on her colleague are caught in the 1994 PBS American Masters documentary Martha Graham: The Dancer Revealed, one of the several films collected in this compelling two-DVD set just issued by the Criterion Collection.

The signature Graham works Appalachian Spring (filmed in 1958) and Night Journey (1961) are riveting viewing, and will reward both the newcomer to Graham's oeuvre and the longtime admirer. Also revelatory are the 1957 television portrait A Dancer Revealed and the many interviews and extras also included. And for those who have followed modern dance from the 20th century into the 21st -- watch for a young Merce Cunningham in rare archival footage of an early performance of Appalachian Spring.

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.