Top Picks: Oscar-nominated shorts, Paul McCartney's new album, and more
A photography series shows the artist behind the famous image, Chip Taylor & the Grandkids create a charming album for all ages, 'American Experience' profiles Clinton, and more top picks.
Behind the camera
Famous photos like the one of the man standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square are viewed thousands of times, but the person who took the image is rarely seen. In a series by Tim Mantoani, photographers pose with the pictures that made them famous. The series can be seen in Mantoani's new book Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends, and some images are on mantoani.com.
The best shorts
This year, after a brief theatrical release, Oscar-nominated short films will be released on iTunes on Feb. 21 in the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, and throughout the world. The release will also be available via cable's Movies On Demand.
If the word "charming" had a soundtrack, it would be Chip Taylor & the Grandkids' Golden Kids Rules. Songwriter of megahits "Wild Thing" and "Angel of the Morning," Taylor teamed up with his grandkids in 2011 to make the family record of the year. The songs are tuneful, clever, and 100 percent guile-free. The album is a pitch-perfect salute to what it means to be a kid. Their Christmas song, "You Can Come Play With Our Toys," could coax tears from a stone, and the hilarious "Daddy Is a Red Sox Fan / Mommy Is a Yankees Fan" will put an indelible smile on your face.
No Glass ceiling
To mark composer Philip Glass's 75th birthday, Sony Classical is releasing a three-disc set – The Essential Philip Glass – which includes highlights from his classical career ("Einstein on the Beach," "Satyagraha," and "Akhnaten"), dance scores for Twyla Tharp ("In the Upper Room") and Jerome Robbins ("Songs From Liquid Days"), theater works ("The Photographer"), plus music for solo piano and collaborations with artists such as Suzanne Vega, Linda Ronstadt, the Kronos Quartet, and Yo-Yo Ma.
'Kisses on the Bottom'
Paul McCartney has delivered a valentine – sweet, a little corny, but hey, that's our Paul. The cheeky title aside, it's a quietly swinging affair, with jazz chanteuse Diana Krall tickling the ivories. Crooning mostly old chestnuts from his dad's dance band repertoire, he sounds subdued and somewhat out of his comfort zone at times, but more like the pop legend we know on the two originals "Only in Our Hearts" and "My Valentine," written for his wife, Nancy Shevell.
Complex and conflicted
"American Experience" on PBS profiles the 42nd US president, William Jefferson Clinton. A two-part series, Clinton examines the complex relationship between him, his wife, and the country before, during, and after his two-term presidency. It's an insightful and fresh look at one of the most-closely scrutinized politicians in recent history.