From the pratfalls that entertained immigrants in the early 1900s to the most biting satire on television today, Make 'Em Laugh features the funniest moments in American entertainment, including the great comedic talents, including Charlie Chaplin, Jack Benny, Abbott & Costello, The Three Stooges, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Woody Allen, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and many more.
The Norman invasion of 1066 relegated English from the primary language of the country to a poor third - after French, the tongue of the court, and Latin, the tongue of the church. This episode tells the story of its re-emergence.
In this adaptation of Oscar Wilde's witty play about mistaken identities, two proper gentlemen in 1890s London use the same pseudonym, Earnest, for their on the sly courtship activities. Pandemonium ensues when the two men find themselves face-to-face and have to explain who they really are.
Deborra-lee Furness In Conversation features an illuminating Q&A interview between actor/director Deborra-lee Furness and Arts presenter Virginia Trioli. While best known as the motor-bike riding lawyer in the 1988 Australian film classic Shame, other key roles in a rich and varied television career have included Neighbours,Singapore Sling and Flying Doctors. In the 90s while starring in the hit ABC TV series Correlli, Furness also met her future husband, Hugh Jackman, with whom she has two adopted children.
The way in which a few tribal and local Germanic dialects spoken by a hundred and fifty thousand people grew into the English language - spoken and understood by about one and a half billion people - has all the characteristics of a tremendous adventure. An adventure of tenacity, luck, near extinction on more than one occasion, dazzling flexibility and an extraordinary power to absorb.
Jane Austen's novels about marriage are firmly established as literary classics. But what of the love life of the woman who penned the famous novels? As this drama opens, Jane (Olivia Williams) is a published novelist. With Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park much admired and Emma close to completion, Jane has found success as a writer. But the novelist herself, now nearing her forties, has never married.
Simon Palomares is a comedian. Life has become complicated. Spain is calling. Loudly. There is a saying in Madrid, that to be successful at anything you need to have balls (cojones) as big as those you find on the horse that is Madrid's most famous statue. This film follows Australian comedian Simon Palomares as he attempts to break into the Spanish comedy circuit while also reconnecting with his Spanish identity.
In the summer of 2006, with wars raging in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon, New York's Public Theatre set out to stage Tony Kushner's new translation of Bertolt Brecht's anti-war epic Mother Courage and Her Children. Meryl Streep took time out from making movies to take on the title role - which many would consider the role of a lifetime. For the first time, she allowed a camera crew to document the complete behind-the-scenes creative process from first read-throughs to dress rehearsals.
Deals with the issue of disclosure of your personal story to an audience and looks deeper into the process of the Knot At Home project. Five young people tell their own story in their own way about how they got involved in the Knot At Home project and what it was like for them to have their personal stories heard.
A profile of the French author Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2008. Offers a rare glimpse into the mind of the acclaimed writer and travels with him around the world to the places that have helped to develop his unique style of writing.
Deals with issues related to taking responsibility for past mistakes. Eight young people talk about how they realised they had taken a wrong turn in their lives and what they are now doing to rectify this.
Arrows of Desire is a poetry series that explores the great diversity of English verse from the sixteenth century to the present day. Today: The Tyger by William Blake, Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll, in Just/spring by ee cummings, The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
A reader recites Blake's The Tyger and critics discuss the composition and significance of the poem.
Poem and Analysis
In 2008, a unique, never-to-be repeated archaeological excavation of the infamous site of Ned Kelly's last stand in Glenrowan took place. Cameras captured this event and the new revelations it provides into what actually happened in the siege and what it shows about the psychology of Kelly and the international impact of his outbreak. Joining the team of archaeologists and historians is Tony Robinson, who will investigate the true nature of one of the most iconic historical events.
Angry and upset over Elizabeth's rejection of his proposal, Darcy decides to defend himself. Not every insult Elizabeth flung at him was fair and he waylays her on her morning walk, hands her a letter and leaves. The contents leave Elizabeth reeling.
In this final episode Melvyn Bragg travels to the United States, examining the influences and changes that helped make American-English evolve. Words like "skyscraper", "well-heeled", "yes-man", "go-getter", "lobby" and "elevator" are all American terms.
The English language pushed hundreds of local languages aside. In Australia, English was coloured by a few of the local Aboriginal words - kangaroo, koala, boomerang, barramundi, woomera and cooee. Australian-English quickly developed its own character and was shaped not so much by the local native languages but by the regional and criminal backgrounds of the early settlers.
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