Top Picks: Director Hayao Miyazaki's Books, Bluegrass-Folk Nickel Creek's New Album 'A Dotted Line,' and More

The Christian Science Monitor, April 11, 2014 | Go to article overview

Top Picks: Director Hayao Miyazaki's Books, Bluegrass-Folk Nickel Creek's New Album 'A Dotted Line,' and More


Master animator

Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki takes us behind the scenes of his latest animated feature in the film The Art of the Wind Rises. He also unveils his creative development in two books: Turning Point: 1997-2008 is the hardback companion to Starting Point: 1979- 1996, a paperback rerelease. These volumes - penned by the animation master himself over nearly three decades - present revealing essays, interviews, illustrations, and memoirs.

Getting at Gettysburg

Ken Burns turns his considerable talent toward President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in a contemporary setting. The Address visits the Greenwood School in Putney, Vt., where every year the students, ages 11 to 17 and with learning disabilities, memorize and recite the famed speech. Burns explores how and why the all-boys school assigns the task while looking carefully at the brilliance of Lincoln's words. The 90-minute documentary is part of PBS's yearlong initiative to challenge every American to memorize the address. It airs April 15 at 9 p.m. Check local listings.

Bluegrass reunion

After being apart for eight years, the bluegrass-folk wonderkids of Nickel Creek are back together with A Dotted Line. Time to focus on solo work has been good for the trio - siblings Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins, and Chris Thile. The band, whose members found fame as teenagers, has reunited its golden harmonies on fiddle, mandolin, and guitar with a musical maturity. Original tracks such as the lilting instrumental "Elsie" are right at home alongside covers that burst with new energy such as Mother Mother's "Hay Loft."

A life in toons

Talk about a fun - make that funny - job. …

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