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27 Segments




Singer-Songwriter Peter Allen

Allen grew up in Australia, where he had limited exposure to English and American popular music. After moving to New York, he found success writing songs for other pop stars and with his theatrical concerts.


Visiting "A Town Like Alice"

The Australian miniseries, about prisoners in World War II, is presented in full in a new home video release. Critic Ken Tucker says it powerfully illustrates the cultural divide between Great Britain and Australia.


Former C.I.A. Agents Involved in Covert Operations.

Investigative reporter Jonathan Kwitny, author of Vicious Circles, which probed Mafia involvement with legitimate businesses. His new book, The Crimes of Patriots, chronicles the demise of the Nugan Hand Bank in Australia, a story that features many of the characters who figured prominently in the investigation into the sales of arms to Iran, and the diversion of those funds to the Contras.


Political cartoonist Pat Oliphant.

Political cartoonist Pat Oliphant. His jabs at the high and mighty are seen in more than 500 newspapers and numerous collections. Oliphant's depictions of American politics have earned him the anger of presidents and a Pulitzer Prize. The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, has just opened an exhibit of 41 of Oliphant's cartoons, as well as his lesser-known sculpture, lithographs, and color work. The exhibit runs through November 25th, then tours nationally.


Australian Filmmaker Mark Lewis on Dogs

Lewis has made two quirky, hilarious documentaries about the problems between humans and animals. His first movie, "Cane Toads: An Unnatural History," chronicles the havoc that ensued after a species of toad was introduced into Australia. His new movie is called "The Wonderful World of Dogs."


In Search of the Real Daisy Bates

Commentator Maureen Corrigan reviews Julia Blackburn's new book "Daisy Bates in the Desert," an experimental biography about the real life Australian woman who often lied about her past and identity.


Director Fred Schepisi on the New Age of Australian Film

Along with directors Peter Weir and Bruce Beresford, Schepisi he was considered one of the leaders of the "Australian New Wave." His film, "The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith," was the first Australian film ever accepted in competition in the Cannes Film Festival, and his first film distributed in the U.S. He went on to direct "Plenty," "Roxanne," "A Cry in the Dark," "The Russia House," and "Six Degrees of Separation." His latest film "I.Q." stars Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, and Walter Matthau.


"Little Women" Director Gillian Armstrong

The Australian director made the new film based on the popular nineteenth century novel. In 1978, Armstrong's career took off with the critically acclaimed film "My Brilliant Career" -- the first in Australia directed by a woman. Armstrong has garnered many film awards since, including the Australian Film Institute Awards, U.S. National society of Film Critics Award, and a best film at the Festival International de Creteil, France.


Novelist Thomas Keneally on Australian Identity

Keneally is best known for his novel, Schindler's List which was put to film, by director Stephen Spielberg. His new novel, A River Town, is based on the story of his grandfather who left Ireland for Australia at the turn of the century. But in Australia he became the outsider. Keneally has written over 20 novels. He is a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.


Why is "French" Sexy?

Language Commentator Geoffrey Nunberg on how the word "French" has been associated with sexual activities and references... such as "French kiss", "pardon my French" and an 18th Century term for condoms: "French Letters.


Film Director Rob Sitch

Film director Rob Sitch. He and his creative team at Working Dog, got their start in morning radio, then switched to TV. They made their first feature film The Castle in 1997. Their newest film The Dish is based on the true story of how three Australian scientists made possible the worldwide broadcast of Neil Armstrongs first steps on the moon. The film stars Sam Neill and Patrick Warburton ("Puddy" on Seinfeld).


Peter Carey's 'Theft' Will Arrest Your Attention

The award-winning Australian novelist Peter Carey is known for his manic comic energy. Reaching for comparisons, reviewers have likened him to James Joyce, Tom Wolfe and other writers obviously in love with words, words, words. Carey's latest novel, Theft: A Love Story, is sure to steal its readers' attention away from all other activities.


Nick Cave Digs Himself a Singular Niche

Singer-composer Nick Cave composed the soundtrack for last year's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; he also wrote the screenplay and the soundtrack for The Proposition. Now, Cave has released a new CD with his band the Bad Seeds: Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!


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