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Popular Culture Programs


Favorite Movies: Glamour, Mystery, Corruption, and Unexpected Love

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Our favorite moments in films never leave us. In a fall series, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits more of our favorite movies and characters, the people who dreamed them up, and the lasting memories they made in our lives and our myths. This session showcases these films: Moonstruck and Notting Hill.


The Magic of Fred Astaire

Thursday, December 15, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Whether it was partnering with Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, Cyd Charisse, or a hat rack, Fred Astaire on film made everything appear easy and elegant. In a delightful program illustrated with video clips, media expert Brian Rose surveys the sweep of Astaire’s remarkable career, looking at his work both as a soloist and as the most romantic dance partner in Hollywood history.


From Carson to Oprah to Stephen Colbert: A History of the TV Talk Show

Thursday, January 5, 2023 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From its start in the early 1950s, the talk show has been one of television’s most versatile and durable formats. Media expert Brian Rose surveys its changing appeal from decade to decade and examines how the talk show—and its hosts—continue to provide viewers with a lively mix of entertainment, information, and compelling conversation.


Ian Fleming: The Creator of James Bond

Wednesday, January 11, 2023 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

You might call Ian Fleming—who introduced a British Secret Service agent named James Bond to the world with Casino Royale in 1952—The Man with the Golden Typewriter. The 14 Bond books he authored sparked a global sensation, sold tens of millions of copies, and became the source for the longest-running film franchise in history. In an evening in the dashing Bond spirit, author Daniel Stashower explores Ian Fleming’s life and legacy, while actor Scott Sedar, aka The Man with the Golden Voice, reads from Fleming’s most popular works.


Cinema and the Cities: Capturing the Urban Metropolis on Film

Monday, January 23, 2023 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

In the right hands, a city becomes an actual character in a film, its locations carefully selected and photographed not only for visual effectiveness but to enhance the narrative’s emotional impact. In an entertaining series, film historian Max Alvarez focuses on movie scenes that illustrate how the same celebrated city—New York, Paris, Los Angeles, or Rome—has been portrayed in various ways depending on the filmmaker’s point of view.


Gene Kelly: Singing and Dancing in the Rain

Thursday, February 23, 2023 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Gene Kelly, one of the most engaging and influential dancers to ever set foot in Hollywood, emerged as a star at a time when most movie dancing was basically a showcase for elegant partners in motion. In a program illustrated with video clips, Brian Rose, professor emeritus at Fordham University, surveys Kelly’s remarkable achievements and examines his enduring impact on Hollywood dancing.


The Oscars

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Washington City Paper film critic Noah Gittell is back for an evening that focuses on all things Oscar, from Academy Awards history and trivia to discussions of this year’s nominations and behind-the-scenes stories. He sorts through all of the story lines, rumors, and gossip, so that when the telecast begins, you'll be the most knowledgeable guest at your Oscar party.


How the Internet Changed the Media

Thursday, March 16, 2023 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Brian Rose, professor emeritus at Fordham University, examines the many ways the internet has radically transformed the “old” media of newspapers, magazines, the recording industry, film, radio, and television. He traces how this digital revolution took place in such a short period of time, and what lies ahead in the continually changing era of “new” media.