Day: June 20, 2020

Best-bets for June 22: Organists and magicians shine

1) “Independent Lens: Pipe Dreams,” 10 p.m., PBS (check local listings). Here’s a documentary formula that has worked well lately: Pick a competition, meet some contestants in advance, then follow them and hope you get lucky. That’s worked for a spelling bee, a crossword contest, a science fair and even duck-stamp artists. Now it works wonderfully for a pipe-organ competition. “Dreams” (shown here with Alcee Chriss) has great visuals, powerful music and interesting people from the U.S., China and Germany. You’ll root for them. Read more…

Now, the tense world of … pipe organs?

There’s a formula that keeps working beautifully in documentaries.
Find a competition – preferably a big one, national or international. Profile some contestants in advance. Then follow them and hope you get lucky.
That plan has worked for a spelling bee (“Spellbound,” 1999) … crossword puzzles (“Wordplay,” 2006) … teen scientists (“Science Fair,” 2018) … and even for duck-stamp artists (“Million Dollar Duck,” 2016). And now it works for pipe organs.
“Pipe Dreams” (shown here with Alcee Chriss) airs at 10 p.m. Monday (June 22) on most PBS stations. It visits the Canadian International Organ Competition, with young organists working instruments so massive that the judges see them only via TV screens. We meet: Read more…