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USA, 2008, 86 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Art, Documentary, Social Issues
Program: Documentary FilmsLanguage: English
DIRECTOR: Peter Rosen
Producer: Peter RosenEditor: Peter Rosen, Bob JorissenScreenwriter: Sara LukinsonCinematographer: Peter Rosen, Joel Shapiro
A lone holdout of the vaudeville era and radio’s subsequent golden age, Garrison Keillor has made millions of fans nationwide with his weekly live radio show A Prairie Home Companion. A maverick in the true sense, Keillor has been displaying his remarkable talents as a composer, singer, poet, humorist, philospher, and, above all, master storyteller on the air for more than three decades—all the while radiating an everyman aura that comforts as much as it delights.
For this documentary, Keillor graciously allowed director Peter Rosen to follow him over the course of more than a year to capture life behind the scenes of his traveling road show. In his typically soft-spoken style, laced with wit and wry observation, he shares autobiographical anecdotes while offering his unique brand of cultural commentary to reveal just how inextricably his life and his work are entwined. (Numerous longtime colleagues weigh in with their own colorful insights as well.) Discussing the beloved monologue in which he reports the weekly news from Lake Wobegon, Keillor remarks, “I used to believe that Lake Wobegon was fictitious…but now I’m not so sure.” Venturing across the American prairie by way of this portrait of a consummately engaging artist, audiences will come to appreciate just what he means.
Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes is par for the course for the Emmy-winning Rosen, who has both produced and directed myriad profiles of renowned innovators in the arts throughout his career—among them Russian dancer Alexander Gudonov, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and architect I. M. Pei.
In cooperation with Rocky Mountain PBS
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