The work of Michael Maglaras & Terri Templeton

Announcing Free Limited Time National Streaming of “America Rising: The Arts of the Gilded Age”


Originally released in 2017, our film “America Rising: The Arts of the Gilded Age” will be streamed online…free…at this link from July 22 through August 5, 2020.

We just concluded three weeks of free streaming of our 2015 film “Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA.” The response was overwhelming, and tells us that right now people are hungry for reminders: reminders of the true greatness of America and of its vast and rich cultural history. In “America Rising,” America truly rises…out of the depths of the tragic losses of our Civil War, to become an urbanized cultural beacon for the rest of the world. The arts of painting, literature, sculpture, and photography blossom and expand as America’s industrial strength triples…all with the help of immigrants flooding our shores, on whose backs our financial successes are built.
You will see the only known film footage of Mark Twain…in itself a kind of minor miracle. You will watch the great Augustus Saint-Gaudens carve the face of America. Watch “America Rising” on us…celebrate, enjoy, and take pride in our American culture…and above all else be sustained by the promise of the future.
217 Films New Documentary “Civilisation and America” To Be Released in August 2020
Connecticut-based independent filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton of 217 Films announce the expected August 2020 release date of a new film project – their eighth in 14 years and their seventh “essay in film” – celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first American public television broadcast of Lord Kenneth Clark’s epic thirteen-part television series Civilisation. A landmark TV series that has had a lasting impact on America and Americans since it first premiered here in 1970…as we struggled with our national conscience during the Vietnam War.
This new film is titled “Civilisation and America.”
“As our editing progresses, we’re happy to announce that renowned British author and Clark expert James Stourton will appear in our film,” said Michael Maglaras, the film’s writer and director. “We’ve also secured the important cooperation of the BBC, and, as a result, this film will include segments from Clark’s original Civilisation footage.”
Of great importance is the commentary in the film by David Attenborough, whose idea it was to challenge Kenneth Clark to give the world his views on what constitutes the true definition of the word “civilisation.”
“I’m delighted to be participating in this new film about Kenneth Clark,” said James Stourton, author of Kenneth Clark: Life Art and Civilisation…the definitive biography of Lord Clark. “This film will focus on the impact that Civilisation had on American cultural life when it was first broadcast in the United States in 1970 — an impact and a message still meaningful today about the value of our collective Western tradition.”
Civilisation, produced by the BBC, had its first United States screening at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 1969, thanks to the vision of its then director J. Carter Brown, and was quickly taken up in 1970 as one of the first important television programs of what was then the new Public Broadcasting Service. Fifty years later, and with an America facing new political and social challenges, Lord Kenneth Clark’s thirteen hours of Civilisation reminds us not only of the permanence of art and the permanent value of the human spirit in its creation, but also of the value of institutions and Clark’s belief that society “must be made to work.” Also featuring interviews with Americans whose lives were affected by Civilisation and by the series’ brilliant writing, camera work, and innovative use of music…and using archival footage of an America struggling with itself during the height of the Vietnam War…“Civilisation and America” will again remind us of the value of the arts in American society and in the lives of American citizens.

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