doc talk | peter keough

The great outdoors and a concert to remember

Jimi Hendrix at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967.
Lenny Eisenberg
Jimi Hendrix at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967.

It was 50 years ago today (Sunday) that Jimi Hendrix taught the band to play and he has always been in style and he’s guaranteed to raise a smile. . . Actually, the only thing that could have made the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival any better would have been if, just before Hendrix’s benchmark performance, the Beatles had dropped by to play selections from their new album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

The Regent Theatre celebrates all that did happen at that concert with “A Book Release and Movie Celebration on the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.” The event includes a talk by photographer Lenny Eisenberg, who will be signing his book “Photographing Hendrix” at 7 p.m., followed by screenings of D.A. Pennebaker’s short documentaries “Jimi Plays Monterey” (1986) and “Shake! Otis at Monterey” (1997). It makes you wonder — what musical event of this era might we be honoring 50 years hence?

The program begins Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Regent Theatre in Arlington.

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Bird brain


Had it not been for John James Audubon, we probably would not have anything close to the millions of “birders” who flock, with their cameras and binoculars, to ogle the avian world. We probably also would not have some of the exquisite feathered species that these people take delight in, and which Audubon’s work raised awareness and appreciation of.

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The self-taught 19th-century artist and ornithologist explored the North American frontier, studying what he described as “the feathered tribes” and rendering their likenesses in exquisite drawings, paintings, and other illustrations. And because of his profound influence on generations of naturalists to come, his name was taken by the country’s first conservation society.

Al Reinert’s documentary “Audubon” visits the locations where the fledgling scientist traveled and studied, presents his paintings and writings, interviews experts about his legacy, and includes footage of the (still extant) birds he discovered and immortalized. None, unfortunately, of the ivory-billed woodpecker, Labrador duck, or passenger pigeon.

“Audubon” becomes available Tuesday on DVD for $24.99 from Public Media Distribution.

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Missing lynx

Even if the majestic title feline and her two kittens don’t win your heart in the PBS documentary “Nature: Forest of the Lynx,” you are sure to be impressed by the industriousness of her fellow forest dweller, the rare white-backed woodpecker, who pecks through tons of rotting trees for savory larvae and insects. Or the ardency of the pygmy owl, who stifles his appetite for yellow-necked mice and songbirds to woo its shy mate. Or the mystery of how older trees know enough to limit their growth to allow younger trees a fighting chance, and communicate amongst themselves news of such common threats as invasions of bark beetles. All shot in the sublime Kalkalpen National Park in the Austrian Alps.


“Nature: Forest of the Lynx” is available Thursday on DVD for $24.99 from Public Media Distribution. The program will also be available for digital download.

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Peter Keough can be reached at