Renowned director and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, creator of Baseball, The War and The Roosevelts, will return to SMU Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 for another engagement with the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. Burns will present The Oncor Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium
Burns has been making documentary films for almost 40 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, he has directed and produced some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz; The Statue of Liberty; Huey Long; Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery; Frank Lloyd Wright; Mark Twain; Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson; The War; The National Parks: America’s Best Idea; The Roosevelts: An Intimate History; and, most recently, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.
In 2009, David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun said, “Ken Burns is not only the greatest documentarian of the day, but also the most influential filmmaker, period. That includes feature filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. I say that because Burns not only turned millions of persons on to history with his films, he showed us a new way of looking at our collective past and ourselves.” The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of Burns’ films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.”
His future projects include films on Jackie Robinson, the Vietnam War, the history of country music, Ernest Hemingway and the history of stand-up comedy.
Burns’ films have been honored with dozens of major awards, including 13 Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards and two Oscar nominations. In 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Ken Burns was honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
This is Burns’ second visit to SMU to deliver a Tate Distinguished Lecture. Previously, he spoke during the 2004-05 series.
All SMU community members are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Please tweet your questions for the forum to #SMUtate.
Tickets for the evening are sold out. However, students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-served basis.