A YEAR FOR THE BOOKS: Yosemite National Park has had quite the memorable past few months. The Rim Fire made news in the summer, as thousands of acres of the park went up in flame and the famous valley itself was often covered in a smoke haze. Just weeks later the government shutdown arrived, and, with it, the closure of the park at peak foliage tourism season. And this doesn't even take into account that the destination, which is celebrated for its great granite monoliths, sparkly waterfalls, and picture-perfect meadows, is now heading into its 150th anniversary. Rather than take a breather, though, the national park is of course ready to mark the occasion. And who better to mark it with then filmmaker Ken Burns?
"A GATHERING OF SPIRIT": Mr. Burns, one of the most marquee names among modern Yosemite supporters, has made a new documentary in honor of the park's 150th. "Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit" alights upon such topics as Abraham Lincoln's signing of a federal act, an act that got the ball rolling for the area to become a park set aside and protected for the public to enjoy. Dayton Duncan, too, co-helmed the project, meaning that the quality and emotion found in past documentaries is sure to be present. Did you love the pair's "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" back in 2008? Yep.
WANT TO SEE IT? Here's the fun bit: It's debuting in Los Angeles, at Paramount Studios, on Sunday, Dec. 8. Further, both Mr. Burns and Mr. Duncan are set to Q&A, and there is a private reception where you can meet the filmmakers, if you opt for that ticket option. The afternoon screenings happen at 1 and 4 p.m. and you'll definitely need to secure your tickets ahead of time. The 1 p.m. screening is $25 and includes the filmmaker chitchat and the 4 p.m. is $250 and includes the private reception.
Happy 150th, Yosemite National Park!