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Ken Burns to Discuss National Parks Series on Letterman

August 19, 2009 06:30 PM
by Sarah Amandolare
Ken Burns, whose PBS series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" first airs in September, is set to appear on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight.

Burns Readies For Letterman

Ken Burns is set to appear on the Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday, August 19, to discuss his upcoming PBS series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea."

Video clips from the series, which first airs September 27, are available for viewing on PBS' Web site.

According to PBS, "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," will depict the parks from their beginnings in the mid-1800s through "archival photographs, first-person accounts of historical characters, personal memories and analysis from more than 40 interviews." Featuring cinematography captured over a six-year period, which Burns feels is "the most stunning" footage in the history of Florentine Films, the series is a dual biography of the parks' landscape and characters.

Interviews with Burns and Dayton Duncan

In an interview with PBS, Burns discusses why he decided to focus on National Parks, emphasizing that parks can put history into personal context. "Part of this story is about who we are individually as we experience parks," he explained, "they help us get to know ourselves and we can also relate to previous generations through these magnificent places." Burns also touches on filming conditions in the park, what he hopes audiences take away from the series, and why he thinks parks are so important to the United States.

PBS also conducted an interview with Burns' collaborator on the series, Dayton Duncan, who says he suggested the idea of a film series on national parks because they've been such an important part of his and his children's life.

Background: US National Parks

National Parks are intrinsic to American life, but these green gems need care and attention. With that in mind, findingDulcinea has organized a selection of articles and Web guides providing comprehensive, up-to-date information on U.S. National Parks.

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