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Cohen Media Group Launches New Classic Film Series With Chuck Workman Documentary ‘What Is Cinema?’

James Franco, Kelly Reichhardt, Robert Altman, Akira Kurosawa, and Chantal Akerman all appear in Workman's 2013 film.

Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh in “Fire Over England,” 1937.

Turner Classic Movies and Robert Osborne are getting some healthy competition as Cohen Media Group launches ‘Cohen Film Classics,’ a new classic film series, hosted and curated by CMG CEO and consummate cinephile Charles Cohen. The series premieres Friday night, with Academy Award winning filmmaker Chuck Workman’s 2013 documentary, “What is Cinema?”

Workman’s documentary combines archival interviews with film visionaries such as Chantal Akerman, Robert Bresson, Robert Altman, and Akira Kurosawa, along with newly conducted ones with Mike Leigh, David Lynch, and Jonas Mekas. In their own words, the filmmakers explore the meaning of the art to which they have devoted their lives.

READ MORE: ‘Downton Abbey’ Creator Julian Fellowes Reveals He’s Working on a Film Version

Following the premiere of “What Is Cinema?,” the series will show these four films every Friday in February: “Sudden Fear,” from 1952, featuring Joan Crawford and Jack Palance, “Hangmen Also Die,” Fritz Lang’s 1943 espionage noir thriller set in occupied Czechoslovakia, “The Lady,” Luc Besson’s 2012 political thriller starring Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis, and 1937’s “Fire Over England,” featuring Laurence Olivier as a young naval officer and Vivien Leigh as the lady in waiting he woos.

“Cohen Film Classics” airs on Los Angeles public channel KCET at 10 pm Pacific, and nationwide at 9 pm Eastern/Pacific on LinkTV.

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Following the premiere of “What Is Cinema?,” Charles Cohen will interview Chuck Workman about his film. Watch an exclusive clip of the interview below:

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