Home / Arts & Life / What’s on TV Saturday: ‘Humans of New York’ and ‘A Monster Calls’

What’s on TV Saturday: ‘Humans of New York’ and ‘A Monster Calls’


Brandon Stanton of “Humans of New York.”

Brandon Stanton: Humans of New York

Brandon Stanton’s popular photography project comes to Facebook’s new streaming platform. And a family drama about a 12-year-old boy and a monstrous tree arrives on HBO.

What’s Streaming

HUMANS OF NEW YORK on Watch. In 2010, the photographer and blogger Brandon Stanton set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers at random and post their portraits and quotes on the “Humans of New York” Facebook page. That bloglike project quickly went viral: Mr. Stanton has since published two related books and interviewed subjects in more than 25 countries. Its latest incarnation is this 12-part series that combines excerpts from 1,200 interviews filmed over the years. New episodes run Tuesdays on Facebook’s streaming platform.


A photograph by Jamel Shabazz, the subject of “Jamel Shabbaz Street Photographer.”

Jamel Shabazz/BAMcinématek

JAMEL SHABAZZ STREET PHOTOGRAPHER (2013) on iTunes, Amazon and Fandor. The Brooklyn-born photographer Jamel Shabazz has been shooting New York streets and style for 30 years, drawing visual stories from the city’s pavement and subway cars that have contributed to five monographs and countless exhibitions. In this documentary, the artist and filmmaker Fab 5 Freddy, the rapper KRS-One and other New Yorkers celebrate Mr. Shabazz’s photography as an authentic presentation of hip-hop culture, emphasizing his seminal book “Back in the Days.”

What’s on TV


Lewis MacDougall, left, and Felicity Jones in “A Monster Calls.”

Quim Vives/Focus Features

A MONSTER CALLS (2016) 8 p.m. on HBO; also on iTunes, Amazon and HBO streaming platforms. As the 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) struggles to cope with mounting troubles (a terminally ill mother, played by Felicity Jones; a father who has been long gone and has a new family; and constant bullying at school), a treelike monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) appears with three stories to tell him in exchange for one in return. Their unlikely friendship helps Conor grapple with the impending loss of his mother and the mercurial nature of life in this touching adaptation of the Patrick Ness novel. “If you prefer to view dying as a natural part of life, a step in a cycle, this film will feel discordant and perhaps counterproductive,” Neil Genzlinger wrote in The New York Times. “But visually it will certainly stick with you, and your children.”

PLANET EARTH: WILD WEST 9 p.m. on BBC America. This three-part documentary series ends with a survey of marine mammals and remarkable landscapes along America’s western shores, including the San Andreas Fault, which stretches more than 800 miles along western California.

DECLASSIFIED: UNTOLD STORIES OF AMERICAN SPIES 9 p.m. on CNN. Wayne Manis of the F.B.I. recounts his undercover investigation of the Order, a white supremacist group that carried out a string of robberies and a synagogue bombing in the early 1980s. Mr. Manis describes how he gathered intelligence on the group, which borrowed its name and mission from “The Turner Diaries,” a novel by William Luther Pierce that imagines a white nationalist group overthrowing the government and blowing up the F.B.I. headquarters. That work of fiction would later inspire the Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy J. McVeigh. “He’d read ‘The Turner Diaries’ and he picked up where the Order left off,” Mr. Manis told CNN.

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