Friday, December 28, 2012


Friday 1 February 9.20pm
Evangelical Christians are calling out for a second sexual revolution: chastity! As a counter-movement to the attitudes and practices of today’s culture, today one in eight girls in the US has vowed to remain “unsoiled” until marriage. But the seven children of the Wilson family, founders of the Purity Ball, take this concept of purity of body and mind one step further; even their first kiss will be at the altar. For two years the filmmakers follow the Wilson's as some of their children prepare for their fairytale vision of romance and marriage and seek out their own prince and princess spouses. In the process, a broader theme emerges: how the religious right is grooming a young generation of virgins to embody an Evangelically-grounded Utopia in America.

Sunday 3 February 10.00am
101 years after the world premiere of Puccini’s “La fanciulla del West” at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Stockholm’s Royal Opera House now presents a brilliant, modern-day interpretation of this rarely played opera. While the lead role is sung by Nina Stemme, one of today’s best youthful-dramatic sopranos, the two male protagonists, John Lundgren and Aleksandrs Antonenko, can hardly be surpassed in vocal artistry and stage presence. Director Christof Loy stages the opera as an early Hollywood Western relating the impossible love of a young woman and the most wanted criminal in the West.

Sunday 3 February 8.30pm
Sounds Like a Revolution is pro-active and an energizing documentary about a new generation of activist musicians who are living proof that music is an important and powerful tool in the ongoing struggle for social change. From the Dixie Chicks to Michael Franti and Anti-Flag, artists across the musical spectrum discuss their motivations and struggles in a post-9/11 environment when dissent was silenced and media outlets either ignored them or forced them into self-censorship. Now with that decade gone, the Internet and Obama bring new hope. With themes that explore the role of artists in society, freedom of expression and democratic participation, Sounds Like a Revolution tells a universal story of how we are all politicized by the increasingly dangerous world in which we live, and begs the question: Will you stand up for truth or turn and walk away?

Sundays from 17 February at 10.10pm
Guitar Center Sessions take place on centre stage in the famed Hollywood Vintage Room at the LA-based Guitar Center on Sunset Blvd. Each 60-minute show presents an expansive “one-on-one” Q&A forum between the artist and host, while using the space as an inspiring setting to support the artists’ stories and performances. The audience hears the first hand accounts from each artist about their personal and musical journeys and the influences that moulded them into the icons that they have become.

Tuesday 5 February 7.55pm
A film by Colette Culbert. “Te Wai Pounamu” (The waters of pounamu), the South island of New Zealand, is shown here as a journey across the land, following the pounamu the sources, the rivers and the coastlines. The pounamu is in constant motion, born from the faultline, the main divide, carried by the glaciers, the rivers and the lakes to the sea over hundreds and thousands of years. Each ancestral recital and waiata are an integral part of Maori history. This history carries Maori identity, solidarity and the continuity between generations and it documents the journeys and events that shape the environment of Te Wai Pounamu. A direct magic relationship is evoked between this and the force of the land, the sea, the rivers and the precious pounamu.

Wednesday 6 February 7.30pm
Paavo Järvi and Orchestre de Paris: with Denis Matsuev playing Tchaikovsky's 2nd Piano Concerto and Berlioz' Daphne & Chloe and Harold in Italy - 100'

Thursday 7 February 9.15pm
The elder statesman of rock Michael Stipe, former frontman of R.E.M, talks exclusively about the bands shock break-up, what he plans to do next, and to celebrate the band’s illustrious career. Now at the age of 51, he reveals what it was like to grow up with the band, having formed in 1980 when he was just 19. In a real moment of reflection, Michael looks back on their success and tells Jo Whiley about when they decided it was time to finish. And we find out how he felt the day the life-changing announcement was made.

Sunday 10 February 9.50am
Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca pair their glorious voices in a recording of Gaetano Donizetti’s opera Anna Bolena from the Wiener Staatsoper. It is Netrebko’s highly anticipated role debut as Anna Bolena. She and fellow soprano Garanca, who portrays her lady of honor Giovanna Seymour, form a fateful triangle with baritone Ildebrando D’Arcangelo as Enrico VIII. Intrigue, betrayal and passion keynote the action of this dramatic bel canto work that also stars Elisabet Kulman as Smeton and Francesco Meli as Lord Riccardo Percy. Conducting the Orchestra of the Wiener Staatsoper is Evelino Pidò. Stage director is Eric Génovèse, whose recent production of Liebermann’s Die Schule der Frauen in Bordeaux earned him great acclaim.

Sundays from 10 February, 8.30pm
Each week Jo invites three guests from the worlds of music, journalism or comedy to talk intimately together (in the round) about their very own musical loves and hates. Guests on the eleven episode series include: Noel Gallagher, Julian Lennon, Professor Green, Will Young, Manic Street Preachers, Patrick Wolf and Tori Amos.

Wednesday 13 February 7.30pm
Music on television has come in various guises over the last 50 years. This is a journey through the history of mainly classical music on television which also serves as a kind of audiovisual ‘musée imaginaire’ as it celebrates 50 years of the International Music and Media Centre in Vienna. On our voyage we seek guidance from artists such as Pierre Boulez, Gerald Finley, Herbert von Karajan and many others. We talk to practitioners like Brian Large, Bruno Monsaingeon, Christopher Nupen and Andy Sommer, Roger Wright, Head of BBC Radio 3 and the Proms and television personalities like David Attenborough who as controller of BBC2 contributed enormously to the development of music on television, and to business men like Herbert Kloiber who was close to Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein.

Wednesday 13 February 8.30pm
Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt with Smetana's Ma Vlast.

Thursday 14 February 8.30pm
A feature-length documentary that follows the creation of a Steinway concert grand, #L1037 - from forest floor to concert hall. It explores the relationship between musician and instrument, chronicles the manufacturing process, and illustrates what makes each Steinway unique in this age of mass production. From the factory floor in Queens to Steinway Hall in Manhattan, each piano's journey is complex-spanning 12 months, 12,000 parts, 450 craftsmen, and countless hours of fine-tuned labour.

Friday 15 February 8.30pm
As Goes Janesville reports from ground zero of America’s recession-ridden heartland — the city of Janesville, Wisconsin. When a bankrupt GM shuts down the community’s century-old plant, forcing workers to leave their families in search of decent jobs, local business leaders seize the moment to woo new companies with the promise of lower wages, reduced regulation and tax breaks. Their powerful alliance with newly-elected Republican governor Scott Walker starts with an “open for business” manifesto but soon morphs into a “divide and conquer” anti-union crusade that rips apart the state, triggers an historic recall election, and thrusts Wisconsin’s civil war onto front pages worldwide. A cautionary tale for a polarized country falling short of the American Dream, the film follows three years in the lives of laid off workers struggling to survive, business leaders trying to reinvent their local economy, and a state senator caught in the middle, trying to negotiate a peace for his warring state while protecting workers’ rights.

Monday 18 February 8.30pm
For the first time the full story is told of one of literature’s most misunderstood and influential gay writers: W. Somerset Maugham, author of Of Human Bondage, The Razor’s Edge, The Painted Veil, Rain & numerous other classic stories, plays and novels. Somerset Maugham broke all the rules of literature by being the greatest exponent of sexual love and the first author to command a million dollars for a short story. Clips from Maugham classic adaptations such as Rain starring Joan Crawford, Of Human Bondage starring Bette Davis & Leslie Howard and Ashenden starring Sir John Gielgud together with interviews by Maugham specialists and family create as true a picture as possible of an evasive and at the same time outspoken artist.

Tuesday 19 February 9.15pm
Since its creation, The Descent from the Cross has become an often copied and extremely influential work of art. It was painted by Flemish artist Rogier van der Weyden between 1432 and 1435 for the Guild of Crossbowman of Louvain in present-day Belgium. A strange hybrid of painting and sculpture, The Descent had no parallel when it was produced and quickly became famous. Changing hands a number of times, it narrowly escaped a series of disasters - a ship it was being transported on sunk and it survived fierce fighting outside Madrid during the Spanish Civil War. It finally found a permanent home in the Prado in 1939.

Wednesday 20 February 8.30pm
Beethoven Violin Concerto with Sergey Khachatryan and Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss. Orchestre de Paris conducted by Andris Nelsons.

Thursday 21 February 8.30pm
In the Internet age, the ukulele is making a spectacular comeback. Clubs and ensembles are sprouting up around the world, and a new generation is pulling their grandparents' ukes out of the closet, challenging our images of the humble, twangy ukulele. This is not a toy! Mighty Uke travels the world to discover why so many people of different nations, cultures, ages and musical tastes are turning to the ukulele to express themselves, connect with the past, and with each other. From the Redwoods of California through the gritty streets of Paris, from swinging London through Tokyo’s high rise canyons to Hawaii, ukers tell the story of the people’s instrument: The Mighty Uke.

Friday 22 February 8.30pm
The Roma, commonly referred to as Gypsies, are outsiders who have been both romanticised and vilified in popular culture. Lacking the kind of social hierarchy and political power that could otherwise advocate collectively for their rights and tell their history, the Roma struggle with chronic poverty and disenfranchisement. They have endured centuries of intolerance and persecution in Europe. Shot in 11 countries and featuring dozens of Roma - including Holocaust survivors, historians, activists and musicians - A People Uncounted documents their culturally rich yet often difficult lives and demonstrates how their present state has been shaped by the tragedies of the past.

Tuesday 26 February 8.30pm
Infinite Space traces the lifelong quest of visionary genius John Lautner to create "architecture that has no beginning and no end." It is the story of brilliance and of a complicated life - and the most sensual architecture of the 20th century. As a young man Lautner broke from his mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright, and went west to California to forge his own unique style. His life was marked by innovation and inspiration, endless battles with building codes, an accidental leap into the epicenter of pop culture, bitterness at lost opportunities, and finally - monumental achievement. Lautner was idolized by young modernists, criticized by academics, and beloved by the clients who worked side by side with him to build their houses. It was a life in pursuit of beauty.

Thursday 28 February 8.30pm
Gilad Atzmon is one of modern music’s most respected musicians. He is also a controversial public opponent of Israel. A gentle giant, warm, charismatic and somewhat shy, Gilad is a complex character. Born into a pro-Zionist family and serving briefly in the first Lebanon War, Gilad had a dramatic turnaround. He quit the army, picked up his sax and exiled himself to London, declaring himself an enemy of the Israeli state. Since then he has produced some of the modern era’s greatest Jazz albums. The film follows Gilad in the most flourishing time of his career as he records with the Blockheads, gigs with Nigel Kennedy, and appears on TV programs and panel events all over the globe. At the same time he antagonises his critics to the point of receiving death threats. Gilad and All That Jazz offers insight into the life, ideas, music and motivations driving the great Saxophonist.

Thursday 28 February 9.30pm
Out on the quiet city streets, in the pre-dawn hours, a battle is being waged. For decades, graffiti writers, street artists, and bill-posters have contended with police and city clean up crews. Now they have a new enemy: the obsessive and self-motivated lone vigilante. This new breed of crime-fighter now stalks the urban landscape. Two filmmakers go undercover to expose anti-graffiti vigilantes who stop at nothing to rid their neighbourhoods and cities of street art, stickers, tags and posters. Yet several of these vigilantes have become the very menace they set out to eliminate. In their relentless attempt to stamp out graffiti, they’ve turned to illegally and destructively painting other people’s property. Vigilante Vigilante sets out to expose these mysterious characters and discovers a battle of expression that stretches from the streets to academia.

No comments: