Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Premiering titles on the Arts Channel for January 2014

Thursday 9 January, 8.30pm
When Charles Dickens created the character of Fagin in his novel, Oliver Twist, he gave birth to one of the most infamous rogues in English literature. Few people know that Dickens' portrait of Fagin drew inspiration from the life of the Jewish receiver and fencer of stolen goods, Ikey Solomon. Narrated by Miriam Margolyes, The First Fagin recreates Ikey's journey from London's dens of vice and the notorious prison "hulks" on the Thames to a daring escape to the new world of America. Ikey then tempted fate by sailing to Tasmania in search of his wife who had been transported as a convict. As a rare examination of the criminal sub-culture from which Dickens drew inspiration, and of the convict system in early colonial Australia, The First Fagin seamlessly blends reconstructed dramatic sequences with historical documentary. It's a colourful and lively evocation of a turbulent period and a riveting account of the dramatic swings in Ikey Solomon's fate.

Sunday 12 January, 8.30pm
Since forming in 2007, Grammy-winners Mumford & Sons have transcended London's folk scene to achieve number one albums and sell-out concerts around the world. The band's second album, Babel, was released in September 2012, and shot to the top of the charts in several territories. Featuring a live performance at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, this film captures the essence of Mumford & Sons - their music, their close bonds and their shared purpose as a band and features tracks from their Grammy award-winning album Babel and their classic debut album Sigh No More.

Monday 13 January, 8.30pm
This impressive documentary with 10 Oscar nominees, five Oscar winners, one Dame, seven Knights and two friends will change the way you feel about Shakespeare for ever. Actors Giles Terera and Dan Poole travel from Elsinore in Denmark to London’s Globe theatre via Hollywood in a bid to find out everything they can about tackling the bard. Along the way they consult a host of helpful luminaries including Judi Dench, Ewan McGregor, Jude Law, Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Baz Luhrmann and many more.

Friday 17 January, 9.15pm
For the very first time science reveals the true face of one of the world’s most iconic poets. Using state-of-the-art forensic technology, Professor Caroline Wilkinson and her team at The University of Dundee, attempt to recreate Robert Burns’ head. While experts work on the reconstruction, actor David Hayman delves into the world of Robert Burns. His journey is accompanied by renowned musician Eddi Reader’s unique and beautiful interpretation of Burns’ work. David discovers how Burns’ upbringing, education, tough life and romantic spirit forged a creative genius that would transform him from humble farmer to globally renowned poet. Travelling to Burns’ birthplace and speaking with experts, academics, fans and farmers, David explores the success and celebrity of Burns and the passions and foibles which ultimately led to his financial ruin. Finally we see the true face of Burns as the newly constructed head of Scotland’s beloved bard is unveiled at a public event to an enraptured audience.

Thursday 23 January, 8.30pm

Out of Print, narrated by Meryl Streep, draws us into the topsy-turvy world of words, illuminating the turbulent and exciting journey from the book through the digital revolution. Dive into the riveting debate over the future of ideas. To some, the digital revolution can offer an extraordinary gift to humanity: unfettered access to all published content. The other side defends copyright as indispensable in ensuring that the best minds commit their energy and time to the written word. This doc visits the libraries, book clubs, classrooms and corporate offices on the frontlines of this fight to give us the whole story.

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