Simply the Best Documentaries

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Carlsbad Caverns
St Peter and the Papal Basilicas of Rome
The Wildest Dream Conquest of Everest
Stephen Hawking Favorite Places III
Conversations with Dolphins I
Yellowstone: America first National Park
The Kingdom How Fungi Made Our World
The Fear of 13
Prediction By The Numbers
Earthflight North America
Silicon Cowboys
Shaolin Bootcamp
Japan at War
More Human Than Human
The Farthest
The Language of Science
The Invisible Universe
Archimedes Secret
The Vikings Uncovered
Vegan 2017 The Film
Precision the Measure of All Things
The Last Reef
The Lost Tribes of Humanity
Africa the Greatest Show on Earth
A Plastic Ocean
Flight of the Butterflies
Stephen Hawking Favorite Places II
A.I. and the Destiny of Mankind
The Fantastic Mr Feynman
Climbing Everest with a Mountain on My Back
Florence and the Uffizi Gallery
Operation Stonehenge
Fire Ants The Invincible Army
Inside the Brain of a Trader
The Art of Russia: Out of the Forest
The Art of Russia: Out of the Forest 2009

Art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon tells the incredible story of Russian art, its mystery and magnificence and until now a story untold. He explores the origins of the Russian icon from its roots in Byzantium and the first great Russian icon, Our Lady of Vladimir to the masterpieces of the country's most famous icon painter, Andrei Rublev. Both epic and awe-inspiring, and producing brilliant art", nevertheless medieval Russia could be a terrifying place. Criss-crossing the epic landscape, Andrew visits the monastery founded by Ivan the Terrible, where his favourite forms of torture found inspiration in religious art. One man would shine a light into Russia's 'dark' ages - Peter the Great who, surprisingly, took as his inspiration Deptford in South London.

Category: Art    Duration: 59:00

Roads to Revolution
Roads to Revolution 2009

Andrew Graham-Dixon explores how Russia changed from a feudal nation of aristocratic excess to a hotbed of revolution at the beginning of the 20th century and how art moved from being a servant of the state to an agent of its destruction. From monuments that celebrate the absolutism of the tsars to the epic Russian landscape as inspiration; from the design and construction of gold and glittering palaces to the minutiae of diamond-encrusted Faberge eggs; and eventually to the stark and radical paintings of the avant-garde, the journey through Russian art history is one of extraordinary beauty and surprise.

Category: Art    Duration: 59:00

Smashing the Mould
Smashing the Mould 2009

The final part examines political revolution and how art was at the forefront of throwing out 1,000 years of royal rule, from its earliest revolutionary days of enthusiasm and optimism when painting died, the poster was king and the machine-made triumphed over the handmade to the dead hand of Socialist Realism. Andrew roots out great portraits of Stalin now hidden in museum storerooms and never on public view, looks at the transformation of the Moscow metro into a great public art gallery and visits the most stunning creation of post-war Communist rule, the Space Monument. Finally, he comes to the confusion and chaos of Russia today and how it is producing some of the world's strangest art - from heroic sculptures of Russian leader Vladimir Putin to the insides of a giant erotic apple; from the recreation of the Imperial royal family facing the firing squad to sculpture in liquid oil; from Russia's embrace of the commercial art market to a return to Socialist Realism. Russia seems to stand on another brink of revolution.

Category: Art    Duration: 59:00

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