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The Joy of Mozart

   2015    Art
Tom Service plunges into the life and times of Mozart to try and rediscover the greatness and humanity of the living man in his moment. Mozart's prodigious output and untimely death have helped place him on a pedestal that can often blind us to the unique brilliance of his work in the context of his life and times. Service visits the key cities and rooms in which Mozart lived and worked, plays some of Mozart's original instruments and scores, and gradually uncovers the brilliance and originality of his work." There is the prodigious childhood when Mozart was feted as an infant phenomenon around Europe's most glittering courts, and his golden decade in Vienna in which masterpiece followed masterpiece - operas, symphonies, piano concertos, string quartets - as if this short, high-voiced man-child must have been taking dictation from some divine source, until his death at the age of just 35 in 1791. Even more than the music, Mozart's tragic demise sets the seal on his myth. The trajectory of Mozart's life sets the template for the romantic paradigm whose throes we are still in today, which requires our creative heroes to die young to prove that they were too good for this madding world, whether it be Wolfgang Amadeus or Jimi Hendrix. Service travels from London to Vienna and Salzberg, unpicking the living, breathing genius that was Mozart. With Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Nicola Benedetti, Paul Morley and others.

Childbirth: All or Nothing

   2015    Medicine
What's your idea of the perfect birth? Do you want every medical intervention known to science or do you want to go it alone, without the help of a doctor or midwife? And what about after birth? Perhaps you'll hang on to your baby's placenta and carry it around with your newborn until it dries and drops off naturally? Or maybe you'll decide to eat it by whizzing it up into a smoothie? This film follows four pregnant women all making very different choices around their births, all determined to do it their way." 37-year-old Jo plans to deliver her baby completely alone on board her barge, without the assistance of any medical professional. By contrast, 34-year-old Anna is opting to sidestep the pains of labour and book in for a c-section at the Portland Hospital in London. Anna wants all the medication available and she doesn't want to feel a thing. There are plenty of unusual plans for after the birth too. In Devon, 33-year-old Lisa plans to lotus birth - she'll leave her baby's umbilical cord attached to its placenta and she'll keep it fresh by dusting it with salt, rose petals and lavender oil. 35-year-old Kati from Manchester is going to whizz her afterbirth into a smoothie and consume it over a number of days. She hopes it will help her stave off post-natal baby blues and bounce back as quickly as possible. Fending off bewildered looks and concerns from friends, family and medical professionals, each woman is going against convention to have the birth she wants. There are free and frank discussions between mums and daughters and decisions to go against medical advice. So does breaking with the norm and sticking to your guns pay off? And what really is the perfect birth?

National Gallery

   2015    Art
Filmmaker Frederick Wiseman goes behind the scenes at the National Gallery in a journey to the heart of a museum inhabited by masterpieces of Western art from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. This three-hour epic has no voiceover, no score and no added sound effects. Combining a vivid sense of how vast the gallery's many activities are with an eye for droll observational detail, the film reveals how the gallery works and its relations with its staff, public and paintings.

When Knowledge Conquered Fear

   2014    Science
The episode begins with Tyson describing how pattern recognition manifested in early civilization as using astronomy and astrology to predict the passing of the seasons, including how the passage of a comet was often taken as an omen. Tyson continues to explain that the origin of comets only became known in the 20th century due to the work of Jan Oort and his hypothesis of the Oort cloud. Tyson then continues to relate the collaboration between Edmond Halley and Isaac Newton in the last part of the 17th century in Cambridge. The collaboration would result in the publication of PhilosophiƦ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, the first major work to describe the laws of physics in mathematical terms, despite objections and claims of plagiarism from Robert Hooke and financial difficulties of the Royal Society of London. Tyson explains how this work challenged the prevailing notion that God had planned out the heavens, but would end up influencing many factors of modern life, including space flight. Tyson further describes Halley's contributions including determining Earth's distance to the sun, the motion of stars and predicting the orbit of then-unnamed Halley's Comet using Newton's laws. Tyson contrasts these scientific approaches to understanding the galaxy compared to what earlier civilizations had done, and considers this advancement as mankind's first steps into exploring the universe. The episode ends with an animation of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies' merging based on the principles of Newton's laws.
Series: Cosmos 2014

The Sound and the Fury: A Century of Modern Music. Wrecking Ball

   2013    Art
It begins by examining the shift in the language and sound of music from the melodies and harmonies of giants such as Mozart, Haydn and Brahms into the fragmented, abstract, discordant sound of the most radical composers of the new century - Schoenberg, Webern, Stravinsky and beyond. It examines how this new music was a response to the huge upheaval in the world at the start of the 20th century, with its developments in technology, science, modern art and the tumult of the First World War. Featuring performances of some of the key works of the period, performed by the London Sinfonietta, members of the Aurora Orchestra and composer and pianist Timothy Andres, the story of this episode in music history is brought to life through the contributions of the biggest names in modern classical music, among them Steve Reich, John Adams, Michael Tilson Thomas, Pierre Boulez, George Benjamin and Alex Ross, music critic of the New Yorker.
Series: The Sound and the Fury
Evolution
Evolution

   2004    Science
Wings
Wings

      Nature
Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial
Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial

      History
The Brain with David Eagleman
The Brain with David Eagleman

   2015    Medicine
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places

   2016    Science
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
Inside the Medieval Mind
Inside the Medieval Mind

   2008    History