Professor Simon Schaffer presents the amazing and untold story of automata - extraordinary clockwork machines designed hundreds of years ago to mimic and recreate life. The film brings the past to life in vivid detail as we see how and why these masterpieces were built. Travelling around Europe, Simon uncovers the history of these machines and shows us some of the most spectacular examples, from an entire working automaton city to a small boy who can be programmed to write and even a device that can play chess". All the machines Simon visits show a level of technical sophistication and ambition that still amazes today. As well as the automata, Simon explains in great detail the world in which they were made - the hardship of the workers who built them, their role in global trade and the industrial revolution and the eccentric designers who dreamt them up. Finally, Simon reveals that to us that these long-forgotten marriages of art and engineering are actually the ancestors of many of our most loved modern technologies, from recorded music to the cinema and much of the digital world.
Bobby Fischer Against the World is a documentary feature film that explores the life of chess Grandmaster and 11th World Champion Bobby Fischer. It incorporates interviews with chess players Anthony Saidy, Larry Evans, Sam Sloan, Susan Polgar, Gary Kasparov, Asa Hoffmann, Friðrik Ólafsson, Lothar Schmid and others. It includes never-before-seen footage from the World Chess Championship 1972. The drama of Bobby Fischer's career was undeniable, from his troubled childhood, to his rock star status as World Champion and Cold War icon, to his life as a fugitive on the run.
Written and presented by Robert Hughes, one of the world’s most prominent art commentators, this program explores the life and work of Francisco Goya—focusing on the painter’s subversive, often gruesome outlook. The video provides in-depth visual and intellectual analysis of dark Goya masterpieces, including The Dream of Reason, Witches in the Air, and The Third of May, as well as examples of his portraiture and early work—such as The Duchess of Alba, both Majas, and a gratuitously violent tapestry painting. Links between Goya’s work, deafness, and political stance are explored in detail, while observations from painter Leon Golub highlight Goya’s continuing relevance.
Garry Kasparov is arguably the greatest chess player who has ever lived. In 1997 he played a chess match against IBM's computer Deep Blue. Kasparov lost the match. This film shows the match and the events surrounding it from Kasparov's perspective. It delves into the psychological aspects of the game, paranoia surrounding it and suspicions that have arisen around IBM's true tactics. It consists of interviews with Kasparov, his manager, chess experts, and members of the IBM Deep Blue team, as well as original footage of the match itself.
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