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The Story of Maths The Language of the Universe

   2008    Science
This four-part British television series outlines aspects of the history of mathematics. Written and presented by University of Oxford professor Marcus du Sautoy, it is a co-production between the Open University and the BBC. In the first episode, Marcus du Sautoy in Egypt uncovers use of a decimal system based on ten fingers of the hand and discovers that the way we tell the time is based on the Babylonian Base 60 number system. In Greece, he looks at the contributions of some of the giants of mathematics including Plato, Archimedes and Pythagoras, who is credited with beginning the transformation of mathematics from a counting tool into the analytical subject of today. A controversial figure, Pythagoras’ teachings were considered suspect and his followers seen as social outcasts and a little be strange and not in the norm. There is a legend going around that one of his followers, Hippasus, was drowned when he announced his discovery of irrational numbers. As well as his work on the properties of right angled triangles, Pythagoras developed another important theory after observing musical instruments. He discovered that the intervals between harmonious musical notes are always in whole number intervals.
Series: The Story of Maths

David Bowie: Starman

   2016    Art
A celebration of the career of the musician, whose death from cancer was announced 11th Jan 2016. Bowie's work was the soundtrack to a generation and influenced countless musicians and this features memorable music videos and performances, as well as tributes from friends and fans around the world". Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, painter, and actor. He was a figure in popular music for over five decades, and was considered by critics and other musicians as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. Bowie's impact was enormous; he changed the nature of rock music, and changed his own approach repeatedly. During his career, he sold an estimated 140 million records worldwide. In the UK, he was awarded nine platinum album certifications, eleven gold and eight silver, and in the US received five platinum and seven gold certifications. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Bowie stopped concert touring after 2004, and last performed live at a charity event in 2006. In 2013, he returned from a decade-long recording hiatus, remaining musically active until his death from liver cancer three years later.

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles

   2014    Culture
This documentary looks at the remarkable genius of Orson Welles on his centenary - the enigma of his career as a Hollywood star, a Hollywood director (for some a Hollywood failure), and a crucially important independent filmmaker. Orson Welles's life was magical: a musical prodigy at age 10, a director of Shakespeare at 14, a painter at 16, a star of stage and radio at 20, romances with some of the most beautiful women in the world, including Rita Hayworth. His work was similarly extraordinary, most notably Citizen Kane, (considered by many to be the most important movie ever made), created by Welles when he was only 25. In the years following Citizen Kane, Welles's career continued to change as he made film after film (some never finished, many dismissed) and acted in other projects often to earn money in order to keep making his own films. Magician features scenes from almost every existing Welles film, from Hearts of Age, (which he made in a day when he was only 18 years old) to rarely-seen clips from his final unfinished works like The Other Side of the Dream, The Deep, and Don Quixote, as well as his television and commercial work.

Free for All

   2013    Art
Part 2 examines how the freewheeling modernism that had shocked audiences in the first two decades of the century came under state control. Initially, many practitioners thought the totalitarian regimes would be good for music and the arts. What followed in Germany was a ban on music written by Jews, African-Americans and communists, while in the Soviet Union there was a prohibition on music the workers were unable to hum. After the cataclysm of the 1940s, a new generation of composers - Boulez, Stockhausen, Xenakis, Nono, Ligeti - turned their back on what they saw as the discredited music of the past and tried to reinvent it from scratch. Or, at least, from serialism, which became as much of a straitjacket as totalitarianism's strictures had been. But from this period of avant-garde experimentation, which many listeners found baffling and terrifying, came some of the most influential and radical musical innovations of the century.
Series: The Sound and the Fury

Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways

   2014    Art
Foo Fighters commemorate their 20th anniversary by documenting the eight-city recording odyssey that produced their latest, and eighth, studio album. Foo Fighters founder Dave Grohl directs the series, which taps into the musical heritage and cultural fabric of eight cities: Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington D.C. and New York. The band based themselves at a legendary recording studio integral to the unique history and character of each location. One song was recorded in each city, and every track features local legends. Even the lyrics were developed in an experimental, unprecedented way: Grohl held off on writing them until the last day of each session, letting himself be inspired by the experiences, interviews and personalities that became part of the process. Foo Fighters Sonic Highways is, in Grohl’s words, “a love letter to the history of American music.” Each episode delves into the identity of each city -- showing how each region shaped these musicians in their formative years and, in turn, how they impacted the cultural fabric of their hometowns. Every artist who appears in the show, regardless of genre or locale, started as an average kid with universal dreams of making music and making it big. Grohl made his feature film directorial debut in 2013 with the universally acclaimed Grammy-winning Sound City, a celebration of the human element in the creation and recording of music. Foo Fighters have won 11 Grammy Awards, including four for Best Rock Album, more than any other band. Premiering on the eve of Foo Fighters’ 20th anniversary, Foo Fighters Sonic Highways aims to “give back” to the next generation of young musicians. As guitarist and singer Buddy Guy, an interviewee from the Chicago blues scene, explains, “Everything comes from what’s come before.”
Nova Wonders
Nova Wonders

   2018    Science
Himalaya with Michael Palin
Himalaya with Michael Palin

   2004    Culture
The Story of Maths
The Story of Maths

   2008    Science
Breakthrough
Breakthrough

   2015    Medicine
How to Stay Young
How to Stay Young

   2016    Medicine
Making a Murderer
Making a Murderer

   2015    History
The Hunt
The Hunt

   2015    Nature
The Real History of Science Fiction
The Real History of Science Fiction

   2014    Technology