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Simply the Best Documentaries

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The Gatekeepers
Frozen Planet: Autumn
1945 The Savage Peace
The Southwest Islands
Cooked: Air
Hitler and the Occult
Kingdom of the Blue Whale
Our Voyage to the Stars
Archimedes Secret
Earth, the Power of the Planet: Atmosphere
The Most Dangerous Band in the World. The Story of Guns N Roses
The Nazis, A Warning From History. Episode 1
When Knowledge Conquered Fear
Saturn Lord of the Rings
Black Holes
Enchanted Kingdom
The Art Of The Impossible
Turtle Power The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Bomb It
Dinosaurs Alive
Shine a Light 2of2
Deep Sea
One Life on the Limit
Neanderthal 1
Kingdom of Plants Life in the Wet Zone
The Farthest
Deep Earth
Walking with Cavemen: First Ancestors
Worst Days on Planet Earth
A Leap of Faith
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy 1
Waltz With Bashir
What the World is Waiting for - British Indie
The Search for a New Earth
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Standing Up in the Milky Way
Lord of Asia

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David Bowie: Starman
David Bowie: Starman 2016

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.

Category:Art  Duration:46:30   

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles
Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles 2014

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.

Category:Culture  Duration:01:34:00   

Free for All
Free for All 2013

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.

Category:Art  Duration:59:00   Series: The Sound and the Fury

A Leap of Faith
A Leap of Faith 2013

With optional Hebrew subtitles. This episode explores how the spread of the Enlightenment brought ghetto walls around Europe crashing down and allowed Jews to join the wider fabric of modern life in Europe in unprecedented ways. This Jewish renaissance saw Giacomo Meyerbeer and Felix Mendelssohn to establish the enduring tradition for Jewish musical prodigies. However the integration of Jewish talent into the mainstream of European culture and commerce eventually stirred up ancient prejudice, expressed in the new fashion of Romantic nationalism and the pseudo-science of anti-semitism.

Category:History  Duration:59:00   Series: The Story of the Jews

 
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