Tune in to the best arts and cultural television from New Zealand and around the world.
Fascinating documentaries on artists, writers, dancers, musicians and more
Intelligent interviews with the stars of stage and screen
In-depth shows on modern and classical art, architecture and design
A wide range of concerts from classical to rock, pop, jazz, soul and the blues
Stimulating programmes examining popular fiction, classic novels and poetry
Inspiring performances of contemporary dance, ballet, opera and theatre
SKY ARTS is proud to support New Zealand Arts, so look out for more home grown arts programmes made by local artists and filmmakers.
SOAR explores the evolving bond between two sisters: both are phenomenal dancers, one is a quadruple amputee from a childhood illness. Their art helps them define themselves, together and separately, and helps us redefine our idea of what is possible.
SOAR celebrates the extraordinary ways that Kiera has learned to adapt and reveals Uriah’s part in helping her sister adjust. Tension arises when Uriah steps away, finally admitting her need to define herself as an individual. But a dance concert reunites them, rekindling their powerful bond as artists and sisters.
In the 1950s, pioneering Australian architects including Robin Boyd, Syd Ancher, Roy Grounds and Harry Seidler adapted the International style of Modernism for a nation that was ready to embrace new ideas.
Through the 1960s and '70s, Australian Modernism was tailored for local culture and lifestyle. But by the end of the 1970s, modest homes were out, and featurism was in. With massive street presence and enormous dwellings, the McMansion had arrived.
In this series, Tim Ross – broadcaster, comedian and aficionado of all things Modernism – tracks the stories of these houses, and gains unprecedented access to iconic homes to revel in their beauty and legacy in Australia's suburbia.
In this unique series, we get inside the minds of the world’s most influential and provocative artists. Meet the trailblazers who are reinventing art as we know it, from Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry and performance artist Marina Abramović, to Chinese contemporary artist Xu Bing and one of the most celebrated artists of his generation, KAWS.
Art is in the lifeblood of every society, and by travelling the world to where art is made, and engaging with those who make it; this unique series expands our understanding of people, places, culture and history.
The series is a selection of vivid films from locations as far apart as Japan, Mexico, India, Italy and North America. Each week, The Art Show features a weekend spent in one of our great cities of art such as Venice, New York, Mexico City, Beijing and Istanbul, where we seek out seminal works of the past to show how they reflect history as much as contemporary art reflects today.
2017 will mark a century from the recording of what is historically considered the first Jazz record. The record sold a million and half copies but very few know that it was recorded by a Sicilian emigrant to New Orleans: Nick La Rocca.
Featuring exclusive interviews to American music critics, historians and archivists, as well as amazing archive picturing New Orleans at the beginning of the century, Sicily Jass takes us on a journey through music and history, telling the story of the world's first man in Jazz.
French painter Jean Marc Calvet recounts his incredible life story as a former Cannes bodyguard who abandoned his family, robbed a Miami mobster, hid out in Central America and at the age of 38 overcame addictions through an extraordinary metamorphosis in which he began to paint. That was seven years ago. Now his intricate paintings sell for five figures, but he remains desperate to reconcile with the son he left behind.
In August 1956, Elvis Presley started shooting his first feature film, Love Me Tender. At his side was his manager, Colonel Tom Parker and his just-hired secretary, Trude Forsher. Elvis and the Girl from Vienna is Trude’s account of how Elvis’ career went from a southern United States singing sensation to a global legend. Over the five years that Trude worked with Elvis and the Colonel, she observed first-hand the legendary moments’ in Elvis life.
Elvis and the Girl from Vienna is also told through the eyes of Byron Raphael, personal assistant to Trude, Elvis and Colonel from 1956 to 1958. The film includes music and images that have rarely - if ever - been seen. It is not only the story of Elvis’ rise to fame, but of one of his most personal confidants, who escaped the ravages of WW2 to get the job a million girls dreamed of – Elvis private secretary.
Francis Bacon was the loudest, rudest, drunkest, most sought after British artist of the 20th Century. 25 years after his death, his canvases regularly exceed £40 million at auction. Bacon’s appeal is rooted in his notoriety; a candid image he presented of himself as Roaring Boy, Lord of Misrule, and Conveyor of Artistic Violence. This was true enough, but only part of the truth. He carefully cultivated the façade, protecting the complex and haunted man behind the myth. In this unique, compelling film, those who knew him speak freely, some for the first time to reveal the many mysteries of Francis Bacon.
The Gates of Hell is Auguste Rodin’s artistic triumph. For which he created such masterpieces as The Kiss and The Thinker. The one that occupied him for 20 years of his life and that he never saw completed. The one that was his heaven and hell.
Through the thrilling story of this door’s creation, visual artist, photographer and filmmaker, Bruno Aveillan draws a fascinating portrait of the sculptor’s unrivalled aesthetic quality — a sculptor who was probably the first modernist and certainly the one who gave sculpture its credibility.
She was the widow an assassinated president, he the British Ambassador to Washington. After the death of John Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy sought comfort in her relationship with David Ormsby-Gore, later Lord Harlech.
Fifty years on, the letters that passed between them have been discovered in two locked boxes at Glyn Cywarch, the Welsh house of the Harlech family. David Ormsby-Gore’s grandson has put them up for sale at Bonham’s in London. With an estimate of up to £150,000 this secret cache of correspondence tells a poignant love story which ended in 1968 when Harlech asked Jackie to marry him. She turned him down. He wrote ‘When I look at your picture, I weep.'
The exceptional and heart-warming stories of a group of transsexuals and drag queens in their sixties and seventies, who summon up their bravery to take the stage once again – perhaps for the last time. Belgium’s pre-imminent choreographer Alain Platel and “wizard” stage director Frank Van Laecke collaborate to turn the cast member’s lives into movement.
It’s an impetuous, impassioned Hamlet that treads the boards in composer Franco Faccio and librettist Arrigo Boito’s opera Hamlet (Amleto), which was first staged in 1865 in Genua. Faccio and Boito skilfully and effectively challenge the conventions of Italian opera, which they wanted to revitalise by infusing it with the spirit of Shakespeare’s drama. Amleto was performed again at La Scala in 1871, after that the opera was not staged again – until 2014 when it was revived in the USA. The Bregenz Festival is now bringing Faccio’s Hamlet back to Europe.
Conductor: Paolo Carignani.
Orchestra: Wiener Symphoniker.
SECONDO ME follows three cloakroom attendants at three European opera houses: Vienna State Opera, La Scala in Milan and Odessa Opera House. The film reverses the natural order of things, relegating the opera houses and operatic performances to the background, and bringing the ancillary staff to the fore. SECONDO ME is about the drama that can be found in the day-to-day lives of ordinary people, in their beliefs, emotions and concerns, and in their approach to the passage of time.
1953 and 'Waiting for Godot' has just been published. Samuel Beckett is living in a rural cottage 40 miles outside Paris. The cottage requires some renovation but there is a problem. Beckett's Bulgarian builder Roussimoff can't start work 'til late in the morning as his son Andre requires a lift to school. Reason being Andre is way too big to fit on the school bus (where the other children mock and tease him for his size). Beckett offers to run the boy to school and in so doing teaches him about love, life, poetry and how to survive in a world of cruelty. Andre went on to become the world famous (and very confident) wrestler and movie star Andre the Giant.
Talking about architecture with Alvaro Siza Vieira, recipient of the Prizker Prize and one of this century’s finest architects, as well as socialist and passionate smoker. The film spotlights his early work and allows the viewer to gain insight in Siza’s way of working and thinking.
As a young man, Carlos Saura, the legendary Spanish filmmaker, did not quite know what he would like to become: motorcycle racer, flamenco dancer or photographer? 60 years, 40 films and numerous film awards later, his passion for photography runs like a thread through his life.
The publishers Gerhard Steidl and Hans Meinke set out to release the largely unknown photo oeuvre of Carlos Saura in form of a book. They discover an early phase in Saura’s photography revealing Spain of the Fifties in a new light: impressive black-and-white images of landscapes, villages, culture and the people of that time beyond the Franco propaganda. The documentary shows how this photo book evolves and simply follows "real characters" at work.
Following on from the popular The Art of… strand, The Art of France reads the nation’s history and character in its sculptures, paintings and palaces. From the art of absolute power in the 18th century through to the modern philosophies bound up in impressionism, art and history are merged to enlightening effect.
Presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon unlocks the connection between the unification of France and the art of absolute power (reflected in the Palace of the Versailles) and the cult of personality and the French Revolution. The series concludes with impressionism (Picasso, Corbusier, Sartre), an artistic movement which emerged at a time when France was struggling to decide which way to turn.
During the filming of Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, Cary Grant had become fascinated - yet cautious about LSD. He believed that is was the elixir of life yet should be taken in moderation. Timothy Leary had a similar journalistic fascination with the drug and wanted to explore Grant's affection for it. This film takes place in Grant's trailer. Leary invites himself along during a break in filming and he and Grant inadvertently consume a heroic dose.
Konstantin Grcic is considered one of the most innovative and profound product designers worldwide. His career began with a chair and a lamp, both of which are on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
DESIGN IS WORK accompanies the designer for the duration of a year in the various segments of his working world: while designing in the studio with his team or deliberating over the right decision with a client; among the tumult of “Salone” (furniture fair, Milan) or during the planning of an exhibition for the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. Here, with the aid of design models, the developmental process behind one of his most prominent pieces, "Chair_One" becomes tangible – from the initial sketches to the finished product.
In the film, these steps are lucidly illustrated by Grcic’s current project: a furniture series made of cast iron, conceived and developed with the long-established Italian design company “Magis” and its dynamic founder Eugenio Perazza. It becomes apparent that design involves a tremendous amount of work – but also considerably more.
Art world sensation Ai Weiwei credits him with launching his international career. Renowned pianist Lang Lang describes him as a mentor to Chinese artists. Chinese art curator Victoria Lu says his influence has been felt around the world. But when Swiss businessman Uli Sigg first went to China, art was far from his mind.
It was 1979, and Sigg was negotiating one of the first joint ventures between the Chinese government Western company on behalf Schindler, a firm that made escalator and elevators. But when he wanted to better understand Chinese culture and the changes it was undergoing, he sought out contemporary artists—changing his life, theirs, and the international art scene in the process.
The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg is a history of China’s opening to the West, and of the West’s embrace of Chinese contemporary art, through the eyes of Sigg and the dazzling array of contemporary Chinese artists whose work he he championed. Artists including Ai Weiwei, Cao Chong’en, Cao Fei, Gang Lijun, Feng Mengbo, Shao Fan, Wang Guangyi and Zeng Fanzhi are interviewed along with curators, diplomats, architects and business colleagues in this colorful documentary survey of contemporary Chinese art.
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