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.
The Queen’s Hamlet is a palace disguised as a peasant’s cottage hidden in the Versailles gardens. A romantic hide-away, Marie Antoinette conceived it as a reminder of her carefree youth in Vienna. The Revolution left it for a ruin. Now, two centuries later its renovation finally begins.
Every twenty years the sacred Japanese temple of Ise Jingu is rebuilt entirely from scratch. Its creation involves both huge scale and absolute attention to detail - and it takes the full twenty years to build. It is an endless cycle, time slowed down, classic Japanese. This documentary contrasts traditional Japanese wisdom against the impact of modern life as celebrated photographer Masaaki Miyazawa brings his theme to life with riveting panache.
What drives someone to pursue scenes of death and suffering? From the age of nine, avid cinephile Enrique Metinides was photographing corpses in the street. Despite his age, this passion soon landed him a job in the tabloids, where he was given license to follow his morbid obsession. Through his work, we explore Mexico City, as seen through the prism of its crime scenes, and delve into the human fascination with the macabre.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Petr Pavlensky, artist and activist, is in the vanguard of forging social change in Russia. Through an array of courageous performances, he acts as society's conscience in the face of an increasingly totalitarian state. From lying naked in a coil of barbed wire, to nailing his scrotum to the floor of Red Square, his acts of defiance aim to spark debate and catalyse reform. This documentary follows his mission to challenge the state.
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.
Leonardo da Vinci is well known for his inventions as well as his art. But new evidence shows that many of his ideas were realized long before he sketched them out in his notebooks — some even 1,700 years before. Was Leonardo a copycat?
The biennial Wallace National Piano Competition brought together 16 of New Zealand's best young pianists, competing for prizes totalling $20,000. Each contestant performed before adjudicator Piers Lane AO who selected four finalists to perform in the Grand Final held at the Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber.
“Australia” was the largest collection of art ever sent overseas to represent Australia and hung in London’s Royal Academy. Hanging Australia follows the curation, dispatch and exhibition of this extraordinary collection of visions of the continent. It explores the meaning of Australia’s land and landscape by looking at the art and talking to the artists.
In 2006, rock band I Like Trains were the toast of the music industry. Signed to a major record label with sold-out tours across the world, they had money, momentum and were fulfilling their dreams.
Five years later and with a mass decline in the music industry, their fortunes spiralled dramatically downhill, leaving the band fighting for their lives to exist in a wildly different musical landscape and supporting themselves through dead-end jobs and low-paid gigs.
The film documents each band member over the course of three years as they struggle to make music and tour, bringing to the surface what happens when real-life gets in the way of ever-present creative thirst.
Grazing The Sky takes a revealing look at the incredible physical exploits of circus acrobats, and finds compelling stories of men and women confronting adversity – including the real risk of severe, debilitating injury. The price of life in the limelight includes years of study and practice, an iron discipline, an ongoing commitment to learning new skills, and constant travel far from home. The films takes us from a Circus School in Gaza, Palestine to Cirque Du Soleil in Sydney.
Director Horacio Alcala has been involved with the circus arts for seven years, including Cirque du Soleil. In this film, he travelled to 11 different countries over the course of five years to capture the private stories of circus performers. He finds a new reality where aspiring circus performers can learn their craft in specialized schools rather than through family heritage. The trapeze becomes a metaphor for life’s ambitions and the given contrast, poignancy by the ever-present risk of a fall.
Guided by historians, art collectors, economists and artists, with special contributions from economist, Jacques Attali, and performance artist, Marina Abramovich, we travel through history, through the art movements right up to the present day to reveal the true nature of the unique relationship between money and art.
In this visually stunning programme, experience the rich, sophisticated imagery that is the hallmark of director, Massimo Brega. The glorious soundtrack comes from composer Pino Donaggio, who wrote hits for Dusty Springfield and Elvis, as well as regularly collaborating with US director, Brian De Palma. In 2012 Pino was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the World Soundtrack Academy. The insightful script is by English financial writer, Dominic Frisby, whose film credits include the internet sensation, Four Horsemen, about the global financial crisis.
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.
Amateur and professional artists from all over the nation are invited to submit their self-portraits. From thousands of applications, nine artists per episode are chosen to paint the portraits of famous sitters - anyone from TV and film stars to athletes, politicians and authors.
A superb new Otello from the Salzburg Easter Festival: “Cura is a commanding Otello with his richly coloured tenor and both fragile delicacy and fiery ardour” (Südwestpresse). “Roschmann as Desdemona guarantees effortless perfection” (Neue Musikzeitung). “Alvarez as Iago would be hard to surpass” (Abendzeitung). “Thielemann has discovered an impressively modern sound for Verdi” (Suddeutsche Zeitung).
British artist Bruce Munro conceived his iconic Field of Light art installation in 1994 while visiting one of Australia’s most sacred sites, Uluru, in the Northern Territories, Australia. Twenty-four years later, in 2016, Bruce Munro returned to the red desert in Australia for the installation of his Field of Light Uluru.
This is the amazing story of Petter Amundsen, a Norwegian organist, who believes he has deciphered a secret code hidden in Shakespeare’s first folio. The code reveals a treasure map where mythical objects described in the bible and controversial manuscripts are hidden.
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