Leonardo Da Vinci - the ultimate Renaissance man. In this special, meet some modern-day Leonardos who embody the inventive spirit of the master himself, and those who are working to bring his forgotten visions to life. Hosted by Kevin Brauch (Thirsty Traveller), this one-hour special travels to Chicago, Calgary, Italy and the U.K. to meet these modern Leonardos and discover how they are leaving their mark on the world and, in the spirit of da Vinci, are breaking the barriers of art and science today. Filmed in HD and featuring dramatic CGI, detailed 3D models and super macro photography, see how these modern-day inventors and their creations are continuing the legacy of Leonardo.
Searching for Sugar Man tells the incredible true story of Rodriguez, the greatest '70s rock icon who never was. Discovered in a Detroit bar in the late '60s by two celebrated producers struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics, they recorded an album which they believed would secure his reputation as the greatest recording artist of his generation. In fact, the album bombed and the singer disappeared into obscurity amid rumors of a gruesome on-stage suicide. But a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, he became a phenomenon. The film follows the story of two South African fans who set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Their investigation leads them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez.
2012 • People
Man on Wire is a 2008 documentary film directed by James Marsh. The film chronicles Philippe Petit's 1974 high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center and is based on Philippe Petit's book, To Reach the Clouds, which has recently been released in paperback with the new title Man on Wire. The film is crafted like a heist film, presenting rare footage of the preparations for the event and still photographs of the walk, alongside reenactments (with Paul McGill as the young Petit) and modern-day interviews with the participants. Native New Yorkers know to expect the unexpected, but who among them could've predicted that a man would stroll between the towers of the World Trade Center? French high-wire walker Philippe Petit did just that on August 7th, 1974. Petit’s success may come as a foregone conclusion, but British filmmaker James Marsh’s pulse-pounding documentary still plays more like a thriller than a non-fiction entry--in fact, it puts most thrillers to shame. Marsh (Wisconsin Death Trip, The King) starts by looking at Petit's previous stunts. First, he took on Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral, then Sydney's Harbour Bridge before honing in on the not-yet-completed WTC. The planning took years, and the prescient Petit filmed his meetings with accomplices in France and America. Marsh smoothly integrates this material with stylized re-enactments and new interviews in which participants emerge from the shadows as if to reveal deep, dark secrets which, in a way, they do, since Petit's plan was illegal, "but not wicked or mean." The director documents every step they took to circumvent security, protocol, and physics as if re-creating a classic Jules Dassin or Jean-Pierre Melville caper. Though still photographs capture the feat rather than video, the resulting images will surely blow as many minds now as they did in the 1970s when splashed all over the media. Not only did Petit walk, he danced and even lay down on the cable strung between the skyscrapers. It competed in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize: World Cinema Documentary and the World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary. In February 2009, the film won the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film, the Independent Spirit Awards and the Academy Award for Best Documentary.
2008 • People
Picasso's Last Stand reveals the untold story of the last decade of the great artist's life, through the testimony of family and close friends - many of them the people he allowed into his private world in the 1960s. As his health declined in these final years, Picasso faced damaging criticism of his work and intimate revelations about his bohemian lifestyle for the first time. And yet, in the midst of disaster, he rediscovered his revolutionary spirit with a creative surge that produced some of his most sexually frank and comic work. Exhibitions of the new style horrified and disappointed contemporaries. But now his biographer Sir John Richardson and granddaughter Diana Widmaier Picasso argue that this last enormous effort produced some of his greatest and most profound art: the stunning counter-attack of a protean genius coming to terms with old age.
2018 • People
Sci-fi legend Robert Heinlein is a walking contradiction. His stories address themes of patriotism, and duty while stressing the importance of personal freedom and expression. His groundbreaking stories like Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land continue to challenge readers with a steadfast theme: what is freedom?