Who are we? • 2013

Category: Creativity
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The Heist

This time it is the turn of the heist movie, with its unique combination of suspense and action. Whether it is the big bank job or netting a fortune in diamonds, why, asks Mark, do otherwise law-abiding audiences find themselves rooting for robbers and even killers? More than any other genre, the heist movie plays with our sympathies, encouraging us to identify with characters we would run a mile from in real life. From The Asphalt Jungle to Ocean's Eleven by way of The Italian Job and even The Wrong Trousers, Mark shows how recurring character types, such as the mastermind, and sequences like the planning scene and the getaway, draw us into the big score. And he demonstrates how recent hits like Inception, The Wolf of Wall Street and Baby Driver have pushed the conventions of the heist in thrilling new directions. At the box office, at least, crime really does pay.

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Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse

This film takes a magical and widely travelled journey to discover how different contemporaries of Monet built and cultivated modern gardens to explore expressive motifs, abstract colour, decorative design and utopian ideas.

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The transformative power of classical music

Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it β€” and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections.

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Coming of Age

This time Mark explores the genre that captures the joy and pain of growing up - the coming-of-age movie. It is the most universal of all genres, the one we can all relate to from our own experience, yet it can also be the most autobiographical and personal. Film-makers across the world repeatedly return to core themes such as first love, breaking away from small-town life and grown-ups who don't understand. And wherever and whenever they are set, these stories are vividly brought to life using techniques such as casting non-professional actors, camerawork that captures a child's-eye view and nostalgic pop soundtracks. From Rebel without a Cause to Lady Bird by way of Kes, Boyz n the Hood and This Is England, Mark shows how recurring sequences like the makeover and the group singalong, and characters like the gang and mentor figure, have helped create some of the most moving and resonant films in cinema.

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Edouard Manet

Focuses on the sell-out exhibition at The Royal Academy of Arts, depicting the craft of one of the all-time great artists, the 'father of modern art', Edouard Manet. Spanning this enigmatic and, at times, controversial artist's career, the programme gives a fascinating exploration and detailed biography of the momentous painter and his environment in a rapidly changing 19th-century Paris.

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Do We Live in the Matrix?

Our universe seems real. But what if it’s a videogame? Scientists in a variety of fields are taking seriously the possibility that we live in a virtual reality. Maybe the Big Bang was just the moment someone flipped the switch and turned on our universe. Maybe what looks random has already been programmed to happen. If some advanced civilization did design and program our universe, would we ever know? Scientists are looking for glitches in the laws of the universe that may uncover its hidden code.

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