Account IconLogin|Sign Up
Go BackArena

Arena Season 1985

Here's where to watch every episode of Arena season 1985. Mouseover or tap an episode to see where to stream it. Click or tap the play icon to stream it on the best available service.
Season 1985, Episode 00 The Strange Case Of Yukio Mishima

S1985 E00

Dec 3, 1985
view more

The Strange Case Of Yukio Mishima Dec 3, 1985 BBC2 Arena documentary from 1985, which examines the controversial life and bizarre death of the Japanese author, playwright, actor and patriot, Yukio Mishima, who was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize for literature, and who committed suicide by ritual disembowelment, on 25th November 1970 after attempting a military coup. Using rare archive footage, including film of Mishima giving a final speech just moments before his death, as well as interviews with the author conducted in English, and reminiscences from his former friends and colleagues, including his English born biographer, Henry Scott Stokes, and translator Donald Keene, the film attempts to shed light on what drove him towards his unusual choice of fate.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 00 B.B. King Speaks

S1985 E00

Feb 25, 1985
view more

B.B. King Speaks Feb 25, 1985 The artists Julian Schnabel , Markus Lupertz , Sandro Chia , Francesco Clemente and Georg Baselitz command some of the highest prices on today's booming art market. Their paintings, monumental in scale and mainly figurative in style, have begun to fill the walls of private collections world-wide. They have been hailed as the 'New Expressionists' - though some cynical observers accuse them of turning out their pictures to order. As they establish themselves in spacious New York premises, castles in Germany and even retreats in India, Arena examines the real driving force behind today's art world successes. Film editor PETER GEISMAR Director MICHAEL BLACKWOOD Arena editor ALAN YENTOB

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 00 Sonny Boy Williamson Sings

S1985 E00

Feb 18, 1985
view more

Sonny Boy Williamson Sings Feb 18, 1985 Howard Jacobson the eldest son of MAX JACOBSON the Manchester conjuror, made a late but successful start in the world of fiction. At the age of 41 he published Coming from Behind a scabrous satire of polytechnic life; and now, with his sexual comedy Peeping Tom he has established himself as an important new voice in English fiction. Tonight, Arena looks at this Leavisite polytechnic lecturer, shopkeeper and original Jewish humorist on the move from Manchester, Wolverhampton, Cornwall and Australia. Film editor PETER WEST Director NIGEL WILLIAMS Producer ALAN YENTOB

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 00 Blind John Davis

S1985 E00

Mar 11, 1985
view more

Blind John Davis Mar 11, 1985 Karen Blixen in Africa with Eileen Atkins Narrated by Colin Firth 'I loved the Natives. In a way the strongest most incalculable emotion I have known. Did they love me? No. They relied on me in a strange incomprehensible way.' Karen Blixen 's voyage to Africa in 1913 was a journey away from the 20th century. Kenya was then a semi-feudal society, a land of Masai and Kikuyu, teeming with game. In 1931 she returned to Denmark having lost her farm, her health and her closest friends. Within a decade she had produced her three greatest books Seven Gothic Tales, Out of Africa and Last Tales. Karen Blixen had become Isak Dinesen , the writer. Taking part in tonight's portrait are her former servant Kamante, biographer Judith Thurman, Errol Trzebinski , Sir Laurens van der Post and Elspeth Huxley.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 10 The Strange Case Of Yukio Mishima

S1985 E10

Apr 8, 1985
view more

The Strange Case Of Yukio Mishima Apr 8, 1985 A Musical for the 80s starring Tim Curry , Sting, Alexei Sayle , Gary Glitter and introducing Jason Carter To lig. verb. To gain something for nothing by wit and ingenuity. Young Gordon Shilling arrives in London in search of fame and fortune, only to find himself alone, penniless and hungry. Plucked off the streets by the mysterious Eden Rothwell and initiated in the art of ligging, he begins a picaresque journey through the highlife and lowlife of the nation. Along the way such experts as the Lig of Gentlemen, Peter York , April Ashley, John Bull , Samuel Smiles and Machiavelli show the hero how to help himself in self-help Britain.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 10 The Real Buddy Holly Story

S1985 E10

Apr 15, 1985
view more

The Real Buddy Holly Story Apr 15, 1985 A film about Tony Harrison Tony Harrison is the son of a baker, and his poetry relishes, and mourns for the class he comes from. His subjects are sex, love, politics, class warfare, death, all the rituals and performances of our lives. His work is direct, witty, often angry, expressed in the language and idioms of his northern roots. His recent adaptation of the English Mystery plays with the National Theatre Company has been hailed as 'the most moving, solemn and joyful theatrical event in London'. His latest cycle of poems is on an intensely private theme, meditations on his own family life and relationships. Tonight, Arena investigates a unique voice in contemporary literature.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 10 Big Bill Blues

S1985 E10

Mar 25, 1985
view more

Big Bill Blues Mar 25, 1985 From Chaucer's pilgrims to inter-continental juggernauts, generations of travellers have taken this historical route from Dover to the old City of London. It has become part of London's folklore, living up to its reputation as a place for a good night out; there are still 14 pubs along its two-mile stretch. You can also get a quick suntan or wallow in a Jacuzzi at Sundance City, buy the latest casual wear at Le Pel men's boutique, or sip a "slow comfortable screw up against the wall' in the Dun Cow Champagne Bar. These establishments live happily side by side with Bert's Eel and Pie Shop, the Fishing Tackle Specialists, and the world-famous Thomas a Beckett gym. This film looks beyond some of the shopfronts you'd normally pass down the A2 and reveals a host of unexpected personalities, mostly two-legged but above all Bermondsey born and bred.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 10 Blues Medley

S1985 E10

Mar 18, 1985
view more

Blues Medley Mar 18, 1985 Tonight Arena and Newsnight join forces to mount a major studio debate between the embattled factions of the arts world. 'The Glory of the Garden' was the Arts Council's blueprint for a redistribution of its grants favouring regional centres over London. Now a head-long battle has developed between those administering funds and those who are the beneficiaries.... or the losers. The National Theatre has threatened 100 redundancies, and the Cottesloe could go dark in April. The English National Opera sees its programme in jeopardy. The Council's Literature Department narrowly escaped the axe, and half of the drama panel have resigned. In this atmosphere of open warfare, how can the garden grow? Will judicial pruning turn into total devastation? Has the Arts Council, in the words of its critics, 'betrayed the arts and lent itself to party politics' or have just and sensible policies become the target for partisan hysteria? Tonight the council confronts its critics. Introduced by John Tusa and Joan Bakewell.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 10 Watch Me Move....

S1985 E10

Apr 29, 1985
view more

Watch Me Move.... Apr 29, 1985 'America gave to the world two original art forms: one was jazz, the other was full character animation' (CHUCK JONES) In 1908, the comic strip artist WINSOR MCCAY brought to life, on film, his celebrated 'little Nemo' characters. The first words that appeared on the screen were 'Watch me move!' Tonight Arena salutes the pioneers of animation, in a festival of early cinema cartoons: funny, inventive and often astonishingly beautiful. Including unique footage of Gertie the Dinosaur acting with her creator, McCay; the rise and fall of the first cartoon superstar, Felix the cat; the sexy antics of Betty Boob - later toned down by the censor; the earliest Silly Symphonies, Loonie Tunes and Merrie Melodies; and an exploration of the surreal and violent world of the brilliant TEX AVERY. Contributing their memories, the creators and animators who gave us these still compelling images, including John Fitzsimmons, Otto Mesmer , Grim Natwick Friz Freleng , Walter Lantz and Chuck Jones

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 10 Hugh Masekela - The African Ambassador

S1985 E10

May 6, 1985
view more

Hugh Masekela - The African Ambassador May 6, 1985 Hugh Masekela 's career as a musician has been dominated by his determination to take the music of black South Africans to the rest of the world. His music is a fusion of sophisticated jazz and the raw but melodic Mbkanga which is to the townships of South Africa, what reggae is to Jamaica. As he became more successful Masekela left South Africa and spent the next 25 years in self-imposed exile in America, vowing never to return until the apartheid regime had ceased. In fact last year he did return - not to South Africa, but to Gaberone, Botswana, just a few miles from the border. Here he has set up a mobile recording studio which has become a magnet for the explosive music of his homeland.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 10 The Theatre of Robert Wilson

S1985 E10

Jul 25, 1985
view more

The Theatre of Robert Wilson Jul 25, 1985 Robert Wilson is one of the most revered and controversial talents in contemporary theatre. He first came to prominence in the New York avant garde of the 60s and 70s with a series of huge stage works which astonished and often infuriated audiences, but never failed to impress with their invention and sheer visual power. After seeing Wilson's first major work, Deafman Glance, the leading New York drama critic Clive Barnes declared that he had created 'a new non-verbal, post Wagnerian epic theatre.' Tonight, in the first of two Arena programmes, Wilson talks candidly about his formal upbringing in the American mid-west; his job as a teacher of brain-damaged children in Brooklyn - an experience that changed his life - and about the inspiration behind his extraordinary theatre pieces. Including rare footage from Robert Wilson 's personal archive and contributions from collaborators Philip Glass

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 10 Blues Night: Sonny Boy Williamson Sings

S1985 E10

Jul 27, 1985
view more

Blues Night: Sonny Boy Williamson Sings Jul 27, 1985 First transmitted in 1985, Blues Night presents rare footage of the harmonica blues player Sonny Boy Williamson, who gave B.B. King his big break in 1948. ‘He was on the radio doing live performances when I first came to Memphis. He put me on his show to do this one song – a lady saloon-keeper hired me that day and I’ve worked ever since,’ King explained to the Radio Times.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 10 Blues Night: Chicago Blues

S1985 E10

Jul 27, 1985
view more

Blues Night: Chicago Blues Jul 27, 1985 First transmitted in 1985, Harley Cokliss’ classic blues documentary includes performances by Muddy Waters, Junior Wells and Buddy Guy, and shows how the tough urban music of Chicago developed out of the original rural blues.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 10 Blues Night: B.B. King Speaks

S1985 E10

Jul 27, 1985
view more

Blues Night: B.B. King Speaks Jul 27, 1985 First transmitted in 1985, John Walters talks to B.B. King - aided by his guitar Lucille - about his extraordinary life, from a childhood picking cotton in Mississippi to worldwide stardom.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 20 The Real Buddy Holly Story

S1985 E20

Sep 12, 1985
view more

The Real Buddy Holly Story Sep 12, 1985 The definitive story of the "undisputed father of rock music," produced and hosted by former Beatle Paul McCartney.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 20 Saint Genet

S1985 E20

Nov 12, 1985
view more

Saint Genet Nov 12, 1985 Tonight Arena presents a unique interview with one of the great figures of 20th-century literature, Jean Genet. His first novel, Our Lady of the Flowers, written in prison, moved Jean-Paul Sartre to declare him a saint and martyr. Genet's plays, including The Maids and The Balcony, revolutionised post-war theatre, and his novels, explicit and passionate celebrations of homosexual love, were widely banned. Now 75, Genet remains a self-declared outcast, unrepentant about his past as a thief and prostitute, still questioning society's expectations. In an impassioned outburst, he denounces even the interview itself as 'a piece of bad theatre' and turns the tables on his interrogators, asking them some uncomfortable Questions of his own.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 20 The Accordion Strikes Back

S1985 E20

Nov 19, 1985
view more

The Accordion Strikes Back Nov 19, 1985 What do Charles Dickens , Count Leo Tolstoy , Barry Manilow and James Anderton , Chief Constable of Manchester, have in common? A love of the accordion. Tonight Arena investigates the appeal of a much-maligned instrument from its roots in Imperial China, and appraises its bellowings from Cajun to the classics, from Stockhausen to Jimmy Shand. Other sounds from around the world include the heart-throbs of the Indian cinema, Tex-Mex superstar Flaco Jiminez , Soweto's Mahotella Queens, and the Accordion World Cup in Folkestone.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 20 The Cinema of Francesco Rosi

S1985 E20

Nov 26, 1985
view more

The Cinema of Francesco Rosi Nov 26, 1985 Francesco Rosi is one of the foremost figures in post-war Italian cinema. His films have an epic sweep covering Mafia crime, political corruption and economic mismanagement in Italy since the liberation of the country from Fascism by the Americans in 1944. Filmed in Naples and his home in Rome, Rosi talks about his development as a film-maker with illustrations from Salvatore Giuliano, Lucky Luciano , Hands Over the City, Illustrious Corpses and Three Brothers.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 20 The Strange Case Of Yukio Mishima

S1985 E20

Dec 3, 1985
view more

The Strange Case Of Yukio Mishima Dec 3, 1985 BBC2 Arena documentary from 1985, which examines the controversial life and bizarre death of the Japanese author, playwright, actor and patriot, Yukio Mishima, who was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize for literature, and who committed suicide by ritual disembowelment, on 25th November 1970 after attempting a military coup. Using rare archive footage, including film of Mishima giving a final speech just moments before his death, as well as interviews with the author conducted in English, and reminiscences from his former friends and colleagues, including his English born biographer, Henry Scott Stokes, and translator Donald Keene, the film attempts to shed light on what drove him towards his unusual choice of fate.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 20 Billie Holiday: The Long Night of Lady Day

S1985 E20

Dec 7, 1985
view more

Billie Holiday: The Long Night of Lady Day Dec 7, 1985 Tonight Arena presents a film portrait of the greatest of all the jazz singers. Billie Holiday's tragic story, from her traumatic childhood ' in Baltimore to her premature death in a New i York hospital at the age of 44, is told in the words of her closest friends and colleagues - but mostly through the songs themselves. Arena has assembled an unprecedented number of her filmed performances. Songs, including 'God bless the child', 'Don't explain' and 'Fine and mellow', are performed with the legendary names of jazz's golden age - among them Lester Young Louis Armstrong Coleman Hawkins and Duke Ellington with Carmen McRae Artie Shaw John Hammond Leonard Feather Norman Granz and Alice Vrbsky, Lady Day's maid and confidante of her last years

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 20 Blues Night: Blind John Davis

S1985 E20

Jul 28, 1985
view more

Blues Night: Blind John Davis Jul 28, 1985 First transmitted in 1985, the great Chicago broadcaster and journalist Studs Terkel and pianist Blind John Davis meet in a downtown bar to discuss and play the blues. This interview was shot for "Omnibus: Studs Terkel's Chicago" but not shown in the final programme.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 20 Blues Night: Big Bill Blues

S1985 E20

Jul 28, 1985
view more

Blues Night: Big Bill Blues Jul 28, 1985 First transmitted in 1985, hard blues meets film noir as Big Bill Broonzy sings and plays in a Belgian nightclub back in the 1950s.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 20 Blues Night: Blues Medley

S1985 E20

Jul 28, 1985
view more

Blues Night: Blues Medley Jul 28, 1985 First transmitted in 1985, this medley of the blues features Fred McDowell, Thomas 'Georgia Tom' Dorsey, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. Huddie Ledbetter - better known as 'Lead Belly' - performs 'Pick a Bale of Cotton', and Billie Holiday accompanied by Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Roy Eldridge, performs her own composition 'Fine and Mellow'.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 20 Robert Wilson on the Civil Warpath

S1985 E20

Aug 1, 1985
view more

Robert Wilson on the Civil Warpath Aug 1, 1985 Second of two programmes. When director Robert Wilson was asked to devise a stage piece to reflect the spirit of the Olympics, he decided on a truly global concept - an epic spectacle on the theme of civil war that would be created simultaneously in six countries. Each segment of work would be staged in its originating country before going on to form part of a complete 12-hour performance in Los Angeles. The artistic, logistical and financial problems of the undertaking were immense - Wilson was to be found jetting between cities, directing through interpreters, dealing with financial crises and trying to keep his original conception intact.Arena followed Wilson throughout this immense enterprise and presents a rare insight into the mind and working methods of one of the most influential personalities in comtemporary theatre.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 30 The Apollo Story: part 2

S1985 E30

Dec 17, 1985
view more

The Apollo Story: part 2 Dec 17, 1985 Harlem's Apollo Theater has been the ultimate testing ground for every black American performer from Duke Ellington to Michael Jackson. Tonight Arena continues its celebration of the Apollo's 50th anniversary. With uncharacteristic modesty, Little Richard describes his fear of the notoriously tough Apollo audience, while Mary Wilson of the Supremes and Gladys Knight recall life backstage. Amid the upheavals of Harlem in the 60s, Solomon Burke and 'Mr Apollo ' himself, James Brown , explain how they took themselves out of the church and on to the stage and renamed it soul. And finally Nile Rodgers. producer of David Bowie and Madonna, and veteran of the Apollo house band, presents the aspirations of the Apollo today.

Not Available
Season 1985, Episode 30 The Apollo Story: part one

S1985 E30

Dec 10, 1985
view more

The Apollo Story: part one Dec 10, 1985 The list of artists who have performed at Harlem's Apollo Theater reads like a Who's Who of black American entertainment. No black performer, from Sammy Davis Jr to Charlie Parker , could be considered a star without conquering the Apollo's tough, sophisticated audience. Tonight and next week Arena celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo. But it is more than the story of a single venue. It is the story of Harlem itself and the struggles and triumphs of - black America. Tonight's programme begins with the Apollo's infancy, when Bill (Bojangles) Robinson tapped effortlessly to the music of Fats Waller , and royalty like Count Basie and Duke Ellington held court. Honi Coles and the Copasetics, and former chorus girls the Swinging Seniors, re-create the famous dance routines, and Lionel Hampton recalls when the audience went so wild, the upper balcony cracked. After the war, bebop changed the face of jazz. The anarchy of the Dizzy Gillespie Band mirrored the social changes taking place outside the Apollo's doors, and the theatre shook, rattled and rolled to the R&B pioneers like Louis Jordan and Joe Turner.

Not Available