Arena Season 2014
S2014 E01Mar 20, 2014
Whatever Happened to Spitting Image? Mar 20, 2014 Reuniting the founding creative team, this documentary tells the vexed and frequently hilarious story of the genesis of the satirical puppet show Spitting Image, with exclusive contributions from caricaturists Peter Fluck and Roger Law and TV producer John Lloyd.Spanning the early years of Margaret Thatcher's government to the end of John Major's, Spitting Image puppets became almost as famous as the politicians they lampooned. In 2000, the puppets were auctioned off at Sotheby's and in the course of the programme the team sets out to discover where they now reside and who is taking care of them in their old age.Revealing the extraordinary technical achievement of the series, Arena meets the caricaturists, puppet-mould makers, designers, puppeteers, impressionists, writers and directors who worked tirelessly to ensure the show landed its weekly jibes and punches at the politicians, royals and celebrities of the day.Tracing its journey to our televisions screens through 12 years of huge audience figures and weekly controversy to its eventual demise, the film asks what Spitting Image got right, where it went wrong and whether its absence since 1996 has left a hole in the schedules that has yet to be filled by modern broadcasting.
S2014 E02Feb 15, 2013
The Brian Epstein Story: The Sun Will Shine Tomorrow Feb 15, 2013 First in a two-part documentary examining the turbulent life and career of Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Gay when homosexuality was illegal, a gambler, shopkeeper and failed actor, he was also pop king with a Midas touch who, in the 60s, was as well known as the band he managed.
S2014 E03Feb 15, 2013
The Brian Epstein Story: Tomorrow Never Knows Feb 15, 2013 Part two of the documentary on Beatles manager Brian Epstein. By the mid 60s, Epstein was lured into the world of gambling, sex and drugs and in 1967 he was found dead in his London mansion at the age of 32.
S2014 E04Jun 19, 2014
The 50 Year Argument - The New York Review of Books Jun 19, 2014 The 50 Year Argument is Martin Scorsese's latest film, co-directed with his longtime documentary collaborator David Tedeschi. It charts literary, political and cultural history as per the New York Review of Books, America's leading journal of ideas since 1963. The film weaves rare archive material, interviews and writing by icons such as James Baldwin and Gore Vidal into original verite footage, filmed in the Review's Greenwich Village offices with longtime editor Robert Silvers.
S2014 E05Apr 2, 2014
The National Theatre - Learning Zone Apr 2, 2014 Made specially for schools, this version of the BBC Four Arena programme examines the history and purpose of the National Theatre as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. A compilation of short films explores not only how the National Theatre came about, but also looks at its relevance today.Short films on Othello and Hamlet, using both rehearsal and performance footage, consider how the National Theatre takes a contemporary approach to Shakespeare's work.The importance of attracting new audiences is explored in a short film about Frankenstein. Using rehearsal and performance footage from their version of Frankenstein, the film also considers how they take a classic text to create theatrical events aimed at attracting young audiences.There is also a film about the staging of This House, a political, historically accurate play that turns a mirror on contemporary politics. James Graham explains how he researched and wrote the play.