Arena Season 2019
S2019 E00Apr 6, 2019
Unstoppable: Sean Scully and the Art of Everything Apr 6, 2019 A year in the life of abstract artist Sean Scully, one of the world's wealthiest painters. Little known at home but a superstar abroad, Sean flies around the world to open 15 major museum exhibitions - a journey that also reveals his extraordinary life story. Now, at the age of 73, Scully opens up about his unique experiences spanning 55 years in an often hostile art world. He explains how he built a reputation from nothing - he grew up penniless on the streets of Dublin and London and was often homeless as a child, running with street gangs as a teenager - to turn his striped paintings into the huge success they are today.
S2019 E00Sep 1, 2019
Kusama: Infinity Sep 1, 2019 Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama’s work pushed boundaries that often alienated her from her peers and those in power in the art world. Kusama was an underdog with everything stacked against her: the trauma of growing up in Japan during World War II, life in a dysfunctional family that discouraged her creative ambitions, sexism and racism in the art establishment, and mental illness. Kusama overcame countless odds to bring her radical vision to the world stage and created a legacy of artwork that spans the disciplines of painting, sculpture, performance art, film and literature. Born in 1929, Kusama still creates new work every day. Her Infinity Mirror Room installations, the first of which was created in 1965, continue to attract visitors in record numbers.
S2019 E00Jul 28, 2019
Cindy Sherman #untitled Jul 28, 2019 Cindy Sherman is one of the world’s leading contemporary artists. She is also notoriously elusive. So, it is a coup for Arena to get this in-depth and revealing audio interview with her. An exuberant weave of art and archive gives us a rare insight into one of the most influential artists alive today.
S2019 E00Jul 7, 2019
That Summer Jul 7, 2019 The film project that artist Peter Beard initiated together with Jackie Kennedy’s sister, Lee Radziwill, about her relatives, the Beales of Grey Gardens. Lost for decades, this extraordinary footage focuses on Beard and his family of friends, who formed a vibrant and profoundly influential creative community in Montauk, Long Island in the 1970s. Featuring Peter Beard, Lee Radziwill, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and Andy Warhol.
S2019 E10Dec 30, 2019
Seamus Heaney and the Music of What Happens Dec 30, 2019 Born into a farming family in rural Northern Ireland, Seamus Heaney became the finest poet of his generation and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995, but his career coincided with one of the bloodiest political upheavals of the 20th century, the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Six years after Heaney's death in 2013, his wife Marie and his children talk about their family life and read some of the poems he wrote for them, and for the first time his four brothers remember their childhood and the shared experiences that inspired many of his finest poems.
S2019 E10Sep 22, 2019
Bergman: A Year in the Life Sep 22, 2019 Documentary that exposes a darker, less well-known side of film director Ingmar Bergman. Focusing on 1957, a landmark year in which Bergman directed two films and four plays, Jane Magnusson explores not only the director’s filmography but also his, at times, complex and turbulent personal life. Using a wealth of previously unseen archive material, contemporary interviews and a fantastic selection of clips from Ingmar Bergman’s vast body of work, this is a fascinating and unflinching study of one of the giants of world cinema
S2019 E10Nov 4, 2019
A British Guide to the End of the World Nov 4, 2019 A haunting film about Britain and the nuclear age, from the first bomb tests to our potentially futile preparations for attack during the Cold War. Framed by Britain's mission to build the bomb, A British Guide to the End of the World uses extraordinary unseen archive and exclusive testimonies from people directly involved in our nuclear story, from conscripted soldiers attending the early nuclear tests in the South Pacific to servicemen, volunteers and civil servants involved in the planning of how we might have managed in the event of a nuclear catastrophe. Accompanied by an atmospheric score, the film features classified footage, hidden for decades, as well as television reports and government information videos that retain the spirit of Cold War paranoia. Horrifying, absurd and at times achingly poignant, the film recaptures a time of stockpiled paranoia that left a generation traumatised.
S2019 E10Nov 10, 2019
Everything Is Connected - George Eliot's Life Nov 10, 2019 Contemporary artist Gillian Wearing celebrates the legacy of Victorian novelist George Eliot. Just as Eliot's novel Middlemarch explored the lives of ordinary men and women, this experimental film is made up of a diverse cast of people from different backgrounds.
S2019 E10Sep 23, 2019
The $50 Million Art Swindle Sep 23, 2019 This feature-length documentary for Arena by acclaimed director Vanessa Engle tells the remarkable story of a charlatan art dealer who swindled over $50 million from the art establishment before going on the run. Michel Cohen, a popular and charming New York art dealer was originally from France. A high school drop-out from a poor background, Cohen was a self-invented man who went on to become a rich and successful art dealer, with homes in Malibu and New York. Throughout the 1990s, he sold paintings by artists such as Picasso, Monet and Chagall to America’s wealthiest elite. Cohen was living the high life until he began trading recklessly in the stock market and ran up considerable debts. In an attempt to recoup his losses, he swindled private collectors, auction houses and other art dealers out of more than $50 million. When his swindles were discovered, he fled the USA with his wife and two small children and went on the run. In 2003, he was found by Interpol in Brazil and was imprisoned in Rio de Janeiro, but seven months later, whilst awaiting extradition to the USA, he escaped from prison and vanished off the face of the earth. Sixteen years later, filmmaker Vanessa Engle has managed to track him down and persuade him to tell his extraordinary story - a highly entertaining crime caper that is also a rich exploration of greed, motive and morality.