As the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, Marie’s wooden nutcracker doll comes to life and transforms into a prince! Soon joined by her other toys that have also come to life, Marie and her prince embark on a dreamy unforgettable adventure.
EXHIBITION ON SCREEN journeys from a superb exhibition at The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, whose extensive collection of Degas’ works is the most representative in Britain, to the streets of Paris. With exclusive access to view rare and diverse works, this film tells the fascinating story of Degas’ pursuit for perfection through both experimentation with new techniques and lessons learnt from studying the past masters.
Sometimes frustrated by his own failings, Degas was consumed by obsessive principles and failing eye sight but his determination to capture everyday life was evident in every mark he made. Never fully satisfied, many of Degas’ drawings and sculptures were kept in private during his lifetime but, now through close examination, they can be seen as some of the most beautifully detailed and expressive works in the modern era. Using written accounts by friends and commentators, and the narration of letters written by Degas himself, this film reveals a more complex truth behind one of the most influential French artists of the late 19th-century and serves as an exploration of the complex workings of Degas’ artistic mind.
“Art is not a matter of what you see, but what you make other people see.” Edgar Degas
1918. As the roar of the First World War cannons is dying out, in Vienna, the heart of Central Europe, a golden age comes to an end. The Austro-Hungarian Empire is beginning to disintegrate. On the night of October 31st, in the bed of his home, Egon Schiele dies, one of the 20 million deaths caused by the Spanish flu. He dies looking at the invisible evil in the face, in the only way he can do: painting it. He is 28 years old. Only a few months earlier, the main hall of the Secession building had welcomed his works: 19 oil paintings and 29 drawings. His first successful exhibition, a celebration of a new painting idea that portrays the restlessness and desires of mankind. A few months earlier, his teacher and friend Gustav Klimt had died. From the turn of the century, he had fundamentally changed the feeling of art and founded a new group: the Secession. The documentary film Klimt & Schiele – Eros and Psyche, will recount this extraordinary season: a magical moment for art, literature, and music, in which new ideas are circulated, Freud discovers the drives of the psyche, and women begin to claim their independence. An age that revealed the abysses of the ego, in which today we’re still reflecting ourselves. other cities, especially Paris and New York are also central.
For the first time at the Met, soprano Anna Netrebko sings the role of Adriana Lecouvreur, the eighteenth-century actress whose real-life intrigues inspired Cilea’s tragic opera. Adriana is adored by many but loves only Maurizio, sung by tenor Piotr Beczała, who adores her in return. Maurizio desperately tries to extricate himself from his previous lover, the Princess of Bouillon— mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili. When the princess discovers that Adriana is her rival, she takes desperate measures of her own. In this new production directed by Sir David McVicar, the action is partially set in a working replica of a baroque theatre. Gianandrea Noseda conducts the riveting score.
Don’t miss this revival of Sir Richard Eyre’s dynamic production. Mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine plays opera’s ultimate seductress, while Roberto Alagna returns to the role of Don José, the good-hearted soldier in whom she unleashes an uncontrollable passion. Don José breaks the law, goes to prison, deserts the army and loses everything to be with Carmen. But the capricious gypsy soon tires of him and takes up instead with the bullfighter Escamillo—bass Alexander Vinogradov. She has ruined his life, but still Don José adores her, with a fierceness that can only lead to catastrophe. Composer Bizet died just three months after Carmen’s disastrous premiere, never knowing that his creation would become one of the most popular operas of all time.
Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads Poulenc’s masterpiece. As the French Revolution begins, shy Blanche, sung by mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, becomes a novice nun under an elderly prioress—Met legend Karita Mattila. Blanche’s aristocratic family flees the Terror, but she remains behind, struggling between her fear of the guillotine and her duty to the convent. When the nuns are expelled from the convent and threatened with death, Blanche must make an agonising decision. In the shattering final scene, the nuns walk towards the guillotine singing Salve Regina: Their voices are cut off, one by one, with each stroke of the blade, until all are silenced. Poulenc’s devastating portrayal of faith and martyrdom is live in HD for the first time.
Puccini’s gunpowder western returns to the stage where it premiered under Arturo Toscanini. Gold Rush, 1849. Bar owner Minnie looks after a crew of rough miners while fending off the unwanted attentions of the local sheriff. When a tall, mysterious stranger walks into the bar, it looks as if her life is about to change. But the newcomer is not what he seems, and Minnie gets drawn into deadly peril. Boasting gunfights, poker games, and stagecoach robbers, La Fanciulla del West combines the action of a great adventure with the emotional punch of Italian opera. Soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek sings the role of the gunslinging heroine, alongside Jonas Kaufmann as the outlaw who steals her heart. Marco Armiliato conducts.
Full of wit and invention, Donizetti’s comic opera is a delight. The famous aria “Ah, Mes Amis,” with its nine high Cs, is one of opera’s most show-stopping numbers. Bel canto stars Pretty Yende and Javier Camarena take on the challenging vocal fireworks in Laurent Pelly’s hilarious staging. Orphaned as a small child and raised by an entire army regiment, the spirited Marie has grown up as the regiment’s ‘daughter’, raising morale and spreading joy. Tonio, a local man, falls in love with her and even joins the army for her sake. But a chance encounter with a noblewoman sparks a sudden revelation, and a tale unfolds of secret identities, long-lost family, and murky pasts.
New Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin launches his tenure by conducting Verdi’s timeless tragedy. Worldly courtesan Violetta, sung by soprano Diana Damrau, has grown tired of her dissolute life. When the pure-hearted Alfredo—tenor Juan Diego Flórez—declares his love for her, she leaves everything behind to live with him. But his family’s reputation is ruined by his association with her, and Violetta is torn between her feelings for Alfredo and her desire to protect him from scandal. Urged by the young man’s father, she tears herself away and returns to her old life. Alfredo, not knowing the real reason for her apparent betrayal, is heartbroken—and bent on revenge. Directed by Michael Mayer, this new production features a dazzling eighteenth-century setting that changes with the seasons.
A young woman lies, cheats, and steals her way through life, propelled by compulsions she can neither control nor understand. A wealthy man catches her red-handed and blackmails her into marrying him. Will the truth about her past send her to jail or set her free? Based on the novel that also inspired Hitchcock’s celebrated thriller, composer Nico Muhly’s Marnie was co-commissioned and co-produced with the English National Opera and receives its U.S. premiere at the Met this season. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard stars in the title role, opposite baritone Christopher Maltman as her husband. Costume design is by Madonna's collaborator of twenty years, Arianne Phillips, who created every item seen on stage in this stylish, vivid production.
FROM THE NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON AND RIJKSMUSEUM, AMSTERDAM
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND
Every Rembrandt exhibition is eagerly anticipated but this major show hosted by London’s National Gallery and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum was an event like no other. Given privileged access to both galleries the film documents this landmark exhibition, whilst interweaving Rembrandt’s life story, with behind-the-scenes preparations at these world famous institutions. Exploring many of the exhibition’s key works, through contributions from specially invited guests including curators and leading art historians, this EXHIBITION ON SCREEN favourite makes a welcome return to the big screen marking the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt's death. For many, Rembrandt is the greatest artist that ever lived and this deeply moving film seeks to explore the truth about the man behind the legend.
"I envy the Japanese" Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo. In the exhibition on which this film is based - VAN GOGH & JAPAN at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam - one can see why. Though Vincent van Gogh never visited Japan it is the country that had the most profound influence on him and his art. One cannot understand Van Gogh without understanding how Japanese art arrived in Paris in the middle of the 19th century and the profound impact it had on artists like Monet, Degas and, above all, Van Gogh.
Visiting the new galleries of Japanese art in Paris and then creating his own image of Japan – through in-depth research, print collecting and detailed discussions with other artists – Van Gogh’s encounter with Japanese artworks gave his work a new and exciting direction. After leaving Paris for the south of France – to what he thought of as near to a kind of Japan as he could find - the productive and yet troubled years that followed must all be seen in the context of Van Gogh bending Japanese influences to his will and defining himself as a modern artist with clear Asian precursors. In this little known story of Van Gogh’s art we see just how important his study of Japan was. The film travels not only to France and the Netherlands but also to Japan to further explore the remarkable heritage that so affected Van Gogh and made him the artist we know of today.
Water Lilies by Monet – the Magic of Water and Light tells the story of the origin of a massive work of art that broke with convention, of an artist resurrecting his life only thanks to painting. His human endeavor defied both space and conventions in his timeless masterpieces. In a war-torn country, the undisputed genius of French Art disrupted the art world and changes it forever. As the end of the First World War drew near it became clear to Monet that his work of art could not but be his final legacy to France: a symbol of peace, hope, and resistance, in a battered and bloody world. This is the tale of an obsession with light and water the painter could not escape from and how he transformed it into a kind of magic. A tale of the radical elements that revolutionized Modern Art: Monet’s clear intent was to transfer onto canvas the “first, pure impression” of forms and objects as they appear to the eye that has never seen them before.
And this documentary will show the Water Lilies by Claude Monet, as they have never been seen before. A unique, exclusive look at the masterpieces housed at the Orangerie Museum, the Marmottan Museum, the Orsay Museum and Giverny, for the first time ever on the big screen for an unrepeatable experience.
Inspired by the international bestseller Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies (2016) written by Ross King, also featured in the film.
Pablo Picasso is one of the greatest artists of all time - and right up until his death in 1973 he was the most prolific of artists. Many films have dealt with these later years - the art, the affairs and the wide circle of friends. But where did this all begin? What made Picasso in the first place? Somewhat overlooked, it is time to look at the early years of Picasso; the upbringing and the learning that led to his extraordinary achievements.
Three cities play a key role: Malaga, Barcelona and Paris. Young Picasso explores the influence of each on the artist, focusing on specific artworks from these early years. The film thus explains how this young artist acquired his craft. Looking carefully at two key early periods - the so-called Blue Period and Rose Period - the film takes us all the way to 1907 and the creation of a key painting in the history of art - Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. It was a painting that shocked the art world but changed it irrevocably. Picasso was only 25 years old. Working closely with all three Picasso Museums in Malaga, Barcelona and Paris this film explains how he rose to such great heights.