Next Episode of imagine... is
Imagine... is a wide ranging arts series first broadcast on BBC One in 2003, hosted and executive produced by Alan Yentob. Each series usually consists of 4 to 7 episodes, each on a different topic.
2015 was a momentous year for novelist Marlon James. He became the first Jamaican writer to win the Man Booker prize for his magisterial novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, about the events surrounding the attempted assassination of Bob Marley and their aftermath. He also chose to come out as gay in an article for the New York Times - a brave move for a man born in what has been called the world's most homophobic country. Alan Yentob accompanies the charismatic and provocative James back to Jamaica and finds in his three highly praised novels a complex portrait of the turbulent history of his native country.
Alan Yentob joins the South African artist William Kentridge as he prepares an epic frieze along the banks of the River Tiber in Rome. Alan visits him in his hometown of Johannesburg, the inspiration for the magical hand-drawn animated films he calls 'drawings for projection'. Brought up under apartheid, Kentridge has witnessed the fragile transition to a multi-racial democracy, and his art continues to reflect South Africa's turbulent times.
Alan Yentob explores the enthralling world of female crime fiction in the company of some of its best-selling authors, including Patricia Cornwell, Val McDermid and Paula Hawkins - the newcomer whose The Girl on the Train was the breakout hit of 2015. While these writers stand on the shoulders of giants such as Christie, Highsmith, Rendell and PD James, their dark imaginings are more likely to have been nurtured at newsroom crime desks, in mortuaries, piecing bones of murder victims back together and in the bedrooms of modern marriages, where dark thrillers are sparked not by strangers in alleyways but by anxieties and paranoia much closer to home. Why are we so willing to be scared out of our wits, and why are women in particular so attracted to the thrills and comforts of crime fiction?
One of the most provocative and elusive figures in contemporary art finds himself the subject of Maura Axelrod's film. Catapulted to worldwide notoriety in 1999 by The Ninth Hour, a sculpture of Pope John Paul II toppled by a meteorite, Maurizio Cattelan's work has bordered on criminal activity (breaking into a gallery and stealing another artist's work) and regularly defies good taste - Him features Hitler in prayer and sold earlier this year for ú12,000,000. Building his career on evasion, trickery and subversion, Cattelan is perhaps not the most reliable of interviewees, but ex-girlfriends, family members, collectors and dealers build a compelling and intimate portrait of an enigmatic figure.
Stevan Riley's award-winning documentary Listen to Me Marlon uses hundreds of hours of Marlon Brando's own archival audio tapes and home movie footage, combined with excerpts from his extraordinary performances to create an exceptionally emotive and vivid portrayal of a man and actor who was by turns tremendously talented, tenacious and tormented.
Covering the full breadth of his life and career, this is a rare opportunity to experience the notoriously private Marlon Brando's feelings and fears in his own words, in order to see behind the actor's mask and meet the man that was Brando.
In this episode of imagine… Nawal El Saadawi addresses some of the world's biggest challenges in a surprising and personal way.
Imagine presents Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, the first documentary portrait of the trail-blazing activist, poet and writer Maya Angelou. Born in 1928, she enthused generations with her bold and inspirational championing of the African-American experience, pushed boundaries and redefined the way we think about race and culture.
On the eve of International Women's Day, Imagine…presents a portrait of a remarkable artist, Alice Neel.
American painter Alice Neel was an extraordinary and prolific figurative painter, yet spent most of her life working in obscurity, struggling as a single mother to survive.
Alan Yentob follows the celebrated Turner Prize-winning British artist Chris Ofili as he creates a spectacular contemporary tapestry - The Caged Bird's Song. Nearly three years in the making, it is a triumph of craft and dedication, transforming Ofili's free-flowing watercolour paintings into vibrant wool on a giant scale. Made with a team of master weavers in Edinburgh, the piece, over seven metres wide and three metres tall, draws together the sights and sounds of tropical Trinidad, where Ofili lives. Imagine explores Ofili's passion for his adopted island home and its inspiration on his creative practice, and reveals the final tapestry as it is installed in an exhibition at the National Gallery in London.
Alan Yentob (Presenter)
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