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Arena

Arena is the BBC's multi award-winning arts strand

Arena Episodes

The Vasulka Effect

Arena - The Vasulka Effect

An exploration of the life and work of video art pioneers Steina and Woody Vasulka. The film examines the artistic processes of the pair and their profound effect on the 1960s N ...

28-11-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

B. Catling: Where Does It All Come From?

Arena - B. Catling: Where Does It All Come From?

An eye-popping insight into the extraordinary, late-flourishing career of maverick artist, teacher and performer Brian Catling RA, whose unique vision and imagination are celebr ...

25-11-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Painted With My Hair

Arena - Painted With My Hair

Painted with My Hair is inspired by the paintings, poetry and letters of Donny Johnson, an exceptionally intelligent and talented US lifer, who has been locked away inside his c ...

31-10-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Dylan Thomas: From Grave To Cradle

Arena - Dylan Thomas: From Grave To Cradle

Author and broadcaster Nigel Williams examines the work and the legend of one of the most famous poets of the 20th century, Dylan Thomas.\n\nBorn in 1914, Dylan Thomas was an un ...

10-10-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

I Am Not Your Negro

Arena - I Am Not Your Negro

Narrated entirely in the words of James Baldwin, through both personal appearances and the text of his final unfinished book project, this film touches on the lives and assassin ...

03-10-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Remember The Secret Policeman's Ball?

Arena - Remember The Secret Policeman's Ball?

A celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Secret Policeman's Ball in aid of Amnesty International. Many of Britain's finest comedians, including John Cleese, Sir Bo ...

21-09-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Cindy Sherman #untitled

Arena - Cindy Sherman #untitled

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 inte ...

12-09-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

The Everly Brothers: Songs Of Innocence And Experience

Arena - The Everly Brothers: Songs Of Innocence And Experience

The Everly Brothers were among the most successful and revered of all the giants of early rock 'n' roll. A determining influence on the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel an ...

10-09-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

The Everly Brothers Reunion Concert

Arena - The Everly Brothers Reunion Concert

In the autumn of 1983, the Everly Brothers played their legendary reunion concerts in London. Of all the venues in the world, they chose the Royal Albert Hall because they had t ...

10-09-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Agatha Christie - Unfinished Portrait

Arena - Agatha Christie - Unfinished Portrait

Profile celebrating the centenary of the famous author Agatha Christie’s birth. Looking at her life, her character and the key moments in her childhood that influenced her ...

30-08-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Kusama: Infinity

Arena - Kusama: Infinity

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 ...

26-07-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Everything Is Connected - George Eliot's Life

Arena - Everything Is Connected - George Eliot's Life

Contemporary artist Gillian Wearing celebrates the legacy of Victorian novelist George Eliot.\n\nJust as Eliot’s novel Middlemarch explored the lives of ordinary men and w ...

09-06-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Bob Dylan - Trouble No More

Arena - Bob Dylan - Trouble No More

In 1979, Bob Dylan released Slow Train Coming, an album of strictly devotional songs. He declared he had found God in Christianity. For the following two years, accompanied by t ...

28-05-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Delia Derbyshire: The Myths And The Legendary Tapes

Arena - Delia Derbyshire: The Myths And The Legendary Tapes

Docudrama that explores the life and creative output of Coventry born-Delia Derbyshire – electronic musician, sound pioneer and female outsider in postwar Britain. From 19 ...

20-05-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Paris Is Burning

Arena - Paris Is Burning

Where does voguing come from, and what, exactly, is throwing shade? This landmark documentary provides a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s through the eyes of New York City’s ...

24-03-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Desert Island Discs

Arena - Desert Island Discs

A 1982 film made to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roy Plomley's classic radio programme, featuring his successor as presenter, Sue Lawley.

27-01-2021

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Whatever Happened To Spitting Image?

Arena - Whatever Happened To Spitting Image?

Documentary telling the story of the genesis of the satirical puppet show Spitting Image, with contributions from caricaturists Peter Fluck and Roger Law and producer John Lloyd.

24-11-2020

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Fela Kuti: Father Of Afrobeat

Arena - Fela Kuti: Father Of Afrobeat

In 1997, over one million people gathered in Lagos for the funeral of Fela Kuti, Africa’s biggest artist, who gave the world Afrobeat, yet was also a thorn in the side of ...

21-11-2020

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Make Me Up!

Arena - Make Me Up!

A satirical look at the contradictory pressures faced by women today. It examines how television and social media can help us explore identity, at the same time encouraging wome ...

21-07-2020

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Philip Hoare's Guide To Whales: 1. Baleen

Arena - Philip Hoare's Guide To Whales: 1. Baleen

Acclaimed author and whale-watcher Philip Hoare takes us into the world of baleen whales, the largest animals ever to have lived. \n\nWith plates of bristly baleen instead of te ...

05-08-2019

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Stanley And His Daughters

Arena - Stanley And His Daughters

'Children of geniuses tend to have a rather hard time of it. If you're a genius you have to be a bit tough', says Unity Spencer, daughter of Stanley Spencer, one ...

04-08-2019

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Ken Dodd's Happiness

Arena - Ken Dodd's Happiness

A tribute to Liverpudlian comic Ken Dodd, in which he discusses his 50-year career and the influences of his comedy style. Features film clips of his early performances and foo ...

13-04-2019

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Philip Hoare's Guide To Whales: 2. Toothed

Arena - Philip Hoare's Guide To Whales: 2. Toothed

Acclaimed author and whale-watcher Philip Hoare takes us into the world of toothed whales, from the plight of the captive killer whale to the fate of the stranded London whale. ...

24-03-2019

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Jana Bokova's Havana

Arena - Jana Bokova's Havana

1990 documentary. Havana has a dilapidated ruined beauty - decaying grandeur alongside squalor with a string atmosphere of Africa and Old Spain. Despite the political turmoil of ...

11-05-2018

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Cigars - Out Of The Humidor

Arena - Cigars - Out Of The Humidor

Documentary which follows the story of the cigar - from the tobacco fields west of the Cuban capital of Havana into the factories where poetry and daily newspapers are read alou ...

22-04-2018

BBC 4

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BBC 4

My Name Is Celia Cruz

Arena - My Name Is Celia Cruz

The queen of salsa, Celia Cruz has been the most adored and dynamic singer in Latin America for more than four decades. Since she left Cuba at the time of the 1959 revolution wi ...

20-04-2018

BBC 4

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BBC 4

The 50 Year Argument - The New York Review Of Books

Arena - The 50 Year Argument - The New York Review Of Books

Martin Scorsese's documentary film charting literary, political and cultural history as per the New York Review of Books, America's leading journal of ideas since 1963.

29-06-2014

BBC 4

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BBC 4

The National Theatre - Learning Zone

Arena - The National Theatre - Learning Zone

Made especially 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.

17-06-2014

BBC 4

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BBC 4

Frank Sinatra: The Voice Of The Century

Arena - Frank Sinatra: The Voice Of The Century

Arena profiles crooner Frank Sinatra, acknowledged as one of the greatest singers of the 20th century, from his early family background to overwhelming showbusiness success.

05-05-2014

BBC 4

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BBC 4

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