or


[12/03/10 - 08:07 AM]
HBO2 Documentary "Top Ten Monks" Debuts Dec. 22
The film track the story of "a small group of Cistercian monks in Austria made music history recently when their album of Gregorian chant climbed England's pop charts."

[via press release from HBO]

"TOP TEN MONKS" TELLS THE STORY OF CISTERCIAN MONKS WHOSE RECORDINGS OF GREGORIAN CHANT MADE THEM AN INTERNATIONAL MUSIC SENSATION WHEN THE DOCUMENTARY DEBUTS DEC. 22 ON HBO2

They rise at 4:30 every morning. They pray more than six hours a day. They've devoted their lives to God. And they're pop stars.

A small group of Cistercian monks in Austria made music history recently when their album of Gregorian chant climbed England's pop charts, landing in the Top Ten for two months and selling more than a million copies worldwide. Directed by Dana Perry (HBO's "Boy Interrupted"), the documentary TOP TEN MONKS takes an unprecedented look at the daily lives of these unlikely celebrities, who rarely allow cameras inside their walls, when it debuts WEDNESDAY, DEC. 22 (8:00-8:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO2.

Other HBO2 playdates: Dec. 25 (6:30 p.m.) and Jan. 2 (8:00 a.m.), 7 (6:00 a.m.), 19 (9:00 p.m.), 22 (8:00 a.m.) and 31 (11:30 a.m.)

The story of the monks' success began when Universal Music noticed an increase in back catalogue sales of Gregorian chant, and placed ads in notable Catholic newspapers searching for the most beautiful sacred voices. Father Karl of Stift Heiligenkreuz Abbey, a 12th-century monastery near Vienna, sent the company a link to a website and a YouTube video of the monks' singing, which Tom Lewis, artist development manager at Universal, calls "some of the most beautiful Gregorian chant we heard."

Sung in Latin, the official language of the Roman Catholic Church, Gregorian chant is composed in a free musical rhythm that rises and falls in accord with the inner meaning of each piece. The peaceful and otherworldly - to some ears "eerie" - tonality of Gregorian chant, and its free rhythm, make it the perfect musical form for unfolding the meaning of the sacred texts that are sung in it.

While a monk's primary activity is prayer, which the monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz have engaged in for 900 years, TOP TEN MONKS dives deeply into their everyday lives, dispelling misconceptions about life in a monastery. Rather than a place of constriction and monotony, Stift Heiligenkreuz Abbey enables the monks to strive for lives that are open and calm, healthy and happy. These monks are fully engaged in the modern world, using technologies such as cell phones and the Internet, as well as running a number of businesses, including a gas station and a sawmill.

Their sudden celebrity finds them in the headlines and on TV, but the monks are not inspired by money or fame, believing that for many people, Gregorian chant are an escape from and an answer to the pressures of modern life. Father Karl explains, "The music not only calms, it also gives strength. It has an emotional dimension. It is joy and fear, praise and mourning, jubilation and thanksgiving." He also believes that many people "find it interesting, cool and exotic when they see monks in long white robes, praying together and singing in Latin."

Explaining the monks' popularity, Tom Lewis says, "There's a lot of people out there whose musical appetites aren't necessarily being served by popular culture. And when something fresh comes along, the appetite for it is incredibly strong."

Dana Perry is a noted documentary filmmaker whose HBO documentary "Boy Interrupted" premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. She also executive produced the four-part documentary series "Sex: The Revolution." With husband and partner Hart Perry, she previously produced and directed "The Drug Years" (2006), a four-hour documentary exploration of illicit drugs and popular culture. Nominated for two IDA Awards and a Prism Award, "The Drug Years" received a Cine Golden Eagle, Telly Award and High Times "Stony" Award, and was exhibited at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

TOP TEN MONKS is a Perry Films Production; produced and directed by Dana Perry; director of photography, Hart Perry; original score, Michael Bacon; senior editor, Jennifer McGarrity; editor, Alyse Ardell Spiegel. For HBO: senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.





  [december 2010]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
   


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)





[06/25/16 - 08:55 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Wins Low Key Demo Race
ABC, NBC and CBS all finish within a few ticks among adults 18-49.

[06/25/16 - 08:27 AM]
Women's Gymnastics Championship Grows 80% Vs. Year-Ago Saturday Telecast
NBC spins the numbers for Friday, June 24.

[06/24/16 - 02:59 PM]
Netflix Announces Premiere Date for "Haters Back Off"
All eight episodes of will premiere globally on October 14 at 12:01am PST exclusively on Netflix.

[06/24/16 - 02:08 PM]
TLC Brings Back "A Baby Story" in a Whole New Way
TLC reinvented "A Baby Story" by bringing a live birth to Facebook in an unprecedented event early this morning with "A Baby Story Live."

[06/24/16 - 12:03 PM]
Travel Channel's "Expedition Unknown" Posts Highest-Rated Episode of Second Season
Travel Channel spins the numbers for Wednesday, June 22.

[06/24/16 - 11:23 AM]
Video: HBO's "High Maintenance" Tease & Photo - Debuts this Fall
The half-hour comedy series follows a Brooklyn pot dealer who delivers to clients with neuroses as diverse as the city.

[06/24/16 - 11:08 AM]
James Earl Joins "Scream Queens" in the Series Regular Role of "Candy Striper"
Set in a hospital, where some of the most fascinating and bizarre medical cases are under observation, Earl is one of the new male leads opposite recently announced Emmy Award nominee John Stamos and Taylor Lautner.

[06/24/16 - 10:51 AM]
Hulu's Fall 2016 Slate
The streaming service confirms dates for "The Mindy Project" (October 4), "Chance" (October 19), "Shut Eye" (December 7) and more!

[06/24/16 - 09:30 AM]
"Good Witch" Season Finale Delivers Hallmark Channel's Highest-Rated and Most-Watched Episode of the Season
The Hallmark Channel further spins the numbers for Sunday, June 19.

[06/24/16 - 09:01 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: "Big Brother" Sparks CBS Victory
The Eye claims the top spot in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[06/24/16 - 08:32 AM]
Third Season of Emmy-Nominated Amazon Original Series "Annedroids" is Now Available on Prime Video
The series spotlights, through trial and error, how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can inspire children to do great things.

[06/24/16 - 08:23 AM]
Queen Latifah and Flavor Unit Tap Actor Anthony Anderson to Reveal "The Best Place To Be" in New Travel Channel Series
The series follows Hollywood's hottest A-List celebrities as they share the best places to eat, drink, shop and sightsee at their most favorite international destinations.

[06/24/16 - 07:30 AM]
VH1's Hit Series "Basketball Wives LA" Returns Sunday July 17th at 9:00 PM ET/PT
Returning cast members include Shaunie O'Neal, Tami Roman, Jackie Christie, Malaysia Pargo, Brandi Maxiell and Angel Brinks.

[06/24/16 - 07:19 AM]
NBA Superstar LeBron James and Business Partner Maverick Carter Draft a Winning Lineup for New CNBC Series "Cleveland Hustles"
The series teams four successful Cleveland business leaders with local entrepreneurs looking for an investment to launch their own brick-and-mortar stores.

[06/23/16 - 05:44 PM]
CBS to Encore "American Gothic" Series Premiere This Sunday
Said rebroadcast will replace the previously announced repeat of "Elementary" at 10:00/9:00c.