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)





[11/22/17 - 08:13 AM]
Tuesday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC, "This Is Us" Hold Off ABC, "DWTS" Finale
The Peacock wins the night among adults 18-49 while CBS is the most-watched broadcaster.

[11/22/17 - 06:30 AM]
Video: Watch the Trailer for the Netflix Film "El Camino Christmas," Launching December 8
Tim Allen, Vincent D'Onofrio, Luke Grimes, Dax Shepard, Jessica Alba, Kurtwood Smith and Michelle Mylett make up the ensemble cast.

[11/22/17 - 06:06 AM]
Amazon and Funny or Die Land Parade Powerhouse Legends Cord Hosenbeck and Tish Cattigan as Hosts for Amazon Prime Video's 2018 Rose Parade Live
Said event will stream live on Amazon Prime Video on New Year's Day, Monday, January 1, 2018 at 8:00am PT / 11:00am ET.

[11/21/17 - 08:01 PM]
A Special All-Athletes Edition of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" Is Set to Premiere in Spring 2018 on ABC
10 athletes from all corners of the sports world will be teamed up with the show's professional dancers and compete on the ballroom floor for a chance to win the coveted Mirrorball trophy.

[11/21/17 - 12:43 PM]
"Antiques Roadshow" Appraiser Brings Guest to Tears in Stunning Season Opener!
Season 22 rolls out Monday, January 8 at 8:00/7:00c on PBS.

[11/21/17 - 12:07 PM]
The CW's Midseason Finale Dates
"Riverdale" and "Dynasty" will close out the network's 2017 originals on Wednesday, December 13.

[11/21/17 - 12:00 PM]
"Little Women: Atlanta" Returns with New Episodes on December 13th Followed by the Premiere of the Home Makeover Series "Little Women: Terra's Big House"
"Little Women: LA's Terra Jole and her husband Joe star in the latter series.

[11/21/17 - 11:50 AM]
Oxygen Media Uncovers Infamous Crimes in "Mysteries & Scandals" Hosted by Soledad O'Brien Premiering Friday, January 5 at 9 PM ET/PT
The 13 episode, hour-long series investigates some of the most legendary and intriguing crimes, murders, and scandals that shook the nation and impacted pop culture through vivid first-hand accounts, re-enactments and archival footage.

[11/21/17 - 11:30 AM]
FOX Announces Premiere Dates for "LA to Vegas" and "The Resident"
Plus: the network reveals return dates for the rest of its winter lineup.

[11/21/17 - 11:09 AM]
OWN Rings in the New Year with the Series Premiere of Tyler Perry's Comedy "The Paynes" January 16
Additionally, "The Haves and the Have Nots" and "If Loving You Is Wrong" will return Tuesday, January 9 and Wednesday, January 10, respectively.

[11/21/17 - 10:55 AM]
Smithsonian Channel(TM) Survives Winter's Extremes with "Panama's Animal Highway" and "America's Badlands"
Look for said specials on Wednesday, December 13 and December 20 at 8:00/7:00c, respectively.

[11/21/17 - 10:34 AM]
NBC Picks Up Third Season of "The Good Place"
The critically acclaimed Thursday night comedy will return for another 13-episode season.

[11/21/17 - 09:33 AM]
Stars of Screen, Stage and Sport to Gather in Silicon Valley to Celebrate Science at 6th Annual "Breakthrough Prize" Ceremony Sunday, December 3
For the first time, the show will be streamed live on the Facebook and YouTube platforms of Breakthrough Prize and National Geographic.

[11/21/17 - 09:07 AM]
"Ink Master: Angels" Soar Into a Second Season on Paramount Network
The second season of 10 hour-long episodes will debut on the Paramount Network in March 2018.

[11/21/17 - 08:34 AM]
Monday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Holds Onto Top Spot in Viewers, Demos
"Dancing with the Stars" and "The Good Doctor" top said categories, respectively.