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)





[07/29/14 - 04:58 PM]
Tiger Woods to Appear in First-Ever Exclusive Interview with FOX Sports, Tonight on FOX Sports 1
Woods discussed a range of topics over the course of the conversation, including where he is both mentally and physically at this stage of his return.

[07/29/14 - 03:39 PM]
TV Land Picks Up 10 Episodes of "The Gaffigan Show" Starring Comedian Jim Gaffigan
Ashley Williams, Adam Goldberg and Michael Ian Black also star in the project, which was previously set up at CBS.

[07/29/14 - 02:44 PM]
"Laughs," A Weekly Roundup of the Best Stand-Up Comedy in America, Premieres This Saturday, August 2nd on the Fox Television Stations
Steve Hofstetter hosts the series, which will share the funniest, laugh-out-loud moments from comedy clubs in Los Angeles, Washington DC, New York, Phoenix, Houston, Louisville, Chicago and more!

[07/29/14 - 01:27 PM]
Syfy's "12 Monkeys" to Commence Series Production in Toronto
The network also confirms additional casting, inking Tom Noonan and Emily Hampshire for recurring roles.

[07/29/14 - 12:57 PM]
VH1's "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" Is on Fire! All-New Episode Airing on a Special Night: Thursday, July 30th 8:00 PM ET/PT
Said installment will then encore in its regular time period on Monday, August 4 at 8:00/7:00c.

[07/29/14 - 12:52 PM]
Shawn Doyle Tapped as a Recurring Guest Star in USA Network's Globe-Trotting Espionage Drama "Covert Affairs"
He'll play Aleksandre Belenko, a Georgian diplomat educated in the U.S. and celebrated for his work with charitable organizations worldwide.

[07/29/14 - 12:35 PM]
FXX Sets Premiere Date for "The League" Season 6
The series will return on Wednesday, September 3 at 10:00/9:00c followed by new episodes of "Ali G Rezurection."

[07/29/14 - 12:02 PM]
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers to Perform on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" Thursday, July 31 on ABC
That evening, Kimmel will also welcome actress Kerry Washington from ABC's "Scandal."

[07/29/14 - 11:33 AM]
"The World Dog Awards" Makes Its Television Debut in January, 2015 on The CW
For the first time, dogs will be celebrated for their work in entertainment, health services and the military, along with everyday dogs who found fame on the internet.

[07/29/14 - 10:45 AM]
"Does Someone Have to Go?" Will Air on CNBC on August 20
The short-lived FOX series will rebroadcast on the network beginning on said Wednesday at 9:00/8:00c.

[07/29/14 - 10:34 AM]
NBC's Summer Hit "America's Got Talent" Adds Voting and Instant Save on Google Search Starting Tonight July 29 and 30
The new "Snapple Save" in the results shows completely changes the game in how fans choose the fate of the acts.

[07/29/14 - 10:34 AM]
"Anger Management" Partners with "Partners" Beginning Monday, August 4 on FX
Both Lionsgate-produced comedies will air back-to-back episodes for five consecutive weeks.

[07/29/14 - 10:28 AM]
Original Unscripted Series "Parents Just Don't Understand" to Premiere August 23 on the Hub Network
The unique reality series gives real kids and their parents a chance to find out what it feels like to be in the other person's shoes.

[07/29/14 - 10:25 AM]
American Heroes Channel Celebrates Best July Ever in Prime and Total Day Delivery Among P2+ and HH
American Heroes Channel spins the numbers for the month to date.

[07/29/14 - 10:00 AM]
VH1 Picks Up "Hit the Floor" for a Third Season
Season 3 of VH1's "Hit the Floor" is expected to premiere in May 2015 with 10 new episodes.