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)









[08/03/15 - 10:00 AM]
Syfy and Universal Cable Productions Announce Start of Production for "Hunters"
The series stars Nathan Phillips as Flynn, a headstrong Baltimore FBI agent with a dark past trying to piece together the disappearance of his wife.

[08/03/15 - 10:00 AM]
"Ferrell Takes the Field" to Screen Sept. 5 at Petco Park in San Diego, One Week Before the Comedy Special Debuts on HBO
As part of Baseball Night in San Diego, all fans in attendance at that night's game will have the opportunity to stay and watch the screening.

[08/03/15 - 08:43 AM]
ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" Delivers Strong Numbers for Mets-Nationals
ESPN spins the numbers for Sunday, August 2.

[08/03/15 - 08:39 AM]
ABC Ranks No. 1 on Sunday in Adults 18-49
ABC spins the numbers for Sunday, August 2.

[08/03/15 - 08:38 AM]
Sunday's Broadcast Ratings: "Big Brother" Holds Off "Bachelor in Paradise" Return
CBS and ABC however split the adults 18-49 crown last night.

[08/03/15 - 08:31 AM]
"American Ninja Warrior" Rebroadcast Ties for #1 Among the Big 4 Networks in Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54
NBC spins the numbers for Sunday, August 2.

[08/03/15 - 08:02 AM]
NBCUniversal Celebrates One Year Out from 2016 Rio Olympics on August 5
NBCUniversal will celebrate the occasion with a host of promotional and editorial initiatives that span the company's unprecedented portfolio of broadcast, cable, digital, regional, local, radio, and theme park assets.

[08/03/15 - 07:51 AM]
ESPN Signs Award-Winning Senior News Correspondent Jeremy Schaap To Long-Term Extension
Schaap, who joined ESPN full-time in 1994, will continue to serve as a correspondent for ESPN's award-winning, prime-time newsmagazine "E:60."

[08/03/15 - 07:36 AM]
Crown Media Family Networks and Ford Motor Company Announce Hallmark Channel to Be a Key 2015 Broadcast Partner of Ford Warriors in Pink(R)
The multi-faceted on- and off-air buy centers primarily around Season 3 of the network's original scripted series, "Cedar Cove."

[08/03/15 - 07:07 AM]
"Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church" to Make Its World Television Premiere on Showtime(R)
The film chronicles his largest ever U.S. performance at the massive Atlanta Pop Music Festival in July 1970 with never-before-seen concert footage of the icon in action.

[08/03/15 - 06:03 AM]
Country Star Brett Eldredge Is the First Celebrity Judge Tapped for the 95th Anniversary Broadcast of Miss America
"I get to judge Miss America. Are you kidding me?!" said Eldredge. "Talk about a dream come true! I can't wait to be a part of this."

[08/02/15 - 08:50 AM]
Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: "Celebrity Family Feud" Repeats Power Demo Victory for ABC
The Alphabet leads the night among adults 18-49.

[08/02/15 - 08:36 AM]
"Aquarius" Grows by 50% Week to Week in Adult 18-49 for Its Top Rating to Date Among Three Saturday Telecasts
NBC spins the numbers for Saturday, August 1.

[08/01/15 - 11:35 AM]
2015 PBS Arts Fall Festival Celebrates Fifth Anniversary Season
The 2015 PBS Arts Fall Festival returns October 9 at 9:00/8:00c, celebrating its fifth season, with eight new weekly programs.

[08/01/15 - 11:25 AM]
Disney's "Descendants" Waves Magic Ratings Wand for Disney Channel with 6.6 Million Total Viewers
Disney Channel spins the numbers for Friday, July 31.