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)





[05/20/18 - 08:55 AM]
Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Keeps Demo Crown with NHL Playoffs
The Peacock wins the night among adults 18-49 while CBS is the most-watched broadcaster overall.

[05/20/18 - 08:43 AM]
Second-Highest Rated NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 3 Ever on ESPN
ESPN spins the numbers for Saturday, May 19.

[05/19/18 - 08:36 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: FOX Tops Demo Race with "MasterChef Junior" Finale
The network takes home the adults 18-49 crown while CBS is the most-watched among the broadcasters.

[05/18/18 - 05:21 PM]
ABC News Announces Two-Hour Prime-Time Television Event, "The Last Days of Michael Jackson," Airing Thursday, May 24, on ABC
ABC News profiles one of the most influential artists of all time through interviews with the people he knew alongside never-before-seen video from interviews he did with ABC News anchors Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer.

[05/18/18 - 03:06 PM]
Video: Showtime(R) Debuts Trailer for "Just Another Immigrant"
The 10-episode, half-hour series will air back-to-back episodes on Fridays beginning on June 8 at 9:00/8:00c.

[05/18/18 - 01:37 PM]
TV One to Premiere Season 13 of the Award-Winning Series "Unsung" on Sunday, May 20 at 9 P.M. ET/8C
Upcoming episodes focus on hip-hop artists Special Ed and Digable Planets, songstresses Cheryl Pepsii Riley, Regina Belle, 702 and Michel'le, blues pioneer B.B. King, and R&B crooner Will Downing.

[05/18/18 - 12:12 PM]
Video: Netflix Releases All New Trailer & Key Art for "The Break with Michelle Wolf," Every Sunday Beginning May 27th
Wolf shares a first look of what's to come each week with this trailer: sketches, guests, and jokes Michelle could only get away with on Netflix.

[05/18/18 - 12:08 PM]
Warner Bros. Animation Brings Back Iconic Characters in "ThunderCats Roar"
"ThunderCats Roar" boasts fresh and vibrant character designs along with a dynamic storytelling tone that promises to reignite the passionate fanbase of these iconic characters and introduce the legacy of Thundera to a whole new generation.

[05/18/18 - 10:51 AM]
DreamWorks Animation Television and Netflix Reveal Cast for All-New Original Series "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power"
Aimee Carrero, Karen Fukuhara, Marcus Scribner, AJ Michalka, Lorraine Toussaint, Reshma Shetty, Christine Woods, Jordan Fisher, Vella Lovell, Merit Leighton, Lauren Ash, Genesis Rodriguez and Sandra Oh are all on tap.

[05/18/18 - 10:38 AM]
Jason Aldean, James Bay, Big Sean, Florence + the Machine, Halsey, Dua Lipa, Season 13 Winner Chloe Kohanski and More to Perform on "Voice" Finale
Additionally, the season finale will feature special musical collaborations with the Top 4 finalists, which will be announced soon.

[05/18/18 - 10:02 AM]
FremantleMedia North America to Bring Michelangelo to Hulu with Award-Winning Writer Richard Mason
The series will detail the life of the brilliant and troubled artist, told through a modern lens that delves into the sexuality, relationships, alliances and betrayals in the volatile world of 16th Century Florence.

[05/18/18 - 09:11 AM]
Netflix Inaugurates Jennifer Aniston and Tig Notaro as "First Ladies"
Netflix announced a new film starring Jennifer Aniston as President of the United States and Tig Notaro as The First Lady.

[05/18/18 - 09:01 AM]
"Teen Choice 2018" Airs Live Sunday, August 12, on FOX
The annual event will return for its 20th consecutive year on the network.

[05/18/18 - 08:48 AM]
Khalid and Normani Team Up for the Pepsi(R) Generations Summer Performance of Their Hit Single "Love Lies" at the "2018 Billboard Music Awards" on NBC
They will join previously announced performances from BTS, Camila Cabello, Kelly Clarkson, Ariana Grande, John Legend, Dua Lipa, Jennifer Lopez, Shawn Mendes and Christina Aguilera, featuring Demi Lovato.

[05/18/18 - 08:24 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC, "Grey's Anatomy" Claim Demo Crown
The Alphabet's drama finales inch past CBS's mix of repeats and originals last night.