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)





[08/26/16 - 03:00 PM]
New FOX Series "Pitch" and the Los Angeles Dodgers to Host "Take Your Daughter to a Game" Day at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, September 4
After the game, fans will have the exclusive chance to watch the series premiere on the Dodgers' DiamondVision screen.

[08/26/16 - 02:11 PM]
Video: Watch the All-New Promo from the Explosive Season Three Premiere of "Empire!"
The drama returns in Season Three, as the battle continues for the Soul of Empire.

[08/26/16 - 01:59 PM]
Post-Olympic "Voice" Jumps 2.5 Million Viewers in Live + 3, Biggest Lift of the Week Across All Networks
NBC further spins the numbers for the week of August 15-21.

[08/26/16 - 11:10 AM]
Hallmark Channel's "Chesapeake Shores" Increases Viewership with Episode Two
The Hallmark Channel spins the numbers for the week of August 15-21.

[08/26/16 - 10:06 AM]
Passion Becomes a Practice for Future Veterinarians as Animal Planet Premieres "Life at Vet U"
The six-part series premieres Saturday, October 1 at 10:00/9:00c.

[08/26/16 - 10:00 AM]
E!'s "Fashion Police" Returns to Cover the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards Monday, August 29th at 8:00PM ET/PT
Co-hosts Melissa Rivers, Giuliana Rancic and Brad Goreski, along with 2016 special co-hosts NeNe Leakes and Margaret Cho, will break down the hottest and most outrageous ensembles from the awards show and after parties.

[08/26/16 - 09:19 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Tops Demos with NFL Preseason
The Peacock continues its win streak among adults 18-49.

[08/26/16 - 09:00 AM]
Production Begins and New Casting Announced on Freeform's New Comedy Pilot "Alone Together" from the Team at The Lonely Island
Esther Povitsky, Benji Aflalo and Eben Russell serve as writers and executive producers on the pilot.

[08/26/16 - 08:19 AM]
Video: Hip Hop Rules Thursday Nights This October on WE tv
Get your first look at the new season of "Growing Up Hip Hop" plus the new series "Money Power Respect."

[08/26/16 - 06:01 AM]
Netflix Releases Key Art for "Chef's Table: France"
The four special episodes are dedicated to four of the world's most renowned French chefs and will all premiere globally on September 2.

[08/25/16 - 02:27 PM]
"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" Premieres New Season From Las Vegas on Monday, September 12
Las Vegas has become one of the premier entertainment capitals of the world, and beginning this fall, "Millionaire" will originate from its new production home at Bally's Las Vegas.

[08/25/16 - 02:25 PM]
FOX Brings Live MLS Matches Alongside NFL Coverage For First Match Ever
The network will feature two MLS matches airing live adjacent to regional National Football League broadcasts as part of a joint MLS and NFL lineup on Sunday, September 18.

[08/25/16 - 01:04 PM]
A&E Network Premieres Two-Hour Documentary Ahead of the 20th Anniversary of JonBenet Ramsey's Brutal Murder
A&E reveals never-before-seen case details, including Burke Ramsey's 1998 interview tape detailing his first-hand account of the events at that time.

[08/25/16 - 11:50 AM]
Ann Coulter, Jewel, Ralph Macchio, Nikki Glaser Added to #LoweRoast Roster
They'll join Jimmy Carr, Pete Davidson, Peyton Manning, Rob Riggle, Jeff Ross and Roast Master David Spade.

[08/25/16 - 11:48 AM]
Emmy-Nominated NFL Network Series "Undrafted" Returns September 13
This season, "Undrafted" expands to eight, one-hour episodes airing Tuesdays at 8:00/7:00c on NFL Network.