Bright Lights, Brilliant Minds: A Tale of Three Cities - 2014

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presented Dr. James Fox

BBC Arts

Dr James Fox tells the story of three cities in three exceptional years - cities whose artists and thinkers, writers and musicians set the world on a new course.

 

Episode 1

Dr James Fox tells the story of Vienna in 1908, a city of amazing creativity and dangerous tension. This was the year Gustav Klimt painted his masterpiece The Kiss, Sigmund Freud revealed the Oedipus complex, Egon Schiele produced startling pictures of humanity stripped to the bare essentials and both music and architecture took a bold step in a radical new direction. But it was also the year a struggling young artist named Adolf Hitler arrived in the city, a year that would put Vienna and Europe on the road to destruction.

 

Episode 2 

Dr James Fox tells the story of Paris in 1928. It was a city that attracted people dreaming of a better world after World War I. This was the year when the surrealists Magritte, Dali and Bunuel brought their bizarre new vision to the people, and when emigre writers and musicians such as Ernest Hemingway and George Gershwin came looking for inspiration.

Paris in 1928 was where black musicians and dancers like Josephine Baker found adulation, where Cole Porter took time off from partying to write Let's Do It, and where radical architect Le Corbusier planned a modernist utopia that involved pulling down much of Paris itself. 

 

Episode 3

Dr James Fox tells the story of New York in 1951, where the world we know today was born. This was the year when Jackson Pollock brought a new dynamism to American painting, when the dazzling jazz style known as bebop hit its stride and when Jack Kerouac defined the Beat Generation with his book On the Road. It was where a young Marlon Brando took cinema by storm, a dapper Brit named David Ogilvy reinvented advertising and modern television arrived with the triumphant debut of a show called I Love Lucy.