Dir. Matthew Percival
“Christopher Nupen – Listening Through the Lens” – Matthew Percival’s documentary about the pioneering film director, who founded one of the first independent (television) production companies in the 1960s, at the dawn of the music documentary era. Seizing upon the emerging silent camera technology and his unique access to a golden generation of artists, he filmed classical music in a completely new and intimate way. In the film, Nupen reflects on musicians and composers, spanning more than 50 years. He is joined by leading figures in music (Daniel Barenboim, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniil Trifonov, John Williams, Evgeny Kissin and Pinchas Zukerman) and broadcasting (David Attenborough, David Elstein, Michael Grade and Melvyn Bragg) who share their insight of a unique chapter in the history of music on television. “Listening Through The Lens” cherry-picks from Nupen’s best work from 1966 to 2017. When he started, he instinctively blended documentary and musical performance, to create a new genre of film. He filmed musicians at close quarters on stage, in their natural environment, where they have most to offer. A musician himself, Nupen’s musical friends were among the most renowned artists of the 20th and 21st century. As his experience grew, he tackled musical ideas and the lives of the great composers (such as Schubert, Sibelius, Paganini, Tchaikovsky or Brahms). The Oxford philosopher and historian, Sir Isaiah Berlin, described Nupen’s films as being “at just about the highest level which television is capable of reaching”.
Featuring: Christopher Nupen. Daniel Barenboim, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniil Trifonov, John Williams, Evgeny Kissin, Pinchas Zukerman, David Attenborough, David Elstein, Michael Grade, Melvyn Bragg, Jacqueline du Pré, Andrés Segovia
“Christopher Nupen – Listening Through the Lens”
Director Matthew Percival
Narrator: Stephen Fry Length 90 min Production: Allegro Films for BBC, 2021