Category Archives: New DVD display


Venture to the 2nd floor of Llandaff Library, go to the far end of the book shelves and your trek will be rewarded by the view of thousands of DVDs. Most of these can be borrowed – there is no cost. Many relate to art and design subjects, also there are films aplenty – popular, arthouse, animation, sci fi – and recordings of TV programmes and documentaries.

P1080948P1080949 New additions to the DVD collection this month include:

The Man Who Shot Beautiful Women: a documentary telling the gripping and shocking story of photographer Erwin Blumenfeld who survived two world wars and became one of the world’s most highly paid fashion photographers and a key influence on the development of photography as an art form.

Dewey Eyed by Sarah Naomi Lee starring Olivia Coleman. Philippa is a librarian from a long line of librarians. What can she do, when the Dewey Decimal cataloguing system is the only language her mum understands?

Going Underground: A Culture Show Special. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of London Underground, Alastair Sooke presents a cultural history of the oldest tube network in the world. He follows the progress of a major new artwork for all 270 stations by the leading contemporary artist Mark Wallinger, and shows that art has played an absolutely central role in the identity of the tube.

Moominland Tales: The Life of Tove Jansson. This documentary reveals the strong autobiographical slant in the Moomins series as it traces the author’s own extraordinary story from living the bohemian life of an artist in war-torn Helsinki to becoming a recluse on a remote island in the Gulf of Finland.

Other titles include: Lucien Frued: Painted Life, Rubens: An Extra Large Story and Constable in Love.

Also the BBC documentaries Scotland’s Art Revolution: The Maverick Generation, Visions of the Valleys and Children of the Holocaust.

These are on display until Wednesday 9th March, after which time they may be borrowed. Follow the links to the library catalogue to read more about them, or to place a reservation.



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New DVDs: Arthaus Art Documentaries

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Breaking Free of the Earth: Kazimir Malevich A film documentary about the life and work of the artist Kazimir Malevich. Revolution! In 1915 the Russian artist Malevich declared a Black Square on a White Background an icon of his times and thus founded a new form of art, liberated from objects – Suprematism. Supported by the Bolsheviks at first, his ‘formalistic’ art was soon considered counterrevolutionary. 50 years later, in 1989, the first comprehensive Malevich retrospective outside Russia was held in Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum. It is here that Barrie Gavin outlines the artist’s creative phases and his life story. In doing so, he discovers the most diverse ‘isms’ of the 20th century and one of the most significant pioneers of abstract art.

The Collector Costakis George Costakis, a collector of Russian avant-garde art and a gifted storyteller, relates his own tale. Extensive footage of his collection and views of his Athenian villa are shown. One public housing flat in Moscow stood out above all others: the home of George Costakis, the foremost collector of early 20th century Russian avant-garde art. Its walls were crowded with banned and forgotten works by artists such as Malevich, Tatlin, Kandinsky, Chagall, Lissitzky, Rodchenko, and Kliun; public figures such as Edward Kennedy, Stravinsky, and Alfred Barr visited. Barrie Gavin met the collector in 1982 at his home in Athens. Costakis, a Greek born in Russia, passionately shares his story and those of the great Russian avant-garde artists. Their works are his legacy – without him, they would not have survived the political upheavals in Russia.

Eduardo Chillida “The fusion of modern aesthetics with Basque tradition in monumental works is what has made Chillida a legendary sculptor all over the world. Using wood, stone and iron, he created forms based on his surroundings, thus exposing their sculptural essence. Chillida even inspired the great Heidegger to write “Art and Space” which was published in 1969 and accompanied by 7 of the sculptor’s litho prints. This film shows Chillida at work, taking its viewers to towns like San Sebastián and Hernani. Alongside his major works, it also depicts the fascinating artist himself as he candidly philosophises on space, limits and materials.”

Julio Gonzalez “Friend, instructor and student of Picasso, a welder at Renault, a painter and goldsmith – Julio González was all of these. The Catalonian gained fame as the father of modern iron sculpture and as the creator of linear sculptures. Using a welding torch, he began making sculptures from iron and developed a formal language reduced to basic elements. Film-maker Barrie Gavin travelled from Paris to the Riviera via Barcelona, re-tracing González’ footprints. He visited art experts such as Margit Rowell and friends such as Hans Hartung, and in doing so introduces us to the life and work of one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century.”

On display now – available to borrow from 10th June

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New DVDs: Artificial Eye

idaIda:  a film by Pawel Pawlikowski Pawel Pawlikowski directs this award-winning Polish drama set in a convent in the 1960s. When Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska), an orphan who was brought up by the nuns of the convent, decides she wants to take her vows, she is told that first she must visit her only living relative, Wanda (Agata Kulesza). As Wanda reveals to Anna that her real name is Ida Lebenstein and that she is actually Jewish, Anna starts to rethink her whole life. As the two go on a journey to find out more about their ancestors they reveal certain facts that were best left hidden. The film won a BAFTA for Best Film Not in the English Language and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

leviathanLeviathan: a film by Andrev Zvyagintsev Andrey Zvyagintsev directs this critically-acclaimed Academy Award-nominated Russian drama. Set in a small town on the coast of the Barents Sea, the film follows Nikolai (Aleksey Serebryakov), who, together with his wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova) and son Romka (Sergey Pokhodaev), makes his living through his land and a small auto-repair shop. When his livelihood comes under threat from Vadim (Roman Madyanov), the town mayor, Nikolai recruits his old friend Dmitriy (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), who has gone on to become a successful and respected lawyer, to help him fight back against the corrupt local government. The movie won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

amourAmour: a film by Michael Haneke Michael Haneke directs this Academy Award-winning drama exploring death, ageing and the fear of loss. Anne and George (Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant) are a couple in their 80s who are enjoying their retirement, but that changes when, after an operation following a stroke, Anne is left wheelchair-bound and paralysed. Although she expresses her wish to die, even going so far as to make an attempt at taking her own life, George tries to remind her of the beauty and worth of life itself and the love that they share for each other. The feature won the Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for Best Foreign Language Film, and received a BAFTA for Best Leading Actress (Riva).



New DVDs on display until 10th June after which time they can be borrowed.


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New DVDs: Art 21: Art in the 21st Century

“Art in the 21st Century is an award-winning series of 24 programmes in which 100 artists talk about their creations, the way they work and their individual view of art. Ai Weiwei, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Richard Serra, Bruce Nauman, Jenny Holzer and many others open up their studios and share with us their approach to creating a work of art. The series offers insights into the entire spectrum of contemporary visual art forms from sculptures, installations and conceptual art to photography and painting.

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Compassion: William Kentridge, Doris Salcedo, Carrie Mae Weems.  “In what ways do artists’ feelings of empathy contribute to works that tackle problematic subjects and address the human condition? The “Art in the Twenty-First Century” documentary “Compassion” explores these questions in the work of the artists William Kentridge, Doris Salcedo, and Carrie Mae Weems.”

Transformation: Cindy Sherman, Yinka Shonobare MBE, Paul McCarthy. “Costumes and masks, makeup and style, dolls and mannequins, stage and cinema – what strategies do we use to refashion identity? Do we seek out excess and extremes in order to see ourselves more clearly? The “Art in the Twenty First Century” documentary “Transformation” explores these questions in the work of the artists Yinka Shonibare MBE, Cindy Sherman and Paul McCarthy.”

Spirituality: James Turrell, Shahzia Sikander, John Feodorov, Ann Hamilton. “How does contemporary art address the idea of spirituality? How do artists working today reveal and question commonly held assumptions about faith, belief, meditation, and religious symbols? The “Art in the Twenty-First Century” documentary “Spirituality” explores these questions through the work of the artists Ann Hamilton, John Feodorov, Shahzia Sikander and James Turrell.”

These DVDs are on display until 10th June after which time they can be borrowed.

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New DVDs

These new DVDs are currently on display and will be available to borrow from 25th May.

guttenberg pressStephen Fry & the Gutenberg Press:  The printing press was the world’s first piece of mass-production technology. Its invention in the 1450s changed the world dramatically, igniting a cultural revolution which shaped the modern age. Fry investigates its inventor Johann Gutenberg, the lengths he went to keep his project secret, and the importance of printing in medieval Europe. Fry and a team of modern day craftsmen build a working replica of the original machine.

Acts of memory 2005-2010 Monica Ross: solo, collective and multi-lingual recitations from memory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


marc chagallMarc Chagall


kurtKurt Schwitters: the Schwitters scandal

timeTime: Martin Puryear

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New DVDs

Recently added to the collection at Llandaff and currently on display are DVDs from two BBC4 series.


Carved with Love: The Genius of British Woodwork – a three part series looking at the British genius for woodwork over the centuries.

grinling gibbonsCarving by Grinling Gibbons Image courtesy of V&A database available through Database A – Z here.

Part 1: Chippendale: The man behind the chairs. Thomas Chippendale is the most famous furniture designer the world has ever produced, but what about the man behind the chairs? This episode shows how Chippendale worked his way up from humble roots to working for the nobility, but also how he was ruined by the very aristocrats he created such wonders for.

Part 2: “Michelangelo” of wood. The series about great British woodworkers continues by looking at the life and work of Grinling Gibbons. He isn’t a household name, but he is the greatest woodcarver the British Isles has ever produced. Working in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London, Gibbons created delightful carved masterpieces for the likes of Charles II and William of Orange. This film explores the genius of the man they called the ‘Michelangelo of wood’.

Part 3: The Divine Craft of Carpentry. Wood spoke not just of earth, but of heaven. The series concludes by looking at the Middle Ages, a golden era. Sponsored by the monarchy and the Church, carvers and carpenters created wonders that still astound us today, from the magnificent roof of Westminster Hall to the Coronation Chair, last used by Elizabeth II, but created 700 years ago. The film also shows how this precious legacy was nearly destroyed during the fires of the Reformation.

Fabric of Britain


Sample book by Elizabeth Hume Image courtesy of V&A database available through Database A – Z here

Part 1: Knitting’s Golden Age. A documentary exploring how knitting rose from basic craft to the height of popular fashion in the 20th century. It’s a craft that has given us scratchy jumpers, sexy bathing costumes and the infamous poodle loo cover, has sustained Britain through the hardships of war and shown a mother’s love to generations of little ones. Today, knitwear has become a staple of every wardrobe thanks to a prince’s golfing taste, the Beatles and 1980s breakfast television. Warm-hearted and surprising, this is the story of the people’s craft and a very British one at that.

Part 2: The Story of Wallpaper. Paul Martin presents the surprisingly compelling story of wallpaper. From its origins in the 16th century to the present day, wallpaper has always had something to say about us and our tastes and aspirations. It’s a journey that takes Paul from the grandest of stately homes to the poorest of two-up-two-downs, the height of luxury to industrial grime and infestation. There are some fascinating tales along the way; wallpaper may seem insignificant, but governments have tried to control it, and it’s even threatened to poison us.

Part 3: The Wonder of Embroidery. The Reformation in England witnessed the destruction of the most brilliant art of the medieval age. Church paintings and stained glass – even sculpture – were destroyed throughout England in the name of religion. And yet one art survived against the odds – the art of medieval embroidery … Dan Jones, Plantagenet expert and medievalist, goes in search of these fragile yet stunning survivors from the great age of embroidery – encountering a world of finery, bejewelled luxury and sacred beauty on an undreamt-of scale.

Follow the links to the library catalogue to reserve any of these titles.

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ART21 – New DVDs

ART21 – Art in the 21st Century is a series of DVDs – 6 of which are currently on display on the 2nd floor of Llandaff library.

They are available to view until 15th December, after which time they can be borrowed.  You can also reserve them by using the library catalogue SUMMON.

art21 dvds

IDENTITY: Bruce Nauman, Kerry James Marshall, Maya Lin, Louise Bourgeois.  Bruce Nauman transforms everyday activities, speech, and objects into works that are both familiar and alien. “I needed a different way to approach the idea of being an artist,” says Nauman.

CONSUMPTION: Matthew Barney, Michael Ray Charles, Andrea Zittel, Mel Chin.  Documentary about contemporary artists and how they repond to consumerism through their work.

PLAY: Jessica Stockholder, Ellen Gallagher, Arturo Herrera, Oliver Herring.  Spontaneous and joyful, subversive or amusing, play can take many forms in daily life as well as in contemporary art. The “Art in the Twenty-First Century” documentary “Play” explores the work of the artists Oliver Herring, Arturo Herrera, Jessica Stockholder, and Ellen Gallagher, and concludes with an original video artwork by Teresa Hubbard & Alexander Birchler

PROTEST: Nancy Spero, An-My Lê, Alfredo Jaar, Jenny Holzer.  How do contemporary artists engage politics, inequality, and the many conflicts that besiege the world today? How do artists use their work to discuss or oppose misery, turmoil, and injustice?

CHANGE: Catherine Opie, El Anatsui, Ai Weiwei. How do artists respond to a world in flux? In what ways do artists act as agents of change, and what kinds of aesthetic choices do they make?

SYSTEMS: John Baldessari, Julie Mehretu, Kimsooja, Allan McCollum.  Documentary about contemporary artists and how they explore our complex society in their work. What new grammars and logics do artists invent in today’s supercharged, information-based society? Why do we find comfort in some systems while rebelling against others?

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