Sunday Times of Malta, 28 November, 2004

BBC 2 in Malta for documentary about Caravaggio

Simon Schama

‘Power of Art’ is the title of an eight part television series focusing on artists of different epochs, such as Rembrandt, Picasso, Van Gogh, Turner and Caravaggio amongst others.

Well known award-winning British presenter and author of various best-selling books on art and history including ‘Citizens’, ‘Landscape and Memory’ and ‘Rembrandt’s Eyes’, Simon Schama, is behind the idea and came to Malta with a film crew last week for several days. Schama is a professor at Colombia University in New York and specialises in European Cultural and environmental history and the history of art. He also wrote and presented ‘The History of Britain’ for the BBC and the History Channel. His unconventional approach and presentation of history and art makes his documentaries attractive to wide audiences.

‘We concentrate especially on Caravaggio’s later period’ Schama says. The Italian painter Caravaggio (1573 – 1610), who was probably the most revolutionary artist of his time, came to Malta in 1607/08 as he was accused of murder and fled to the island. He had a very creative phase during his time in Malta. 

The documentary is directed by Carl Hindmarch, who produced and directed several documentaries for British TV stations, ‘Pump up the Volume’ about the history of House Music and ‘Position Impossible’ about the Kama Sutra, amongst others.

The filming took place at the St. John’s Co – Cathedral in Valletta, where Schama introduced Caravaggio’s overwhelming painting ‘Beheading of Saint John the Baptist’ to his viewers; other locations included St. Elmo, St. Angelo, Dingli Cliffs and Vittoriosa.

Actinghouse Productions assisted the BBC team during their stay in Malta.

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