Sunday, November 22, 2015

DVD Review: Art of the Heist

Featuring interviews from the world’s top art historians, Art of the Heist makes its DVD debut from Athena, an RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) brand. This fascinating documentary investigates the high-profile thefts of some of the world’s greatest pieces of art. From Gustav Klimt’s portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer to Edvard Munch’s The Scream and even the Mona Lisa, these and other iconic masterpieces have been coveted by the criminal world. This 14-part series delves into the background behind the audacious burglaries and the authorities’ efforts to apprehend the crooks and restore the masterpieces to public viewing. Comprised of two complete series, the documentary series was previously broadcast on the Ovation channel in the U.S. This DVD 4-disc set features fourteen episodes ($59.99, As of October 26, 2015, the documentary is also available to watch at any time on Acorn TV, the premier streaming service for world class television from Britain and beyond at www.Acorn.TV.

They turned crime into an art form. Meet the crooks who plundered artistic treasures, sending shock waves through the art scene and setting off frantic dragnets across the globe.

This thrilling documentary unlocks gallery doors to chronicle history’s most notorious art thefts—from nabbing the Mona Lisa out of the Louvre in broad daylight to the still-unsolved blockbuster heist at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Vivid reenactments show how cunning break-ins, scams, and forgeries netted millions of dollars and became front-page news.

Follow the trail of stolen art as it passes through the hands of unscrupulous dealers and shadowy smugglers, then often into obscurity. In candid interviews, the thieves who stole the art and the investigators who chased them share insights into crimes committed in galleries, tombs, and mansions from Egypt to Sweden. Some of the colorful characters suspected in the thefts include mobster Whitey Bulger, Nazi Hermann Göring, and even painter Pablo Picasso.

Episodes: The Big Sting, The World's Biggest Heist, The Forger and the Conman, The Search for The Scream, Chasing Cezanne, Den of Antiquities, The Lady in Gold, The Pharaoh’s Head, Miami Sting, The Man Who Stole the Mona Lisa, The Russian Conspiracy, On the Trail of the Moche Gold, The Disappeared, and The Thieving Don Juan                       

BONUS: 16-page viewer’s guide with articles about the FBI’s top ten list of unsolved art thefts, politically motivated art heists, the discovery of art stolen by the Nazis, the curse of Russia’s long-lost Amber Room, the forger’s tool kit, and the art of museum security, plus stories of bungled art burglaries
Street Date: November 17, 2015                                    SRP: $59.99     
DVD 4-Disc Set: 14 episodes – Approx. 779 min. – SDH Subtitles
UPC 0-54961-2435-9-4                                                   ISBN 978-1-62172-435-3

My Thoughts

The Art of the Heist is an interesting documentary that takes a look at some of the greatest art heists throughout history.

 1- THE BIG STING - Rembrandt self-portrait stolen.
2 -THE WORLD’S BIGGEST HEIST - A half billion worth of art including Rembrandt’s ‘Storm on the Sea of Galilee’, ‘Lady &Gentleman in Black’
3- THE FORGER AND THE CONMAN - The tale of John Myatt, master forfer
4 - THE SEARCH FOR THE SCREAM - ‘The Scream’ and ‘Madonna’ are stolen.
5- CHASING CEZANNE - 30 year mystery of the Cezanne still life.-
6- DEN OF ANTIQUITIES - We meet an American who bought stolen Greek mosaics.
7-THE LADY IN GOLD = Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece stolen 8 by Nazis.
8- THE PHARAOH’S HEAD = Search for the ‘Amenhotep III head’
9- MIAMI STING - Two Rubens paintings are stolen.
10-THE MAN WHO STOLE THE MONA LISA - Someone carries out the most famous painting in the world.
11- THE RUSSIAN CONSPIRACY - Over two hundreds items go missing in St. Petersburg.
12-ON THE TRAIL OF THE MOCHE GOLD -  The “Moche Octopus Headdress” is stolen.
13- THE DISAPPEARED - On Christmas Eve  Renoir ‘Head of a Young Girl in a Blue Ribbon’, Gauguin ‘The Call’, Degas ‘The Road’, and many more paintings are stolen.
14- THE THIEVING DON JUAN -   Cellini Renaissance sculpture “Saliera’ goes missing.

Overall, this is an exciting series filled with real-life crime heists.  It was both informative and interesting. It's amazing how many people have actually gotten away with such ingenious crimes.