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"The War" by Ken Burns

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Old 09-23-2007, 09:18 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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"The War" by Ken Burns

this is the long awaited Ken Burns film on PBS (public broadcasting station). this is currently running on pbs as i type. if you're not familiar with ken burns' work, you're missing something special. and this one is the biggest and most important of all of his works. it is the story of world war ii told through the memories of those that lived it, but in particular, of those of four american cities and their citizenry of that time.

those that know pbs programming, you know it runs non-stop, without commercial interruption. so far, i'm watching the 3rd non-stop hour. the total program is, if i remember the advertising correctly, 14 and a half hours. i do hope they're going to take a break at some point

folks, friends, this is one amazing program.
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Old 09-23-2007, 11:30 PM
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Re: "The War" by Ken Burns

ok, episode one was two and half hours. episode two is tomorrow (sept 24, 2007) night. i believe it will be at 7 p.m e.s.t. but check your local listing.
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Old 09-24-2007, 01:35 AM
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Re: "The War" by Ken Burns

Craig, I watched it also. I was a "war baby" and grew up hearing stories about WWII without any actual memories of it. My dad was in the Army, and my mom's two nephews were in the Army Air Corps (survived) and Merchant Marines (he was killed when his ship went down due to enemy fire). Burns is a master at drawing the audience into the stories of the individual people involved in the movie, and those stories intersected with all the second-hand memories I have of Bataan, Corregidor, Battle of Midway, etc. I've seen a lot of war movies in my life (dad and brother both being Army) including the "realistic" ones, but this meeting with the folks who lived it speaks louder and clearer than even "Saving Private Ryan" or "Battleground", and is of course much broader in scope.

It is definitely worth watching, and it's on my Christmas list for my brother. (who doesn't read this board)
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:00 AM
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Re: "The War" by Ken Burns

Is Ken Burns the one who did the excellent series on the American Civil War ? (I can hear the violin music for that still).

If so, hope we get it this side of the pond soon, his work is outstanding.
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:51 AM
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Re: "The War" by Ken Burns

Gary, he's the one, and I can hear the music too! (now I can hear it with the Celtic Women singing along...) Those Civil War soldiers' letters to home blew me away -- they were eloquent and almost lyrical.
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Old 09-24-2007, 02:29 PM
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Re: "The War" by Ken Burns

yes, ken burns did 'the civil war' along with 'baseball' and 'jazz'. i'm probably missing some too. he is probably the best american storyteller, telling stories of america, going today. his coverage of a topic always gets down to the personal level and that's what makes it so good. it's not about a lot of footage and 'experts' and that sort of documentary. it's the real touch, the personal touch, that really drives his stories home.

and one point of note, you may have seen in some slide show software coming out these days that they advertise their software as including the 'ken burns effect' as one of their effects. a lot of his 'footage' in stories like 'the civil war' were simple photographs. there is a camera effect of panning and zooming that they'd do with that photo to somewhat convey a semi-animation or moving picture type effect. that is now called 'the ken burns effect'.

if you cant get the show in your area or happen to miss it, there is some good material here: http://www.pbs.org .
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:08 PM
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Re: "The War" by Ken Burns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin
his coverage of a topic always gets down to the personal level and that's what makes it so good.
Yes, that's what I liked about his Civil War series, all the little personal facts and details, that and the amazing coincidences which somehow tied the overall story together.

Experts were there, but unlike so many contemporary documentary makers, he doesn't allow them to dominate the narration, only to pass on the many little details that personalise things so much.

I'm sure a production of the quality he's known for will make it across the pond, I'll just have to keep an eye open for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Swartz View Post
Gary, he's the one, and I can hear the music too! (now I can hear it with the Celtic Women singing along...) Those Civil War soldiers' letters to home blew me away -- they were eloquent and almost lyrical.
We certainly don't seem to be able to write as well as they used to any more. There was one where a guy was writing to his wife just before a battle and it gave me a real lump in the throat, boy did that guy know how to use words. You just knew he'd end up dying, but it still came as a real note of sadness when they revealed he'd been killed the next day. Really brought the true cost of war home, and not an explosion or drop of blood in sight. That's story telling.

Last edited by Gary Richardson; 09-25-2007 at 03:20 PM.
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