EXPO - Magic of the White City DVD
|Additional DVD options||Edition||Discs||
|New from||Used from|
(Aug 18, 2010)
|Watch Instantly with||Rent||Buy|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"One of the year's finest. This one is a must-watch." --Jamie Clark, "Video Business"
"A notable release." --"The Washington Post"
- Special Features:
- Feature Length Commentary track with World's Fair historian, David Cope
- Making the Fair Art of the Fair
- Storyboards of the Fair
- Pictures of the Fair
- Commentary tracks on Special Features by director, Mark Bussler and writer, Brian Connelly
- Deleted scenes
- Trailers for:
- Gettysburg and Stories of Valor
- Johnstown Flood
- Horses of Gettysburg
- Winters of War
- Civil War Minutes - Confederate
- Shot to Pieces
- Video transfer from the Director's Cut High Definition master
Top Customer Reviews
The focus of this documentary was mostly a tour of the fair. In recent books on the fair there seems to be either a "horray for progress/wasn't the fair pretty?" or a "damn American imperialism, racism, and sexism" route. The tone of this documentary was neutral/celebratory as it largely omitted discussion of racism and sexism (with only a few passing mentions). There were photos I hadn't seen before, and the narration (Gene Wilder) was superlative.
I do have quibbles with the film, which are most likey not the fault of the creators. See, what I really want is a bigger-budget version of this, full of computer reproductions of the fair so that we can "walk through" it instead of just scenes of a camera panning over a still photograph or painting. The live reinactments were limited to a belly dancer, beer drinking, and the murder of Mayor Harrison. There was also some live footage of fish and animals that the fair goers would have seen, which I am ambivalent about. But don't just tell me that the great pyramid would fit inside the Palace of Manufactures and Liberal Arts, drive the idea home with a little graphic, even a simple one, of the pyramid sitting inside it.
All that said, this was worth every penny and contained a lot of great material which I am bound to watch over and over again.
EXPO is about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, an exposition of such majesty, scope, corruption, and expense that it is a feat unparalleled in America today. The closest we have to the Fair is Disney World, a lineage most explicitly drawn in The White City; Walt Disney's father, Elias, was a construction worker on some of the buildings at the fair.
EXPO is narrated by Gene Wilder. I'm admit to a bias - I'm a big fan of Young Frankenstein and he's the only "celebrity sighting" I've ever encountered in real life. Wilder's getting on in age (the DVD was produced in 2005), so there's now a bit of a whistle to his speech. Still, his lilting voice has enough emotion and wry humor to make his narration enjoyable. And there is a lot of narration.
We tend to think of previous American centuries as quaintly backward, where such modern notions as political correctness and global unity didn't exist. And while EXPO is careful to point out that American culture still had its own foibles and intolerance endemic to the time, the World's Fair put all those to shame. It was a global unification of wealth, prosperity, and cultural exchange in a way that's inconceivable in today's contentious world. We can learn a lot from the Chicago World's Fair.
EXPO uses old maps and photographs to detail events at the fair whenever possible, with few computer graphics or animation. There are occasional shots of live actors, none whom particularly add anything of value to the narrative.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really cool documentary, Gene does a pretty good job, but still we get only his voice...Published 4 days ago by Doroth
An amazing, excellent, and extraordinary expose' of the EXPO. Gene Wilder's soothing voice coupled with the time-lined pictures of the time of the Chicago World Fair when the... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
I was flipping through your videos the other night and came across this gem! I have read "Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (which by the way was wonderful and 100%... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Zachary
This was very interesting. I just visited the Chicago museum of science and industry and bought a book on the 1893 Chicago fair. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michael S. Wolf
My wife and I really enjoyed this. Gene Wilder was the perfect choice to narrate.Published 3 months ago by Dyson Farley