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  • Empire of the Eye: The Magic of Illusion
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Empire of the Eye: The Magic of Illusion


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Product Details

  • Actors: Al Roker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Microcinema International
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2003
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002PA0QN4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,146 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

The Magic of Illusion is a film about how we see, what we see, or what it is we think we see. Al Roker guides us on a journey into the secrets of illusion.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Bogart on February 10, 2010
Format: DVD
With each new year bringing advances in special effects and computer animation, it may be difficult to believe that the very foundations of creating scenes that trick the eye are found in the Renaissance. There the mathematical and observational principles were established that allow two-dimensional images to appear three-dimensional, adding depth to paintings, architecture, and later the motion picture.

Empire of the Eye: The Magic of Illusion takes viewers on a 50 minute survey of the development and implementation of a range of revolutionary artistic techniques: linear perspective, systematic perspective, atmospheric perspective, anamorphic art. Host Al Roker steps into computer renderings and analyses, three-dimensional models, and into the paintings, sculptures, and buildings themselves to point out the techniques and trickery used to create an artificial sense of depth, height, distance, and more.

The Magic of Illusion is a wonderful choice for Christian families who wish to explore artistic principles through the religious art and architecture of the Renaissance. Though not all of theobjets d'art examined are Christian, a good majority of them are. Among the most notable is Massacio's fresco, "The Trinity" -- the first known painting to demonstrate linear perspective in the fifteenth century is explored in depth. Mantegna's religious art is surveyed with an eye for perspective and points of view. Church architecture and the techniques used to create a sense of artificial space are also examined.

Roker's journey of discovery begins in Italy, but ranges abroad to Europe and on to the new world in the many examples he explores.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Rivers on June 15, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Really, did they have to replace the brilliant James Burke with Al Roker? This is very similar with both footage and music to James Burke's Masters of Illusion (British film) but this version is 15 minutes longer and takes the audience into the Baroque. On the whole, it is quite good and it is a valuable educational tool with excellent graphics which illustrate the impact of the rediscovery of perspective in art and architecture.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By An Observer on January 21, 2011
Format: DVD
I saw this on PBS. I have always loved art and remember being taught about perspective in grade school. At that time, art was something which was taught and it helped shape my appreciation as an adult.

It helped me to see the origins of perspective. I had always wondered why earlier paintings, prior to the 1400s, were so flat and non-dimensional. This special, with the aid of today's computer, were brought to life. My son has more of an eye toward spatial reasoning and I'm quite tempted to buy this for his upcoming birthday.
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