Customer Reviews

15
NOVA - Galileo's Battle for the Heavens
Format: DVDChange
Price:$19.95+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2006
Amazon has the wrong description of this show. It's really an Emmy winning 2 hour Nova Episode with Simon Callow as Galileo, first broadcast in 2002.

FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES:

''GOOD philosophers, like eagles, fly alone, not in flocks like starlings,'' declares the father of modern science in ''Galileo's Battle for the Heavens,'' a two-hour special on PBS's ''Nova''

The same goes for intelligent television shows...With this handsome, unabashedly earnest production, ''Nova'' demonstrates a continuing willingness to believe in viewers who are interested in how ideas have taken hold.

The two-hour program, written and produced by David Axelrod, recalls the uproar over Copernican theory at a time when Roman Catholic theology placed a stationary earth at the center of the universe. This is no dry science lesson but a dramatized vision of the contradictory forces pulling on Galileo, who was both a scientist and a devout Catholic. He lived during the Inquisition, in an era when unpopular ideas were grounds for torture or being burned at the stake.

The program was adapted from ''Galileo's Daughter,'' Dava Sobel's best-selling book based on letters written to Galileo by his daughter, who became a nun. She took the name Maria Celeste, perhaps in deference to her father's fascination with the stars, and her letters reveal a touching desire to understand his obsession.

His feelings for her are less clear, because his letters to her have not been found. But Galileo was a prolific writer, expressing his scientific theories as literature in his ''Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems.'' He had the necessary arrogance to combat prevailing wisdom. ''I render grace to God that it has pleased him to make me alone the first observer of an admirable thing kept hidden all these ages,'' he said. But he would die humbled by the Inquisition; his writings were banned. In dramatic recreations, Simon Callow plays Galileo with melancholy grandeur.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2002
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES:
''GOOD philosophers, like eagles, fly alone, not in flocks like starlings,'' declares the father of modern science in ''Galileo's Battle for the Heavens,'' a two-hour special on PBS's ''Nova''
The same goes for intelligent television shows...With this handsome, unabashedly earnest production, ''Nova'' demonstrates a continuing willingness to believe in viewers who are interested in how ideas have taken hold.
The two-hour program, written and produced by David Axelrod, recalls the uproar over Copernican theory at a time when Roman Catholic theology placed a stationary earth at the center of the universe. This is no dry science lesson but a dramatized vision of the contradictory forces pulling on Galileo, who was both a scientist and a devout Catholic. He lived during the Inquisition, in an era when unpopular ideas were grounds for torture or being burned at the stake.
The program was adapted from ''Galileo's Daughter,'' Dava Sobel's best-selling book based on letters written to Galileo by his daughter, who became a nun. She took the name Maria Celeste, perhaps in deference to her father's fascination with the stars, and her letters reveal a touching desire to understand his obsession.
His feelings for her are less clear, because his letters to her have not been found. But Galileo was a prolific writer, expressing his scientific theories as literature in his ''Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems.'' He had the necessary arrogance to combat prevailing wisdom. ''I render grace to God that it has pleased him to make me alone the first observer of an admirable thing kept hidden all these ages,'' he said. But he would die humbled by the Inquisition; his writings were banned. In dramatic recreations, Simon Callow plays Galileo with melancholy grandeur.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2008
This was an excellent program, recounting the story of one of the first clashes in the well-documented struggle between science and religion. At the heart is a seemingly harmless idea - that the sun is the center of our planetary system. Copernicus first proposed this, and Galileo, through observations with his telescope, confirmed it. Unfortunately for Galileo, this idea contradicted a few random passages in the Jewish bible, passages that conveyed the belief that the earth was at the center of our planetary system, and not the sun. What followed was a 25-year, on-again off-again conflict between the great scientist and authorities of the Catholic Church, with neither willing to give in to the other.

Also highlighted throughout this program is an examination of the relationship between Galileo and one of his daughters, a cloistered nun. It appears they wrote to each other constantly until her death at the age of 33 and, although his letters to her appear to be lost, her letters to him remain. It was those letters and the story they told that served as the inspiration for the book "Galileo's Daughter" and this Nova program. It is a touching story of family bonds and familial love, interspersed with significant historical events. Reading the book and watching this program will help you to understand and appreciate that story, and I highly recommend both.

Five stars!
33 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I wouldn't normally have watched this, I admit. My professor showed it to the class one day as an assignment, and I have to admit... I really enjoyed this film.

The film is of course, about Galileo & his quest to not only prove but also publish his finding on the Copernican theory that everything revolves around the sun rather than having the earth be the center of everything. The movie itself is based off of Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love, with several re-enactments showcasing his daughter (Mary Celeste) writing to him.

What to start with... well, this is never going to be a big Hollywood blockbuster, but if you are looking for something to teach & entertain at the same time, you'll do well by getting this film. I loved the actor playing Galileo- he really seemed to get into the role & I enjoyed the parts including him. I have to admit that I didn't really get as great a feel for his daughter- despite her central role in the movie, she was actually more of a background character, with her letters being the only speaking she does. (And those are all voiceovers.)

I enjoyed the scientists & historians who spoke in the film- you can tell that they really liked what they were talking about. The only thing I would say about this film is that it seemed to have been shot before 2002- the movie just seemed to feel like it was older than what it was.

Still, the movie is fun & entertaining. I'm planning on sending it to my homeschooling sister- my oldest nephew would really get a kick out of this movie & he's mature enough to keep up with the movie. (Younger kids may get a little bored- the film is mostly for older kids & adults.)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2009
An excellent and entertaining short documentary film on one of history's great minds. Understanding how Galileo thought is part of understanding the history and philosophy of science and physics in particular.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A very good presentation on the life of Galileo. NOVA did a great job.
The actor portraying Galileo showed his ability for deep thinking, his deep religious belief, and the inward struggles he was facing. Based upon his eldest daughter's letters to him, we se the strong bond between father and daughter; his daughter was shown as his closest confidant and friend. The historical era and the conflict with the church was presented, but the focus is on the man Galileo, his published works, ideas, and inventions.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2009
This is a well made documentary and I enjoyed watching it. However, the actor who played Galileo I felt was somewhat miscast and the re-enacted scenes were a little overlong, but it is in my opinion still worth a look.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2009
Brings history to life for middle and high school students as well as myself. It arrived in perfect condition and sooner than promised.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on March 4, 2013
Cleverly told from both Galileo's and his daughter's (Sister Marie Celeste) viewpoints. This movie does a wonderful job of showing what life was like during Galileo's time and how his enthusiastic zeal for scientific discovery frequently brought him in conflict with the church.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on July 11, 2013
I have watched this a few times now. I liked it. Anyone interested in Gallileo's life or work will find thisinteresting. I never realized what a jerk he was though. Arrogant does not begin to describe this man. But he was driven and a genius.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.