New York - The Center of the World (Part 8)
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Top Customer Reviews
Since I missed the first half hour when I caught it on TV, I immediately bought the DVD and am glad I did. I have watched the film through several times and remain completely engaged with every viewing and have even watched the bonus material (something I rarely bother with). I am already thinking of who to share this with as a gift.
One last quick note, I read one review here that complained about strange cropping of the images and interviewees names being cut off. I can only imagine that that reviewer's player must have been incorrectly set to widescreen instead of letter-boxed and they were viewing on a standard 4x3 television so they lost the left and right sides of the image due to the improper settings. I experienced none of this (the film appears as letterboxed on my standard 4x3 television) and remain impressed with this beautiful and moving film.
Spanning a full three hours in length, "New York Episode Eight: The Center Of The World", provides the viewer an intense, in-depth look into the planning, development, construction, and sad demise of the famous Twin Towers in Manhattan, complete with breathtaking aerial views of the behemoths during construction and after completion.
The story of the complex and almost Herculean task of creating the massive World Trade Center is skillfully and entertainingly weaved on this program utilizing new interview footage, intercut with archival video footage of the day.
I like the fact that Director Ric Burns doesn't rush to tell the story at a mile-a-minute pace. The saga of these great buildings evolves at a more leisurely, relaxed pace during the program.
The sheer scope of what we lost in just a few short seconds as the Towers crumbled into dust on September 11, 2001, might not be fully realized until viewing a program like this one, which provides many of the statistics and specifications for the Trade Center's combined 220 stories.
Also included on the program is a detailed account of the fascinating tale of high-wire artist Philippe Petit, who, on August 7, 1974, walked from the top of one tower to the other, 1,360 feet above the streets of New York. In all, Petit spent 45 minutes walking (and dancing) from one tower to the other, making a total of eight passes between the immense structures. This program shows many spectacular pictures of Petit carrying out his death-defying and one-of-a-kind performance. A performance which, for many people, "humanized" the bulky steel Towers.Read more ›
I was on the street within 2 or 3 minutes of the first plane hitting. I saw the second plane hit tower 2.
No matter what you saw on TV, you can't imagine.
It was a day of extraordinary power and emotion, fear, sorrow and loss, surreal - the knowledge that you'd seen something as profound as the JFK assination, the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Epic in scale, gobal in impact, yet inherently intimate. Your own personal disaster movie.
This Ric Burns film is an amazing thing. It's just great. I've watched it a dozen times and I don't get tired of it - the writing, the music, the history, the wisdom - the personal feelings of a diverse and meaningful group of New Yorkers. It's historic, epic, emotional - up to the task of documenting the impact of 9/11 on New York.
It represents all the things that make New York great: ambition, literacy, reflection, humanity, wonder, perspective. The use of Philippe Petit - the French high wire man - as a linking device...was inspired.
A stunning thing.
But best of all is Phillipe Petit, who did an electrifying tightwire show between the towers back in the 70s. His performance humanized these huge, cold buildings (to paraphrase Hamill from the film). Petit brings a love of life, New York City, and especially the World Trade Center to the proceedings that makes his segment the "Center of the Center of the World." The documentary "Man On Wire" covers the event in more detail.
So go order this episode right now. It's historic, informative, entertaining, moving, educational, witty, heartwrenching, and any other positive thing you can say about a 3 hour film. PBS gets a lot of flack for their programming, but they achieved perfection with this baby.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is actually the last piece of Ric Burns' terrific 8 part documentary on the history of New York City, but this holds up well as a stand alone piece, focusing solely on the... Read morePublished 16 months ago by K. Gordon
This is the most tasteful documentary of Sept.11 that you'll find. It seems Rick Burns felt he had to do it because the 7 part series left out this tragedy. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Mr. Marvin
This completes my New York Documentary Series...for years I've been trying to find vol. 8 dvd, but i wasn't able to purchase alone... Read morePublished on November 2, 2010 by Benji
My husband had taped this with our VCR years ago and has shown it to all of his classes every September 11th to make sure his students NEVER FORGET the attack we suffered in 2001. Read morePublished on September 12, 2009 by Smart Blonde
Fascinating conclusion the whole series. Essentially, this DVD is about the erstwhile twin towers. This is a spectacular conclusion to the stellar previous seven parts. Buy it. Read morePublished on August 9, 2009 by Henry M. Chapman III
I'm from New York and think it's one of the greatest cities in the world.
This video is very realistic. Read more
This eighth installment of "New York", the Ric Burns' PBS-TV "American Experience" documentary series, is a fascinatingly-absorbing tale of the rise and fall of the iconic World... Read morePublished on September 11, 2006 by David Von Pein