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The segment on Van Gogh is, as expected, emotional, yet Schama convincingly portrays Van Gogh as not consumed by madness, but fighting off the episodes with painting. Van Gogh painted one of his most evocative works, Wheat Field With Crows, which even his brother, Theo, recognized was about to put his brother on the artistic map. Yet, as Schama points out, within weeks, Van Gogh had killed himself. "Now why would he want to do that?" Schama muses--and then proceeds to narrate the tormented tale of the answer. Along the way, the viewer gains new appreciation for Van Gogh's signature works, including his famous sunflowers. "Technically, these are still lives," Schama says, "but there's nothing still about them... the sunflowers [seem to be] organisms landing violently from a burning sun." If the reenactments of the artists' lives are a bit overdone, it's forgivable, since the cumulative effect, in an hour, is a new appreciation of the work and the man.
Extras include frank and very funny commentaries by Schama and his co-producer, and lots of behind-the-scenes dish on how certain scenes were achieved. The teeming French opera scene in the "David" episode, for instance, was cast using just 20 French extras and then the rest created by CGI--"the scene works better, really, than [the film] King Kong," Schama says with delight. --A.T. Hurley
AS an artist, love art history and Simon Schama brings it to lifePublished 19 days ago by Barbara M.
What powerful stories about artists from the past. Great dramatizations. I will never forget the characters depicted in these stories!Published 1 month ago by Evelyn D. Nitzberg
In this DVD, Simon Schama, an English historian specialising in art history, Dutch history, and French history and University Professor of History and Art History at Columbia... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Maria Font
Schama is an extraordinary instructor. A real in-depth study of each art work.Published 3 months ago by George E. Lee
Truly an intelectual inspiration without anything to compare. What a great teacher.Published 4 months ago by Professor Dave
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|Simon Schama's Power of Art - David||
This is monterverdi's lamento Della ninfa (sorry this in the Bernini episode) it is nisi dominus (cum dederit) by vivaldi in the david episode. Also the opening music in the David episode is the masonic funeral music by Mozart. I love this episode!!!
Aug 13, 2011 by Chris Ke Lin | See all 3 posts
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