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The artistic past and precarious future of the floating city
Art, architecture, music, and theatre in Italy’s most enchanted city
For centuries, Venice has fired the imaginations of painters, poets, composers--and millions of visitors. Join writer and historian Peter Ackroyd for an in-depth tour of the art, architecture, music, and theatre of Europe’s most mysterious and seductive city.
Here, the pale Mediterranean light reveals cityscapes as painted by Canaletto and Guardi, modern voices revive the soaring spirituality of Vivaldi’s hymns, and Venetians still don disguises to revel and role-play at Carnival. Exploring private palazzos, magnificent churches, and winding alleyways, Ackroyd also discovers the truth beneath the artifice, where beauty masks terminal decay. He interviews preservationists now working desperately to rescue the city’s treasures from the ravages of time and the sea. Always a perceptive critic and spellbinding storyteller, Ackroyd serves as the perfect guide for an unforgettable journey.
An award-winning novelist and bestselling historian, Peter Ackroyd (London: The Biography) has written over 30 books and presented many TV documentaries. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Biographies of Venetian architechts, artists, playwrights, and composers
Venice on film
Exclusive web extras
Top Customer Reviews
I wish I'd seen this DVD set, 'VENICE REVEALED', prior to my own visit of the city. This set offers subtitles which I found helpful for location names. It also subtitled when an interview was conducted with a Italian-speaking individual. About the only thing visible in person, but not shown on this documentary, is the trash floating on the water, left behind by inconsiderate tourists. This DVD is powerful, both audibly as well as visually. Wonderful music accompaniment.
1 THE CITY AS ARCHITECTURE-Arrival is by boat taxi. Buildings were built in this city on water. Venice is like no other earthly city. The visual is so captivating that listening closely to the historical accounts is a trial. John Ruskin's, "The Stones of Venice", highlights the masonry architecture of 5 styles. Venice is architecturally a mask: facade over decaying brick. Yet, underwater wood piles support the unique aesthetic structures.
2 THE CITY AS ART-There is not a parcel of Venice that has not been featured in fine visual art. The city itself is so powerfully ready for the artist, it's like the master painter arranged buildings, canals, bridges, and water as he did fruits for his still-life works.Read more ›
He acknowledges in the jacket that in writing the book on which the DVD is based he NEVER SPOKE TO A SINGLE VENETIAN! What an amazing admission for any author.
I viewed all 4 titles in the 2 disc DVD set and the only one with any redeeming qualities was the last -Venice as Theatre.
What a disappointment! An opportunity wasted to do a good documentary on the most fascinating city on the planet.
PS Please tell us which music was used in the making of the DVD - the music is in fact the best part of the whole DVD set!
Other annoyances: while talking about a work of art they show some work other than the one he's referring to; playing the Dies Ire from Mozart Requiem waaaay to much: barely mentioning Monteverdi in the segment on Venice and music; using the same footage of Ackroyd in a boat on a canal over and over again. Admittedly these last failings are the directors faults and not Ackroyds. I will say the segment on Venice and theater was not as bad as the other sections.
A good point is that some interesting scholars and writers get interviewed like Ruskin exponent Sarah Quill and Vivaldi researcher Micky White. One only wishes they were the focus of the series and not Ackroyd and his hackneyed observations.
I'd say skip this one and get "Francesco's Venice" a way superior look at Venice by a Venetian with better cinematography and greater depth and scope than this. I would say that but for some reason this excellent BBC series still is only available in Britain in a Region 2 version. But if you have hacked your DVD player to play all regions by all means pass on Ackroyd and go for Francesco.
The pictures bear no relationship to the narration about 50 percent of the time and the same footage is used in episode after episode.
Do not buy this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It would not play on my system. I didn't check the format before purchase. I live in Australia and am trying to source a local versionPublished 13 months ago by Jill Nichols
Ackroyd sees the dark corners of Venice but doesn't let that blind him to the glory of the place. Seeing, as he does, the city as an explosion of architecture, art, music and... Read morePublished 13 months ago by blumenberg
I agree with the person who talks about this being too anglo-centric. Peter Ackroyd simply "does not get it" and is BEYOND annoying as are the other British speakers in... Read morePublished on February 28, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Peter Ackroyd's treatment of Venice shows a deep understanding of the city. Venice is indeed revealed by the excellent direction and photography in this fine documentary and the... Read morePublished on December 9, 2012 by Geoffrey H Baker, professor emeritus, Tulane University, New Orleans
although the footage is quite pretty, the narrator's voice is barely heard..the background music is so loud, it drowns him out! Read morePublished on March 30, 2011 by luccaallie
This is an excellent series to gain basic knowledge of Venice. I've searched for several years for a documentary that shows La Fenice, in detail. Read morePublished on January 17, 2011 by Britt Le Bonzo
Created for the art afficionado, this DVD tantalizes the appetite for Venice. The narration is insightful and evocative, and the architecture, paintings, and music are well... Read morePublished on September 27, 2010 by Ruhama