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Winslow Homer : An American Original [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Brenda Devine, Ron Payne, Wayne Best, Jennifer Gould, Ryan DeBoer
  • Directors: Tamara Hope
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Digital Sound, Full length, Full Screen, Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Repnet
  • VHS Release Date: April 1, 2000
  • Run Time: 49 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004SZZS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,603 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Directed by Graeme Lynch (Relic Hunter, Beverly Hills 90210, Road to Avonlea), Winslow Homer: An American Original is a rich and intense drama infused with lively symphonic music and the poetry of Walt Whitman. The headstrong artist has arrived in the quiet New England countryside to bury the ghosts of the Civil War, but his serenity is interrupted by two teenagers who work their way into his life. The most famous American painter of his day, Winslow Homer had a distinctive eye and captured the mood of rural and seaside America in a career that spanned the Civil War and stretched into the 20th century. Homer was a very private person who kept to himself. He often put up signs reading, "Snakes, snakes and mice" to keep away unwanted visitors and some say that his favourite phrase was, "Mind your own business." But the world did take notice, and in 1998 Microsoft's Bill Gates paid over 30 million dollars for Homer's "Lost on the Grand Banks," making it the most expensive American painting ever sold.

Created and produced by David Devine and Richard Mozer from a screenplay by Heather Conkie (The Composers Specials, The Inventors Specials, Degas and The Dancer) Winslow Homer: An American Original was shot in southern Ontario, in the rural farmland near Toronto. Largely self-taught, Homer became a master of etchings, oils and watercolours. He was responsible for changing the way Americans saw watercolour, elevating it from an amateur form to a serious art. His realistic style was at odds with the artistic conventions of his time, as was his choice of subjects: barefoot boys, farm girls, working men, ordinary soldiers; conveying with poignancy the world of the average American.

Review

Each of The Artists Specials revolves around a life-altering encounter between a famous artist and a child, both of whom are at a personal or professional crossroads. Through the course of each story, not only do the artist and the child learn more about themselves and each other, one helps the other to overcome a series of difficulties and, ultimately, to succeed So well-crafted, thoughtful and intelligent are these hourlong specials that parents are likely to enjoy them just as much as their kids. Although the programs seek to teach younger viewers that even the greatest artists faced major stumbling blocks on the road to success, adults will find many of their own quandries reflected in the artists dilemmas. -- The Los Angeles Times, May 11, 1999

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B. Murphy on September 28, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
My 8th graders hated it. As an art teacher I support what the producers are trying to do, however, this video has a weak script, uninspired performances and is simply boring. The basic dramatic conflict of the story is too internalized for middle school and too childish for high school. The performances are so underplayed and amateur-ish that there's nothing to hold students' attention. There are really very few insights into Homer the man, the artist, his techniques or his life beyond the fact that he was an illustrator during the Civil War. Save your money for a documentary video on Homer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on October 17, 2011
Format: VHS Tape
I ordered this DVD for a group of fifth graders to whom I teach Art History. We had already read a short biography of Homer prior to viewing and has observed many of his paintings. I have to say, that after viewing part of the film at home, I wasn't sure if it would hold their interest (I found it a bit bland) but it did! Their background knowledge, helped bring many of the films themes to life: his independent character, work as an illustrator, as well as his involvement as an illustrator during the Civil War. They enjoyed it very much. It was perfect for their age group.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mnel on September 25, 2013
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
helps me bring artists into the classroom while we work plus this series handles delicate family issues with care also
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "kids_first2" on September 13, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Super family video that is interesting, historically accurate and educational. Subtle story and paintings are woven together well. Makes the viewer believe it's really 1874 in New York. Creativity balances the theme of the horrors of war. Found it engrossing and entertaining. "It was funny and sad, interesting and about war." "The way the artist worked was great, how he saw things and painted them." "I liked the kids messing with the man, and the boy and girl being sweet on each other." Ages 8-12.
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