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Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

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Ken Burns:

crap.
5
19%
not crap.
22
81%
 
Total votes : 27

Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby jimmy spako on Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:11 pm

so there's no single crap/not crap for this guy as a filmmaker,
just a couple related to him.

i'm halfway through the civil war & i do not want it to end (the series, not the war, i know the war ends, in 1865 if you really want to know). i wish there were documentaries like this on every single moment in history.

you can find these things online, google video & such. i took a look at jazz, but the first voice you hear is that of wynton marsalis & i have been told/feared that i would not be able to make it through this series. i've thought enough about marsalis/crouch in this lifetime, don't really need to waste any more time stewing about them.

so what else has he done?

is baseball any good?

does jazz indeed have any redeeming qualities?
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby MWilke on Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:19 pm

Baseball is excellent. And I really enjoyed the Lewis and Clark 2 part series. All I ever really knew (I guess had to know) about them were the names, the dates, and the route.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby scntfc on Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:46 pm

Mary Chesnut wrote:I would certainly say that as a general relayer of subject matter, Mr. Burns is not crap. However, his use of reenacted voice overs can sometimes be quite the crap-like bother. Mary Chesnut.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Swarthy on Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:50 pm

jimmy spako wrote:does jazz indeed have any redeeming qualities?

Some great footage of early jazz titans. Some of what Gary Giddins says won't make you want to kill yourself. That's about it.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby jimmy spako on Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:08 pm

vockins wrote:If you haven't been able to manage spectating a baseball game from its beginning to its conclusion, Baseball is definitely not for you.



that sounds like a good thing, i.e. not crap.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Minotaur029 on Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:06 pm

The Jazz series has been criticized for focusing almost exclusively on black jazzmen.

The War is pretty good, but World War II is just so big that you find yourself wishing that it could have received as comprehensive a treatment as the American Civil War.

Baseball is wonderful.

The Civil War is his crowning achievement. All the voice actors strike me as being perfectly cast. It's the single most defining, interesting, and important event in my country's history and it was handled extremely well by Burns and his crew. I've watched this eleven hour documentary all the way through about twelve to fifteen times in my life. It was the perfect jumping off point for my interest in this war and for history in general.

Definitely Not Crap.

EDIT: Edited to add the letter "n" in "crowning".
Last edited by Minotaur029 on Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby kenoki on Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:55 pm

my ap history teacher junior year had a massive crush on ken burns (of course, she also married her college history professor who was 30 years her senior). she was all about thomas jefferson my senior year because that one had just come out. it gave me a bit of an enthusiasm for his documentaries. they are gentle and sympathetic... i really liked the recent ones (national parks, the war and unforgiveable blackness). great stuff! i wouldn't mind meeting him.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby kenoki on Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:02 pm

jimmy spako wrote:so what else has he done?

is baseball any good?

does jazz indeed have any redeeming qualities?


yeah jazz has some good qualities, but i'd save it for after you've seen his good stuff and are a ken burns fan (and more indiscriminate).

i caught his early ones (brooklyn bridge and statue of liberty) on PBS a couple years back while they were preparing for a new one. they were pretty good (but maybe save them for later too). i enjoyed civil war, baseball and unforgivable blackness the most.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Swarthy on Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:29 pm

Minotaur029 wrote:The Jazz series has been criticized for focusing almost exclusively on black jazzmen.

Jazz is 100% the Wynton Marsalis/Stanley Crouch view of jazz history, which is like American history as related exclusively by Dick Cheney.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby jimmy spako on Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:46 pm

Swarthy wrote:
Minotaur029 wrote:The Jazz series has been criticized for focusing almost exclusively on black jazzmen.

Jazz is 100% the Wynton Marsalis/Stanley Crouch view of jazz history, which is like American history as related exclusively by Dick Cheney.


well, i haven't seen it, but it's probably more analogous to only telling the civil war story from the northern side.

that's right, lennie tristano, you hot-headed reb motherfucker, i just likened you to a slave holder!

na, it's a failed analogy perhaps, but it sounds like he told it entirely from the perspective of the dingdingadingocons, as if they'd won the war of interpretation.

the civil war is fucking devastating, very well told & extremely well paced.

thanks for the other tips, they sound great.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Swarthy on Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:50 pm

jimmy spako wrote:
Swarthy wrote:
Minotaur029 wrote:The Jazz series has been criticized for focusing almost exclusively on black jazzmen.

Jazz is 100% the Wynton Marsalis/Stanley Crouch view of jazz history, which is like American history as related exclusively by Dick Cheney.


well, i haven't seen it, but it's probably more analogous to only telling the civil war story from the northern side.

Well, I have seen it, and it's a bunch of assholes with a reactionary agenda being allowed to write history.

Cheney. I didn't stutter.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Minotaur029 on Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:07 pm

Dear jimmy spako and other military history fans,

This website will greatly add to your understanding of what actually happened during various American Civil War battles. It is especially helpful while reading Civil War memoirs and the like. It makes the written word far less dry as you can understand precisely what some general or author might be talking about. Highly recommended.

There's also links for other Flash wars here.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Antero on Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:10 pm

Jazz isn't flawed simply in its lack of attention to non-black jazzmen, it also acts as though jazz basically stopped entirely after A Love Supreme was recorded and Coltrane was taken bodily up into heaven.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby jimmy spako on Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:52 pm

scntfc wrote:
Mary Chesnut wrote:I would certainly say that as a general relayer of subject matter, Mr. Burns is not crap. However, his use of reenacted voice overs can sometimes be quite the crap-like bother. Mary Chesnut.


i'm cool with them on the whole.

dude could have asked patrick swayze to come down to the studio though.
wouldn't have hurt him.


thanks for the link, minotaur!
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Regifter on Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:46 pm

Burns is such a Red Sox apologist -- there's the bit about 'church bells ringing out all over New England' when Fisk hit his Game 6 '75 home run. It's well documented that Burns rang the church bell in his hometown -- not sure beyond that. The benefit of being a historian, I guess.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby AlBStern on Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:34 am

A hearty not crap for Ken Burns. I can watch any of the Baseball ones at any time and not get bored.

I'm currently about 2/3 of the way through National Parks. Excellent but probably a bit too slow for some. Makes me want to drop everything and walk into the wilderness for a couple weeks.

He is currently working on two projects, the 1st being a full length doc on the Dustbowl. The other is an update to Baseball covering 1992 through the present.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Marsupialized on Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:50 am

The Mark Twain one is highly enjoyable, getting into National Parks next.
Completely N/C pretty much
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Bro Shark on Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:02 pm

NC, but he's pretty much beaten the "plaintive solo piano music" segway into a pulp.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby owen on Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:32 pm

I have never seen the baseball one and it seems to be one of the only ones not available on the old Netflix. :(
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Marsupialized on Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:16 pm

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