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Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

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Ken Burns:

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

Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby A_Man_Who_Tries on Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:34 am

The Vietnam War - expectedly thorough, solid work. Won't convert those who struggle with Burns' pace and style, but a treat if you're onside.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Andrew. on Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:36 pm

Good discussion between a couple Vietnam historians about the doc in this podcast: http://nostalgiatrap.libsyn.com/nostalg ... stian-appy

They're pretty critical and they know what they're talking about.

Some other critical takes:

https://fair.org/home/ken-burns-vietnam ... tive-lens/

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/09/viet ... mperialism

https://newrepublic.com/article/144864/ ... ietnam-war
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby A_Man_Who_Tries on Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:23 pm

I'd say the bulk of those above are bang on the money, but if you're going into anything (not just Vietnam) thinking you'll get all the answers then...well, that's not the world.

Some breadth, some depth, some colour, and then it's on the viewer to do the more rigorous work of finding personal context. Particularly unfashionable labour these days (see also: the state we're in), but there's plenty that it would be a mistake to miss out on by giving the series the swerve, in the face of the usual swirl.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Dave N. on Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:35 pm

I don't know about y'all, but I'm enjoying the hell out of his latest.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Wood Goblin on Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:39 am

I am too. I’m sure there will be bones to pick and that it’s flawed in ways that C&W enthusiasts will quickly identify, but I’m not an enthusiast, and I’m learning a lot. The footage is fantastic. It’s interesting how many C&W musicians readily acknowledge the debt the music owes to blues and gospel and to specific black musicians in general. The fans don’t acknowledge it, but the musicians do.

I had no idea that Jimmie Rodgers recorded with Louis Armstrong or that bluegrass was such a recent creation.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Into the Void on Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:46 pm

Oh man, does this horrible voiceover describing scenes that are already appearing on screen continue throughout? I was looking forward to this for weeks and after seven minutes I can't stand another minute of this guy's voice...he sounds like a frightened 20 year old neutered white male.

"An African-American man and two boys clap while a group of white fiddlers play!"

"In a photo, a woman speaks into a horn shaped microphone."

"Two boys pose with their arms around each other."

"A double decker bus travels down a city street!"

What the hell? This is awful.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Wood Goblin on Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:19 am

There are tons of voice-overs, but I don’t recall any like that. Are you watching a version for the hearing impaired?
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Dave N. on Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:44 am

Peter Coyote is 77 and doesn’t sound frightened, young, or neutered to me. Are we watching the same show?
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Ike on Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:54 am

Loved the Country music one, and generally enjoy all of his work up to this point (with on a few exceptions).

I think he missed a point with the late 70's/early 80's urban cowboy boom. He briefly mentions is, but there's no Kenny Rogers, Juice Newton, Eddie Rabbit action, and those three were inescapable on both pop and country radio for a couple years there.

I wonder why he stopped at the mid-90's for the arc of this program? I have THE HARDEST TIME talking about country music from 2000-now in my classes. Something is simply not connecting for me with this modern stuff (I don't mean aesthetically, I mean just culturally--I don't get the POV or something maybe?). Post 9-11 reveals some really unique shit happening with country music.

Aside from that, I loved this one a lot. Will watch it again, in fact.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Wood Goblin on Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:11 am

Oops, I meant “visually impaired.”
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby Into the Void on Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:59 am

Wood Goblin wrote:Oops, I meant “visually impaired.”


My apologies, I think this must be it. I downloaded a couple of episodes instead of streaming and there are two different narrations, Peter Coyote and then another that comments on still photographs or short video clips that sounds like the worst type of NPR voice imaginable. I thought it was some kind of bizarre aesthetic choice...just streamed it on PBS and the it's not there. Thanks.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby atomjackfuser on Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:54 pm

Ike wrote:Loved the Country music one, and generally enjoy all of his work up to this point (with on a few exceptions).

I think he missed a point with the late 70's/early 80's urban cowboy boom. He briefly mentions is, but there's no Kenny Rogers, Juice Newton, Eddie Rabbit action, and those three were inescapable on both pop and country radio for a couple years there.

I wonder why he stopped at the mid-90's for the arc of this program? I have THE HARDEST TIME talking about country music from 2000-now in my classes. Something is simply not connecting for me with this modern stuff (I don't mean aesthetically, I mean just culturally--I don't get the POV or something maybe?). Post 9-11 reveals some really unique shit happening with country music.

Aside from that, I loved this one a lot. Will watch it again, in fact.


I have not watched the last episode, but I'm glad he stopped there. That whole post-911 Toby Keith/Dixie Chicks episode was ugly and there was no way he could be apolitical about that era.

IMO, it is his subjective tone that allows him to make big documentaries on PBS. IF the 15-20 hour PBS stuff was overtly partisan, who knows if he'd still be "Ken Burns."
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby atomjackfuser on Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:46 pm

RAISE JOHN CHANCELLOR AND DAVID MCCULLOUGH FROM THE GRAVE!!!
Last edited by atomjackfuser on Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Documentary Filmmaker: Ken Burns

Postby atomjackfuser on Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:46 pm

..
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