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A few words about…™ Hemingway (PBS) – in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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I've viewed the first two-hour installment of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's Hemingway. It's jam-packed with information and extraordinary images, moves quickly, and is beautifully structured and presented, in the accustomed fashion. The now HD imagery reminds me of concepts of the earliest Florentine work (16mm) that began with Brooklyn Bridge four decades ago.

It's no wonder that video editing programs have something called Ken Burns effect.

While there are more than a handful of extremely fine documentarians working today, Mr. Burns is among the most visible - mostly because of his work's constant appearances on PBS.

And there's a reason for that.

Florentine's work is always of the highest standards, the next production building upon those that came before, while remaining essentially educational, entertaining, and generally steering clear of political hot subjects - something that's left to a few other extremely fine filmmakers.

Many things remain the same.

The main narrator is Peter Coyote.

The writer is Geoffrey C. Ward.

For Hemingway, voices are familiar - Jeff Daniels as Mr. Hemingway, Mary-Louise Parker, Patricia Clarkson, Meryl Streep, Keri Russell and others.

Watching a Burns / Novick doc is akin to going home again. Every element is comfortable and welcoming.

The film is the leisurely pace, spending requisite time on each of the literary works. None of the old time bio-pic "and then we sat down and wrote."

An extraordinary "warts and all" documentary, even for people who don't like docs, and essential viewing for anyone with a bent toward 20th century literature.

A magnificent six-hour program, absolutely worth having on one's self in disc form.

I believe I have every one of the Florentine documentaries, as published by PBS. some of the earlier are available as DVD boxed sets - American Lives (Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, Frank Lloyd Wright, Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony) and America (Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Empire of the Air, The Congress, Thomas Hart Benton, Huey Long and The Shakers).

Most of the longer form are now available upgraded and restored to Blu-ray.

Your purchases help to support the work of PBS.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 
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Robert Crawford

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Yeah, I streamed the entire documentary on PBS and thought it was well done as I learned a great deal about Hemingway. I'm not sure if Jeff Daniels had the right voice quality to be Hemingway. I thought an actor with a deeper voice might have been more appropriate to fit Hemingway's real voice.
 

Walter Kittel

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Yeah, I streamed the entire documentary on PBS and thought it was well done as I learned a great deal about Hemingway. I'm not sure if Jeff Daniels had the right voice quality to be Hemingway. I thought an actor with a deeper voice might have been more appropriate to fit Hemingway's real voice.

This was briefly discussed in the thread over in TV and the more I think about it, the more I am inclined to agree. Still, an excellent program despite that observation. For those who collect the Ken Burns documentaries this is a worthy addition.

- Walter.
 

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