Good documentary mini-series on DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Gordon McMurphy, Oct 11, 2003.

  1. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Ken Burns' work is amazing - The Civil War is stunning. I'm thinking about getting Lewis & Clark - does anyone have the DVD?

    I really like historical and natural history documentaries - what would you recommend?

    Cheers. [​IMG]


    Gordy
     
  2. Duncan_N

    Duncan_N Stunt Coordinator

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    New York. The PBS mini-series. Fantastic!
     
  3. Jim*F

    Jim*F Stunt Coordinator

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    I own several sets that I would give very high marks (just try to purchase them for at least 25% off the list price):

    1. New York: A Documentary Film (incredible!)
    2. Jazz: A Film By Ken Burns (There have been "complaints" about too much Wynton Marsalis and the fact that jazz from 1961-2001 was condensed into the last episode, but I think it is still an incredible primer on the HISTORY of jazz -- so I wasn't expecting 10 hours of modern jazz artists, I wanted to learn about the beginnings up to 1960)
    3. The World At War (It may be 30 years old, but it truly is the definitive chronicle of World War II -- I don't think there is anything out there that could ever hold a candle to this set. It is so thorough, and since it was made in the 1970s, there are interviews with many people involved in WWII who are now dead. The only "bad" thing is that the set is 5 double-sided DVDs instead of 10 single-sided discs -- a very minor quibble, but you have to be extremely careful handling the discs)
    4. 1900 House and 1940s House (I consider these two British productions more documentary than "reality show" because the families go into them with the intent of living like one lived during that time -- and there are no reality-type squabbles with other families and families who are intent on cheating at every turn like in Frontier House)
     
  4. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Hi, Duncan. I see you live in the UK - as I do. You couldn't tell me where you bought your copy from, could you? It's quite an expensive set, although I'm sure it is well worth it, but I would like to pay as low a price as possible.

    Cheers! [​IMG] [​IMG]


    -----------


    Hi, Jim. I have the British edition of The World At War. It is a truly amazing piece of work. The UK edition is actually 10 single-sided discs and the packaging is different; it is a super-tough black cardboard box with 5 keepcases inside made of the same durable cardboard. One of my most treasured DVD sets. I've really got to get New York - it sounds AMAZING!

    Thanks! [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Gordy
     
  5. Jim*F

    Jim*F Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Gordy. I went to Amazon UK and, after seeing the picture of the box, wish they'd done that in the US (along with 10 single discs). And the 30th Anniversary edition looks even better with special packaging and a copy of the companion book that is out of print -- but I'm sure the US will never get that!

    Also, you must get two releases to get the full New York documentary -- the 7 DVD box set, and Episode 8 (New York: The Center Of The World, which chronicles the rise and fall of the World Trade Center) which is sold as a separate single disc. The original 7-DVD set was released in 2001, the 8th episode just last month (the original series doesn't specifically refer to the Twin Towers at all, so the 8th episode does make the documentary feel more "complete" -- and after 9/11, any history of New York wouldn't really seem right without a discussion of the rise and fall of the towers).
     
  6. Greg Krewet

    Greg Krewet Stunt Coordinator

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    I would recommend Ken Burns THE WEST and the Donner Party is worth watching.
     
  7. Jan H

    Jan H Cinematographer

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    I have the Lewis & Clark doc. It's fantastic. They retrace the actual route, and it's full of beautifully shot camera work. Very well-written, too. Worth a blind purchase, IMO.
     
  8. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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  9. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Screenwriter

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    Isn't Ken Burns' BASEBALL on DVD too?
     
  10. Duncan_N

    Duncan_N Stunt Coordinator

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    Gordon - I picked it up on a trip to NY in September 2001. So I probably paid too much for it (I can't remember the price excatly). Also I don't have the 8th disc yet, although I plan to pick it up soon.

    I can say that it is a great series though with a lot of rewatch value.
     

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