Good Movies: The Power of Art

This 3-DVD set is probably best for those who think they aren’t fans of classical art and haven’t spent much time in the art museums.  Presented by art historial Simon Schama, the series contains episodes for Caravaggio, Bernini, Rembrandt, David, Turner, Van Gogh, Picasso and Rothko.

power-of-art21Some of those you never heard of?  Not to worry.  Schama represents the right combination of artistic credability, historical accuracy and insight, and a populist appeal.  You’ll not be bored.

Produced by the BBC (yes, I’m a fan and admit it), the episodes combine a number of elements woven together:

1) Excellent storytelling, 2) Historical context and connections, 3) Remarkable acting, 4) Beautiful filming of contextual scenes that introduce the art, 5) Varied music that remarkably fits most of the occasions, and 6) Surprising insights into the art itself

Schama is passionate and gutty in his approach to every artist.  Presenting J.M.W. Turner’s picture of the slave ship Zong and its intentional drowning of 122 sick slaves, Schama declares that he “drowns us in that sea.”  And even in the absence of Turner’s painting, you feel it and fear.

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