Simon Schama's Power of Art
Cast: Simon Schama
Sharply narrowing his focus a bit from his earlier BBC-produced effort, The History of Britain, author, professor, and art historian Simon Schama devotes eight hours to eight landmark works in The Power of Art, exploring how these masterpieces changed the way the world looks at art. The series, a highlight of PBS's summer 2007 schedule, affords a television history of the creative moment, depicting embattled heroes confronting disaster and triumph while making art that continues to resonate. Propelled by Schama's passionate storytelling, The Power of Art melds dramatic reenactments, location shooting, and art photography to create a challenging series that explores the power and, ultimately, the whole point of art. The series takes viewers on a sweeping cinematic journey to the turning points in the lives of eight artists and a work that defined each one's career: Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) and Wheatfield with Crows; Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Guernica; Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) and David with the Head of Goliath; Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) and The Ecstasy of St. Theresa; Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69) and The Conspiracy of the Batavians Under Claudius Civilis; Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) and The Death of Marat; J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) and Slave Ship; Mark Rothko (1903-70) and the Seagram murals. In studying these masterworks, Schama finds the history of humanity's creative spark and the hope of its rekindled future.
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Cast & Crew
Bernini Commentary With Simon Schama and Producer Clare Beavan: Play
Disc #2 -- Simon Schama's Power of Art: David/Turner/Van Gogh
David Commentary With Simon Schama and Producer Clare Beavan: Play
Van Gogh Commentary With Simon Schama and Director David Belton and Andy Serkis: Play
Disc #3 -- Simon Schama's Power of Art: Picasso/Rothko
Interview With Simon Schama
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Simon Schama's history documentaries and books have never failed to please me, and "Power of Art" is no exception. In fact, it may be the best Schama series I've seen. His engaging biographies of these half-dozen artists are enlivened by the contributions of actors (including Andy Serkis of Gollum fame) portraying these tortured creative souls. It helps that the subjects themselves -- including van Gogh and Caravaggio -- are compelling personalities. However, Simon Schama's revealing storytelling really brings them to life and illuminates their artistic creations. I highly recommend this series.
Once again, Simon Schama hits a home run with a great analysis of modern art and its relevance to life and art. If you enjoy art and enjoy Simon Schama, you will enjoy this series!