Ken Burns WW II Documentary Will Begin Airing Tonight

As a documentarian, Ken Burns makes Michael Moore look like the amatuer he truly is. I can't recall any of Burns' works that I didn't find compelling. He has a gift as a storyteller most novelists would kill for and a filmaker's eye for making a visual feast of anything he decides to shoot.

Best known for what in my mind is the greatest television program in history, The Civil War, Burns has tackled subjects from Baseball to the Brooklyn Bridge, each told with meticulous attention to the facts and a an obvious affection for America.

Now Burns has devoted his formidable talents to telling the story of America during World War II. Simply entitiled The War (as if there was never any other), the show will air on most PBS stations tonight and for an additional 6 parts (check local listings for times and dates).

Ed Lasky highlighted one review of Burns work earlier this week in AT - a savage panning by the New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley.

Blogger and Boston Herald editor and columnist
Jules Crittenden has also seen the entre 15 hour and has some fascinating thoughts:
Ken Burns’ much-heralded epic documentary “The War” is a magnificent failure. Stirring, tragic and stunning. Informative and insightful. And a failure. We’ll start with the failure part.

To narrow the vastness of Americas World War II experience, Burns zeroed in on four towns. Mobile, Ala., Sacramento, Calif., Waterbury, Conn., and Luverne, Minn. Then he acknowledged his mistake by cherry-picking from a few others. Burns cut himself off from a choice of the best stories. He’d have done better to let people and history, not places, be his guide.

His gimmick, with its exhaustive scene-setting, doesn’t work. Burns wanted to make a film about ordinary people, and he did. The great leaders who guided their fates, and the obstacles they surmounted, barely get lip service.
Crittenden's criticism is echoed by others as he links to several excellent reviews of the program.

Regardless, I plan on watching only because I know Ken Burns will make the subject come alive for the audience.
As a documentarian, Ken Burns makes Michael Moore look like the amatuer he truly is. I can't recall any of Burns' works that I didn't find compelling. He has a gift as a storyteller most novelists would kill for and a filmaker's eye for making a visual feast of anything he decides to shoot.

Best known for what in my mind is the greatest television program in history, The Civil War, Burns has tackled subjects from Baseball to the Brooklyn Bridge, each told with meticulous attention to the facts and a an obvious affection for America.

Now Burns has devoted his formidable talents to telling the story of America during World War II. Simply entitiled The War (as if there was never any other), the show will air on most PBS stations tonight and for an additional 6 parts (check local listings for times and dates).

Ed Lasky highlighted one review of Burns work earlier this week in AT - a savage panning by the New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley.

Blogger and Boston Herald editor and columnist
Jules Crittenden has also seen the entre 15 hour and has some fascinating thoughts:
Ken Burns’ much-heralded epic documentary “The War” is a magnificent failure. Stirring, tragic and stunning. Informative and insightful. And a failure. We’ll start with the failure part.

To narrow the vastness of Americas World War II experience, Burns zeroed in on four towns. Mobile, Ala., Sacramento, Calif., Waterbury, Conn., and Luverne, Minn. Then he acknowledged his mistake by cherry-picking from a few others. Burns cut himself off from a choice of the best stories. He’d have done better to let people and history, not places, be his guide.

His gimmick, with its exhaustive scene-setting, doesn’t work. Burns wanted to make a film about ordinary people, and he did. The great leaders who guided their fates, and the obstacles they surmounted, barely get lip service.
Crittenden's criticism is echoed by others as he links to several excellent reviews of the program.

Regardless, I plan on watching only because I know Ken Burns will make the subject come alive for the audience.