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Thread: Ken Burns

  1. #1
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    Ken Burns

    So, with The Vietnam War premiering on PBS later this month with youknowwho helping out with the score, I figured maybe a thread on Burns' work in general (with particular focus on the new series) would make for a good thread. The only one I've seen in total was his series on jazz, as I was just getting into Miles and Coltrane when it premiered. I was disappointed that he didn't make a more comprehensive and even-handed account of the fusion period, but otherwise remember taking a lot from it.

    Vietnam is of even more interest to me, and from a more personal place. My father was stationed in Thailand, and my step-father served in Vietnam proper during some of the heaviest fighting in the early 70's. I don't talk about it with them a whole lot, maybe a few times with my father and have overheard my step-dad tell some stories. But I'm actually kind of anxious to see how they respond to what they see of this (doubtful they'll commit to the whole 18 hours but who knows).

    From what I've seen and read so far, this is seemingly a very personal piece to Burns as well, having lived through "the war at home". One of many reasons why I feel this will resonate powerfully with today's America is that the divide happening here now is not too different than the one we experienced then. It'll most certainly be remembered as his most epic piece, as it took nearly a decade to put together and is (he speculates) the most expensive project PBS has ever assembled period. With the kind of care and respect to history that his earlier work has shown, on top of having interviews with many of the people who were there at the time who's memories are still clear enough to present a good picture of what's going on, I have no doubt it'll be worth every penny.

    The New Yorker: "Ken Burns' American Canon"

    Last edited by onthewall2983; 09-01-2017 at 05:24 PM.

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    I'll be quite honest and say that until this was announced I'd never really heard of him. I might have heard the name but it never stuck with me. I had heard about a great Civil War documentary, but not that it was Ken Burns who made it. Anyway, about 2 months ago my Dad said he'd seen a documentary series about prohibition and he'd like to show it to me. Over the next month we watched it all in parts and I absolutely loved it.

    I know it sounds really morbid but the whole experience of popping over every week to watch an episode is one of those things that I know I'll look back on fondly when my Dad isn't around anymore. Does anyone else get that sometimes?

    Anyway, point is, I can't wait to do the same with the new documentary

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    I've seen the documentary on the Civil War when I was a kid and thought it was incredible. I want to revisit that and see some of his other docs.

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    I still watch Jazz and Baseball from time to time...they're so fuckin' good.

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    I loved "The Civil War" & "Baseball". Somehow, I haven't gotten over to watching "Jazz".

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    I should check out Baseball soon. I'm a sports documentary nut, way more than the sports themselves admittedly.

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    I watched both The Civil War and Baseball when they first aired on PBS. Both are masterpieces and I am not saying this lightly. Jazz is good too and so is the lesser known Dust Bowl.

    I cannot wait for The Vietnam War first because it's from Ken Burns and second because Trenticus' score is the cherry on top.

    Baseball is still making cry for Pete's sake and I don't care that there's no crying in baseball!

  9. #9
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    Burns and Novick are on today's episode of WTF With Marc Maron

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    Um, I *mostly* know him from the "Ken Burns Effect" in college

    http://www.pbs.org/pov/blog/docsoup/...actually-uses/



    But I REALLY loved his documentary on the Roosevelts.

    edit: Oh, I thought Prohibition was really great, too.
    Last edited by allegro; Yesterday at 02:53 PM.

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    Freaked out when I found out TR+AR were scoring The Vietnam War... re-posting my reaction from the thread of the same name, because I don't think I can re-state my feelings better now than I did in January!

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadpool
    I had the honor & pleasure of seeing Mr. Burns speak in Aspen over the summer to a very small crowd of maybe 100-ish people. He was doing a special presentation that related to the election, and so he showed clips from his various docs that had to do with the elections of the given era. Ken is fiercely intelligent and well spoken. I highly recommend looking up his Stanford Commencement speech if you haven't seen it.

    After the presentation, he did a Q&A. I so, so wish I knew he was a fan of Trent & Atticus's work, otherwise I would've asked him about that. Then again, how could I have known? Instead, I asked what it was like to be such a direct influence for Christopher Nolan and Interstellar. He was very gracious. While I asked my question, he leaned forward, listening intently, and made sustained eye contact. When answering, he spoke directly to me – and somewhere in his answer he mentioned the Vietnam doc (and no joke, probably 8 or 9 other films that are simultaneously in the works).

    I also spoke to him very briefly at the small reception that followed. He's a deeply kind, deeply respectful man. It was an honor. I admire him even more now knowing that he sought out Trent & Atticus! Amazing!! I absolutely cannot wait for the full Vietnam doc.
    Last edited by Deadpool; Today at 12:53 AM.

  13. #13
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    The first episode premiered the other night, but they are all available to watch on the PBS app (which is free to get).

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    Burns and Novick talk about the film on Sam Harris' podcast: https://www.samharris.org/podcast/it...impossible-war

    They also discuss music in films at the 25 minute mark. Trent and Atticus are mentioned.

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