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  • Half Past Autumn [DVD] [2000] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Half Past Autumn [DVD] [2000] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Half Past Amazing 9 Mar. 2006
By Odysseus - Published on
Verified Purchase
This is quite a look into the amazing life and art of Gordon Parks, an American Treasure.

Like the works of Parks, this documentary is beautifully filmed and narrated. And by the time the film ends, you wish it would just go on and on. Just the way you feel about the amazing life of Gordon Parks.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Absorbing look into the life of an Extraordinary Artist. . . 22 Oct. 2008
By Danniray99 - Published on
This documentary on the life and times of the prolific and uncannily gifted photographer, novelist, filmmaker, musician and painter Gordon Parks is never less than absorbing. The film stretches across two centuries as it traces his life and career from abject poverty in Kansas city, circa 1912 (the year of his birth), to his astonishing and unprecedented rise (in the late 40's, 50's and 60's) as a top photographer for Vogue, Life and other magazines, to his later years as a filmmaker and composer, through 2006 (the year of his death). That Parks was the product of illiterate Black sharecroppers is all the more riveting! Aside from prominent photographs, footage and voice-overs of Parks himself, "Half Past Autumn" features Parks'children and ex-wives, as well as celebrities and lifelong friends like record-mogul Russell Simmons and Gloria Vanderbilt--all of whom provide thoughtful, considerate anecdotes. Though Parks' subject matter widely varied (for a crucial time in his career he quickly garnered coveted assignments to places as far-flung as Paris and Brazil), his biggest claim to fame were his heart-stopping photographs of the Southern civil rights movement in the 1960's for Life magazine. In general, the power of his photos was such that no text needed to explain them. In still after still, you are astonished by his innate ability to capture and convey the very essence and beauty (however savage) of an image--whether that image is of families entrapped in poverty; a high fashion model; a glitzy society doyenne; or a cleaning woman resigned to her fate (his iconic photo "American Gothic," shows a Black maid posed in front of a draping American flag, staring down the camera as she holds an upended mop in one hand and a broom in the other).

Parks' other prominent interests included writing and filmmaking (he wrote, produced and directed the highly-acclaimed movie "The Learning Tree"). Sandwiched between his photography, writing and filmmaking was yet another tremendous gift for composing music. He was an untutored, respectably-skilled pianist with an abiding interest in classical music. In short, "Half Past Autumn" is a succinct epitaph of one the greatest American rennaissance men of the 20th century!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
an old friend 18 May 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
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I probably can't be a detached reviewer on this one. Gordon Parks was an old friend. He and I both loved the Kansas prairie where we each grew up although in different times and conditions. It makes me happy to hear his voice and the cadence that rings in my memory.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Will use in my Humanities Through the Arts class 30 Dec. 2013
By Matt Jarvis - Published on
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This was an informative video. I kind of knew what was going to be in it as it only expounds upon the book of the same name. I have always taught about Gordon Parks because his images went beyond bombastic to artistic, something a lot of young, contemporary artists need to see. As detailed in the video it was the lesson he learned from Roy Striker, you can't just take a picture and print the word bigot beneath it because it's more complicated than that, even bigots are real people and they may not look bad. As Parks puts it, what is in front of the camera is more important than what is behind it.

He worked obviously for the FSA (and Striker), but also Vogue and Life going all over the world covering and getting stories in a humane way that made people understand what he was documenting. His artistic and fashion work shows he was at the top in those fields also, being experimental, not afraid to try to get new results and of course this influenced his journalistic work.

I had heard he was musically inclined, but I had never actually associated any music besides "Shaft" by Isaac Hayes with Mr. Parks. It turns out he was an accomplished jazz pianist and classical composer (I wish I could find some of his compositions that are in the film to purchase). Of course I knew about "Shaft", but I did not realize he was also the author, director and composer for "The Learning Tree" or involved in a movie about Solomon Northcutt ("12 Years A Slave" is a retelling of the same story). I am also thinking about having advanced photography students read his "Choice of Weapons".

Production quality is good as you would expect from someone of his caliber and like I said the music that goes along with it is good, but never overpowering the other content.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
wonderful insight into this amazing artist 14 Sept. 2008
By Kimberly Jenkins - Published on
Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed watching this. It was great to hear the stories behind his incredible photographs. It gave me an even a better appreciation for them. It was very well produced as well.
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