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This review is from: Simon Schama's The Power Of Art: The Complete BBC Series [DVD]  (DVD)
The artists and their works just can not overcome the presenter, producers and writers more bent upon demonstrating the prowess of the BBC cameras, the superiority of the professor, and the ignorance of the viewer than upon bringing to life their subject.
More time seems to be spent on glorious footage of nature than upon the works of the artists, and presenter Schama mouths sophistries and hogs the screen, head bobbing about like a stringless marionette as he overwhelms with his superior intellect and recants a bit about the artists who changed our thinking about art.
Dramatic but impenetrable closeups of individual works are constants, zooming in and out with little explanation of the significance of the view. Actors portray the artists and their retinues, sometimes with good effect, often not. We see lots of clouds and dramatic sunlit landscapes, ocean waves crashing on coastal pillars. But we are well aware that the BBC has the best cameramen on the planet for such shots.
Still, there are moments of revelation that make putting up with the weaknesses of presentation worth a viewing, especially with judicious use of the fast-forward button. Schama is knowledgeable and obviously passionate about his subject, and he crams a good deal of information into the three discs, but leaves the audience parched for comprehenaion.
The series would have benefited enormously from a strong producer and director who insisted that the flow of information be less erratic, the presenter's bobbing and weaving head less pervasive, and the range of works of the artists broader and more lucidly and representatively arranged. The entire body of work screams out for a good editor.
The price is reasonable, so worth a viewing. But not two. Be prepared for 90 seconds of unavoidable disclaimers and pap at the beginning of each disc.