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Mr.Schama is hard to watch
on 20 December 2013
Haven't seen Simon Schama before and was looking forward to this interesting documentary.
What I found difficult -when he is talking to camera- is Mr.Schama's relentless, hammer-like emphasis on every word spoken. He is very personally involved, and he delivers everything equally on one loud note. There are no intervals of repose in the way he talks.
This is a heavy, demanding kind of delivery, like a pile-driver. I found Mr Schama's style exhausting to listen to -and even hard to look at because his body is always tensely at work behind the words, reinforcing the emphasis. I had a funny feeling Mr Schama might throw something at me for not paying enough attention (has Mr Schama been a schoolmaster?)
Everything Mr.Schama says is interesting, but my problem is that everything is on this emphatically loud level. There is little variation between his central point and lesser points, and it was sometimes difficult to grasp the development of his argument.
Simon Schama intimidates me a bit. He often sounds angry. In the context his anger may be understandable, but it's hard to watch and puts you on edge. I am happy and ready to give Mr.Schama my attention, but please, without the heavy stuff ! By the end of each episode I felt, if not worn out, pretty dazed -and sometimes unsure of the episode's principle points.
However don't let my personal reaction to Simon Schama's style put you off from watching this interesting and sometimes moving documentary.