Archive for January 22nd, 2013


by Allan Fish

(UK 1973 651m) DVD1/2

A mosaic of animal and angel

p  Dick Gilling, Adrian Malone  d  Mick Jackson, David John Kennard, Dick Gilling, Adrian Malone  w  Jacob Bronowski  ph  Nat Crosby, John Else, John McGlashan  ed  Paul Carter, Roy Fry, Jim Latham  m  Sheldon Hendler

presented by  Jacob Bronowski  (with Joss Ackland, Roy Dotrice)

Man is a singular creature.  He has a set of gifts that make him unique among the animals.  Unlike them, he is not a figure in the landscape, he is the shaper of the landscape.”  The opening words to Jacob Bronowski’s mammoth undertaking set in motion what has been long-regarded as the pinnacle of the BBC’s factual programming history.  Upon the release and critical acclaim given to Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation, it was none other than David Attenborough who helped persuade Bronowski to finish the story.  For in truth, Clark told one half of the story in his series, concentrating on man’s advance in art, be it painting, architecture, music, literature, philosophy or sculpture; the aesthetic viewpoint.  Bronowski would take the opposite tack, that of man’s development through science and intellectual ideas, concentrating on the various special needs that drove man on in his ascent to a higher plain.  One might call it the head to Clark’s heart, one unable to exist without the other, and just occasionally, the passion of one meets the analysis of the former, like circles in a Venn Diagram, thus allowing us a depth of appreciation that is even now quite sublime. (more…)

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