Archive for March 5th, 2013

schama 1

by Allan Fish

(UK 2000-2002 945m) DVD1/2

This sceptred isle

p/d  Claire Beaven, Ian Bremner, Liz Hartford  w  Simon Schama  ed  Philippa Daniel  m  John Harle  presented by  Simon Schama

with the voices of:  Timothy West, Samuel West, Emilia Fox, Lindsay Duncan, Matthew Rhys, Michael Kitchen, Bill Paterson, James Bolam, David Threlfall, Charles Dance,

What is most remarkable about Simon Schama’s monumental documentary chronology, amongst many remarkable aspects, is its sense of irony, its sense of place.  It doesn’t aim to be a gargantuan chronicle the size of Encyclopaedia Brittanica, for even such a tome would barely scratch the surface, but rather attempts, through the analysis of the major events that formed the history of this group of islands, to capture both the very essence of Britishness and to give lie to the myth of dusty schoolbooks and monotone lectures.  He not only achieves this remarkable feat, but he at once embodies the very essence of not only what it is to be British, to have that incredible heritage, but also catapults himself into the pantheon of the great small screen factual figures, alongside A.J.P.Taylor, Kenneth Clark, John Romer, Jacob Bronowski and Michael Wood, to inspire perhaps the next generation of historians to follow in his admirably personable footsteps.  Its writer also shared a problem with yours truly; objectivity – the title is ‘a’ history of Britain, not the, as mine is ‘a’ list of the milestones of screen.  It’s not definitive, but a starting point.  (more…)

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