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This page contains a directory of videos in DVD and VHS Tape Format about important people in history. Almost all of which were discussed by Galambos in his various classes.
If you don't have an MP3 player for the Audio files or a Video player for the videos, click on the left image for Apple iPod information and the right image for portable video player information.
Biography - Sir Isaac Newton: Gravity of Genius
(A&E DVD Archives) (2000) -
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Infinite Secrets: The Genius of Archimedes (2003 - )
In 1991, a small Medieval prayer book was sold at auction. Miraculously, some original writings of Archimedes, the brilliant Greek mathematician, were discovered hidden beneath the religious text. Through scholarly detective work with the help of modern technology, this book now reveals Archimedes� stunningly original concepts, ideas, and theories�revelations that, if known sooner, might have reshaped our world. <.p>
Many historic figures have been hailed as ahead of their time. Few�if any�are said to be centuries ahead of their time. The Einstein of his era, Archimedes had a sophisticated understanding of mathematics, and designed marvelous war machines for his native Syracuse to use against the invading Romans. Many of Archimedes� works disappeared during the Middle Ages, but some survived to help inspire the scientific revolution in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. One document that seemed irretrievably lost was his final treatise The Method, which reputedly explained how he achieved his brilliant results�secrets he revealed nowhere else. Now, over 2200 years later, the discovery of The Method has experts and scientists dreaming of what might have been if Renaissance thinkers and other great minds had known of his ideas and been able to build on them.
NOVA explores Archimedes� rare writings, as well as the book�s mysterious beginnings, tumultuous history and amazing discovery. As the ancient text comes back from the dead, it unlocks its revolutionary contents�the infinite secrets of one of history�s greatest thinkers.
Special DVD features include: activities for educators; materials and activities for librarians; a link to the Infinite Secrets Web site; scene selections; closed captions; and described video for the visually impaired.
On one DVD5 disc. Region coding: All regions. Audio: Dolby stereo. Screen format: Letterboxed.
Galileo: On the Shoulders of Giants (2000 - )
Starring: Michael Moriarty, Kenny Vadas
Director: David Devine
This installment of The Inventors' Specials, a series that invites youngsters to think about great inventors (including Edison and Einstein), focuses on the man who brought the wonder of science into the Dark Ages. Michael Moriarty gives vigor to his role as the scientist who is forced to take on a young apprentice. First bored with his new surroundings, the youngster develops a keen interest in Galileo's inventions, including his latest, the telescope. The hour-long video, which played on HBO and won two daytime Emmys, doesn't pull any punches by explaining what happened to heretics who, like Galileo, preached the Earth wasn't the center of the universe. However, the filmmakers do not trust their young audience. Galileo's rival is an obese fool whose antics belong in Home Alone. It nearly ruins a good thing. Ages 7 and up. --Doug Thomas
From Parents' Choice®
Galileo the man emerges in this "living history" production of his adult life. He is at once brilliant, sarcastic, and defiant of the old rules of the universe. In teaching the spoiled Prince of the de Medici family, he soon finds the need to share his feelings about the magic and mysteries of physics and astronomy. And the Prince is won over by the flame that was Galileo. Michael Moriarity plays the role with just the right amount of scorn for his ignorant scientific peers and for the paranoia of the Inquisition. Though he ultimately recants his theories so that he may remain able to continue his studies, his flame lives on. Only a slice of a remarkable life, this film will have a positive impact on budding scientists who will branch naturally into further study of the man and his work. The power of biography to inspire and excite is never more apparent than in this treatment. A 1998 Parents' Choice� Gold Award.
Reviewed by Yvonne Coleman, Parents' Choice® 1998
Nova - Galileo's Battle For the Heavens (2002 - )
At a time when heretics were burned alive for dissent, scientist Galileo Galilei risked his life to advance his revolutionary concepts of the universe. British actor Simon Callow (Shakespeare in Love, Four Weddings and a Funeral) brings Galileo to life, humanizing the great thinker�s passion, intelligence, and arrogance while depicting his frustrations with fellow philosophers and scientists, and with Roman Catholic church leaders.
Based on Dava Sobel�s best-selling biography Galileo�s Daughter, this two-hour film offers a vivid re-imagining of Galileo�s incredible achievements that forever changed the way we view our place in the universe. It also investigates the momentous personal and spiritual conflicts Galileo faced�most especially in defending the controversial theory that the earth revolves around the sun.
Join noted Galileo authorities and experience the remarkable life behind the discoveries, and see letters from his illegitimate daughter, Maria Celeste, a cloistered nun, have shed new light on Galileo�s pioneering telescopic observations, his fateful Inquisition trial for heresy, and life in the seventeenth century.
Biography - Milton Hershey: The Chocolate King
(A&E DVD Archives) (2000 - )
A & E does a terrific job of telling the story of Milton Hershey. He was one of America's truly great entrepreneurs. He made excellent quality chocolate available to the common man when previously only the rich could afford it. He cared for his employees' quality of life and well being at a time when business owners were known to be ruthless and abused their workers. This is a great video and I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever enjoyed a piece of chocolate! The video moves fast, and is fascinating, motivating, as well as informative.
Biography - Benjamin Franklin: Citizen of the World
(A&E DVD Archives) (2000) -
Comment by William W Morgan
Reemember, it was Franklin who encouraged Thomas Paine to go to America. And even wrote a letter of introduction for him…
It seems that the more you know about Benjamin Franklin, the less you know about him. He was a brilliant man who somehow managed to be both simple and very complicated all at the same time. If I tried to list all of his accomplishments here, I would surpass the maximum word limit before I could even get my review started. At the birth of the new Republic, his was the face of America to Europe. I must admit, though, that I have never been all that enraptured with Franklin, despite all of his brilliance. He broke with the British Empire only after being excoriated by the Privy Council for his role in the "Hutchinson affair," he was not what you would call a humble man, he went years without seeing his wife (his first "short" trip to England lasted seven years, and he could have come home much sooner had he wanted to), he has always struck me as something of a dandy and a skirt-chaser, and it is hard for me to embrace anyone who was more at home with the French than with his American compatriots (the French simply adored Benjamin Franklin).
Still, the genius of the man cannot be denied, and this A&E Biography presentation does as good a job as possible given its allotted time of some 45 minutes. By necessity, it could only hit the high points without delving deeply into the man's character, but you can't help but be amazed by the wide range of knowledge and talent the man possessed, the inventions and innovations he bequeathed to his fellow man, the great spirit which animated him in all things for all of his 84 years, and his service to the new nation of America. It should be remembered that Franklin won international acclaim as a scientist years before he served as America's original elder statesman. Those with just a cursory knowledge of Franklin's life might be surprised to learn how little time he spent in America during the crucial years of rebellion and independence. How many know that he also produced an illegitimate son in his youthful, most arduous days (although he did adopt the child rather than shun him)? This video really does not go into detail about Franklin and women except to say that women in France fawned upon him and he had two particularly important lady friends there in his later years. Franklin's bold flirtation with the women of France scandalized the staid and proper John Adams, and some of Franklin's contemporaries considered him a hypocrite who preached morality while he indulged in his own lustful pleasures.
A short video such as this cannot begin to penetrate the depths of Franklin's being and character; it can, though, give the viewer an appreciation for his remarkable, wide-ranging accomplishments and his important role in shaping the young American republic. If the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the name Benjamin Franklin is the image of an old man flying a kite during a thunderstorm, you would do very well indeed to take a look at this A&E biography production and acquaint yourself with a set of accomplishments it seems impossible for one man to have achieved over the course of one lifetime. Men of Franklin's caliber and brilliance only come along about once a century.
Biography - Michelangelo: Artist and Man
(A&E DVD Archives) (2000) -
Michelangelo is the world's greatest artist. He was one of the best painters, sculptors, drawers, architects, and planner in his time. Go to his life story in Verona to the chapels he has built in Italy. See the glorious sculpture "David" that shows the youth of Italy. See beautiful paintings showing the creation of Adam, the Moses escape from Egypt, and so on. Learn some of the greatets secrets and problems of the great master. All sounds good? Then get this video!
History's Mysteries - The True Story of Marco Polo
(A&E DVD Archives) (2000) -
Initially circulated in the 14th century, "The Travels of Marco Polo" gave Europeans a glimpse into Far Eastern mysteries. But if Polo was an emissary to Kublai Khan, why isn't he mentioned, as are other foreigners, in the Khan's meticulous records? We'll delve into the ongoing dispute over the Venetian's veracity and very existence.
Biography - Christopher Columbus: Explorer of the New
(A&E DVD Archives) (2000) -
His explorations opened up the New World to Europe, but the determined explorer died a broken man, stripped of his rightful glory, titles and money.
Comment by William W Morgan
As Galambos said, whatever the personal characteristics of the man and despite all the comments of earlier "discoverers of America," after Columbus discovered it, it did not need discovering again.
Biography - Sam Walton: Bargain Billionaire
(A&E DVD Archives) (2000) -
As a recovering communist/socialist, I found this riveting film highly entertaining, and enlightening. It is not hard to see why Mr. Walton achieved such great sucess. His hands on ability, and perservience allowed his company to achieve unparalleled greatness.
While many do not like Wal Mart in its current incarnation (a fair criticism yet outside of the scope of this review) a lot can be garnered from the success Mr. Walton achieved, by his force of will/personality, embrace of technology, and his careful attention to detail.
Therefore since five stars is the highest I can give and since fists are not allowed I must give it five stars. However, if fists were possible I would give it two fists up!!!!
Modern Marvels - Technology of Kitty Hawk
(History Channel) (A&E DVD Archives) (2005) -
Nicely made, though rather brief overview of the Wright Brothers development of the first controlled powered airplane flight in 1903.
This pair of bicycle shop owners, having never gone to college, performed a feat that many thought impossible - human flight.
Obviously they built upon the expermentation of others such as Otto Lillienthal's glider tests and airfoil calculations (which proved to be inaccurate), but the Wrights developed their own airfoil design, made their own engine, carved the contra-rotating propellers, and developed wing-warping and a movable rudder for control.
Pursuant to the patent law at the time, they were prevented from demonstrating their machine, as other people worked on their own planes, notably the Frenchman Alberto Santos-Dumont who became the first European to briefy fly (in a short, straight hop) in 1906. Even a year later after the Wrights secured a patent and demonstrated their plane in Paris, the crowd was in awe of sustained and controlled flight - a miracle not though possible.
The DVD has some nice computer-generated models and demonstrations, some archive movies of the planes in flight, and a brief analysis of the classic still photograph of the first 12 second flight - the only photo taken that day out of 4 flights. Also included are current-day historians with anecdotal comments of the Wrights and their accomplishments.
The DVD says it is 50 minutes long, but it is in fact only 43 minutes - rather skimpy. The DVD has no features at all beyond chapters. A bit pricey, but for history/airplane buffs it is perhaps an essential documentary.
Biography - Thomas Jefferson: Philosopher of
(A&E DVD Archives) (2000) -
Comment by William W Morgan
Galambos always expressed gratitude to Jefferson. For his offer to send a warship to France to collect Thomas Paine and return him to the US after he was released from prison in France.
For this, Jefferson deserves our gratitude.
Thomas Jefferson, in his 83 years, accomplished many great things -- certainly more than a 50-minute video could ever completely cover. In addition to this, Jefferson was also a man of essential paradoxes: the brilliant political and social philosopher vs. the sometimes shockingly unpractical president; the ardent American patriot vs. the worldly, French-obsessed cosmopolitan -- and, last but not least, the "philosopher of freedom" vs. the slave-owning slave.
With all of this in mind, Thomas Jefferson: Philosopher of Freedom, a part of A&E's Biography series, is a splendid, immaculately done portrait of the great American. In a 50-minute span, it covers all of the major accomplishments of Jefferson's public and political life, including his role in the Revolution, his writings, his political and social philosophy, his long years in political office, his architectural accomplishments, his founding of the University of Virginia, and more. It also looks at the major events that formed Jefferson's private life: his upbringing, schooling, his married life, his relationship with John Adams and other important men of his day, and more.
That said, the video should also be commended for not falling into the easy trap of idolatry, as many such biographical portraits do. The video also examines Jefferson's faults and contradictions: his apparently paradoxical status as a slave owner, his possible liaison in Paris, and his lifelong indebtedness. It does a good job of reminding us that, for all of the idolizing that we do of these great Founding Fathers -- and great men they were -- they were also, after all, human. It is a quite well-rounded and balanced portrait of the great, but inherently human, man.
In Search of the Polio Vaccine
(History Channel) (A&E DVD Archives) (2000) -
Biography -General Douglas MacArthur - The Return of a
(A&E DVD Archives) (2000) -
Comment by William W Morgan
Galamobos often stated his respect for MacArthur. That he was a studen of Scipio. The because of his abilities it was much safer to be a soldier under MacArthur than any other general. That he emulated Scipio in not doing anything to harm Emperior. He understood that the Emperor was not the one who started the war, but militarists over which he had little control. And that he was revered by his people. That Japan and the Japanese would be much easier to control of the Emperor was still there.
Galambos also often recalled the statement of MacArthur that "In war there is no substituted for vistory." Yet that MacArthur was also not w war–lover. And very much disliked the twit Truman for his treatment of MacArthur.
As I remember there were only three generals or military figures in history that Galambos respected. Of course the great Publius Cornelius Scipio. Then Homer Lea and MacArthur.
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang Starring: Paul Muni,
Glenda Farrell Director: Mervyn LeRoy
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StorylineGenres: Crime, Film-Noir, Drama
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang is one of the toughest and most uncompromising movies to ever come out of Hollywood. Paul Muni stars as a regular Joe, just back from World War I, who is unjustly convicted of a crime and sentenced to 10 years of bruisingly unfair treatment on a chain gang. Even a successful escape can't shake the spectre of the chains, nor the amazingly fatalistic twists the screenplay has in store. This picture could only have been made at Warner Bros., where social-justice movies flourished in the 1930s and criticism of judicial systems and prisons was sanctioned.
Muni's weird acting style (he was recently off Scarface) somehow
fits the film's furious tone, and director Mervyn LeRoy—as in his
earlier Little Caesar—was dexterous enough to build the action to
an unforgettable ending. It's a film that filters the American
Dream through Depression realities and noirish pessimism (with a
streak of pre-Code sexual frankness--note the one-night "friend"
Muni makes the night of his escape). This one holds up, folks; it's
Story of Louis Pastuer (1936) —
Reviewer: Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City: Duluth,
MN United States)
The 1930s were very much the glory day of Hollywood bio-pics, a fact amply evidenced by "The Story of Louis Pasteur" a 1936 production from Warner Brothers. Paul Muni in his Oscar winning role plays the French scientist who had to convince a skeptical scientific community that germs were the cause of disease. The one thing that can be said for modern science is that at least they are not dogmatic enough to threaten their opponents with execution, so this is not exactly a replay of the story of Galileo before the Inquistion. The scene where Pasteur instructs his chief opponent Dr. Charbonnet (Fritz Leiber) on how to wash his hands to prepare for surgery seems so strange when you consider that everybody today knows what doctors are supposed to do, it is so ingrained in both medical practice and popular culture.
The film tells of a time when science was about to achieve its ascendancy, which is ironic because in today's world of the Internet, that which is true is not scientific fact but rather that which is more easily accessible. "The Story of Louis Pastuer" is one of fighting each battle twice, for he not only has to find a cure for anthrax and rabies, he has to convince the scientific community that he is right. The fact that we know Pasteur is right does not take away from the drama of the story, and it does not hurt to be reminded of society's immense capability for stubbornly insisting on being stupid in the fact of evidence of a brave new world.
"The Story of Louis Pasteur" also won a couple of Oscars for the screenplay by Pierre Collings and Sheridan Gibney, but lost out on the Best Picture award. It is the sort of picture that can inspire younger viewers to think about what can be accomplished in the world of science and can certainly claim to be educational in terms of teaching us about how to prevent and cure disease. The film is filled with noted character actors in supporting roles, such as Akim Tamiroff as Dr. Zaranoff and Halliwell Hobbes as Dr. Lister, but I especially like the performance of Henry O'Neill as Dr. Emile Roux, who publicly challenges Pasteur on the question of the anthrax vaccine and does not bat an eye on changing his views when he is proven wrong.
However, ultimately this is Muni's film, when he was considered the premier actor of his generation. The actor would team up again with director William Dieterle two years later on another bio-pic, "The Life of Emile Zola." I think Muni��s performance is a bit better in that film, mainly because Zola gets to give a very impassioned speech during his trial, but of course once you win an Oscar for playing a French national hero it is hard to get comparable acclaim for doing it again so soon. --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition
A Night to Remember — Criterion Collection (1958)
Starring: Kenneth More, Ronald Allen Director: Roy Ward Baker
Genres: Action, Drama, History
Plot Outline: The Titanic disaster is depicted in straightforward fashion without the addition of fictional subplots.
Amazon.com Two years after 20th Century Fox released its melodramatic disaster film Titanic in 1953, Walter Lord's meticulously researched book A Night to Remember surprised its publishers by becoming a phenomenal bestseller. Lord had an intuition that readers craved the reality of the Titanic disaster and not the romantically mythologized translations (like Fox's film, starring Barbara Stanwyck), which relied on fictional characters to "enhance" the world's worst maritime disaster. Lord's book proved that the truth was far more compelling than fiction, outlining the many "if onlys" (if only the iceberg had been spotted a few minutes earlier, etc.) that lent somber irony to the loss of 1,500 Titanic passengers.
Three years after Lord's book appeared, it was brought to the screen with the kind of riveting authenticity that Lord had insisted upon in his own research. The 1958 British production of A Night to Remember remains a definitive dramatization of the disaster, adhering to the known facts of the time and achieving a documentary-like immediacy that matches (and in some ways surpasses) the James Cameron epic released 39 years later. The film erroneously perpetuates the once-common belief that the Titanic sunk in one piece (instead of breaking in half as its bow began to plunge), but many other misconceptions are accurately corrected, and the intelligent screenplay by thriller master Eric Ambler is a model of factual suspense.
By making Titanic the star of the film, director Roy Baker emphasizes the excessive confidence of the booming industrial age and creates an intense you-are-there realism that pays tribute to Walter Lord's tenacious quest for truth. Matching its laserdisc edition, the Criterion Collection's DVD of A Night to Remember includes feature-length audio commentary by expert Titanic historians Don Lynch and Ken Marschall (authors of Titanic: An Illustrated History and advisors on James Cameron's Titanic); an hour-long British TV documentary about the making of the film; and both the U.S. and British theatrical trailers. A must-have for Titanic buffs, A Night to Remember has stood the test of time, compares favorably to Cameron's later epic, and is superbly presented on Criterion's splendid DVD. --Jeff Shannon
Kitty Hawk - The Wright Brothers' Journey of
(Collector's Edition DVD) (2003)
Fred Howard, author of Wilbur and Orville: A Biography of the
"The Wrights are in Good Hands."
KITTY HAWK definitively documents the gripping tale of hardship, perseverance, and true genius of Orville and Wilbur Wright. Follow the brothers through their epic journey of discovery that culminated in the first successful manned flights.
More than three years in the making, KITTY HAWK features hundreds of rare and unpublished photographs, insights from leading Wright experts, and stunning sequences of replica Wright brothers� gliders in flight. Legendary astronauts NEIL ARMSTRONG and JOHN GLENN portray the voices of Orville and Wilbur—a fitting tribute from the heroes of space to the pioneers of aviation.
This 2-DISC DVD is packed with TWO ADDITIONAL HOURS OF SPECIAL FEATURES!
Dramatic Flight Footage — An exact replica of the pivotal 1902 Wright brothers' glider flown by military test pilots as they attempt to repeat the Wrights' success. Commentaries provided by the pilots. Approximately 22 minutes.
Machines of the Wright Brothers — The eight most important machines invented by the Wrights are examined by renowned airplane builder Nick Engler. Approximately 36 minutes.
Letters from Kitty Hawk — Award-winning Wright biographer Fred Howard introduces a series of beautifully written excerpts from many of the Wright brothers' personal letters. Approximately 13 minutes.
Insights from the Experts — Fascinating comments from some of the world�s foremost Wright experts. Approximately 30 minutes.
Photographs from Kitty Hawk — Over 100 photographs taken by the Wright brothers themselves, chronicling their invention. Includes captioned descriptions.
Motion Pictures of Flight — Actual footage of the Wright brothers in flight, filmed during their first triumphant years of exhibitions. Approximately 13 minutes.
The Time Machine (1960)
Starring: Rod Taylor, Alan Young Director: George Pal
Genres: Adventure, Sci-Fi
Tagline: You Will Orbit into the Fantastic Future!
Plot Outline: A Victorian Englishman travels to the far future and finds that humamity has divided into two hostile species.
Plot Synopsis: From the book by H.G. Wells, a scientist and tinkerer builds a time machine and uses it to explore the distant future where there are two races, a mild gentle race, and a cannibalistic one living underground. His machine is stolen by the underground race and he must risk capture himself (and being eaten) to return to his own time.
Amazon.com essential video
After scoring popular hits with When Worlds Collide and The War of the Worlds, special-effects pioneer George Pal returned to the visionary fiction of H.G. Wells to produce and direct this science-fiction classic from 1960. Wells's imaginative tale of time travel was published in 1895 and the movie is set in approximately the same period with Rod Taylor as a scientist whose magnificent time machine allows him to leap backward and forward in the annals of history. His adventures take him far into the future, where a meek and ineffectual race known as the Eloi have been forced to hide from the brutally monstrous Morlocks. As Taylor tests his daring invention, Oscar-winning special effects show us what the scientist sees: a cavalcade of sights and sounds as he races through time at varying speeds, from lava flows of ancient earth to the rise and fall of a towering future metropolis.
The movie's charm lies in its Victorian setting and the awe and wonder that carries over from Wells's classic story. The pioneering spirit of the movie is still enthralling, but it gets a bit silly when Taylor turns into a stock hero, rescuing a beautiful blonde Eloi (Yvette Mimieux) and battling with the chubby green Morlocks whose light-bulb eyes blink out when they die. Although it's quaint when compared to the special-effects marvels of the digital age, the movie's still highly entertaining and filled with a timeless sense of wonder. --Jeff Shannon
Battle of Zama (202 Bce)- Scipio Defeats Hannibal
Giclee Print by Henri-Paul Motte, 24x18
Comments by William W Morgan
I have seen this video. The director tries to somewhat follow the story provided by B. H. Liddel Hart in A Greater Than Napoleon. He is not completely successful and there is a bit of unnecessary and inapproriate meoldrama. But I think is may be worth seeing at least once.
It is the only known video or film about Scipio as far as I know of&ehllip;
Scipio Africanus (Scipio the African): The Defeat of Hannibal
This spectacular costume epic celebrates ancient Rome's conquests of Africa in the Second Punic War. Made during Italy's war against Abyssinia, and heavily backed by Mussolini's regime, the film spares no spectacular effect in reclaiming the glory that was Rome. In an astounding climax, Hannibal's famed elephants charge wildly into infantry lines, only to be hacked and gored to death as Rome's heroes regain their courage. Italy, 1937, B&W, 85 minutes, Dubbed in English, Digitally restored version.
Scipio Africanus: The Defeat of Hannibal (1939)
Starring: Annibale Ninchi, Director: Carmine Gallone<<br /> Edition
Mussolini's government, in addition to making the railroads run on time (and other items not so good), could also produce a movie on a lavish scale, including over 6000 extras in the battle scenes. A story of the Second Punic Wars, beginning with Scipio's futile pleas to the Roman Senate to build an army to battle Hannibal, that climaxes with the battle of Zama.
Biography - Leonardo Da Vinci:
Renaissance Master (A&E DVD Archives) (2000)
Leonardo da Vinci was probably the most brilliant thinker to ever live. We all know he painted the Mona Lisa and the definitive portrait of The Last Supper, but he was also a scientist, an engineer, and so much more - a true Renaissance man. In fact, he was the original Renaissance man of the 15th century. He changed the art world forever by introducing a three dimensional aspect to his paintings and by giving life to human portraits so vivid and realistic that one almost forgets that they are not real people. I've never been much of an art fan, but da Vinci inspires in me an inspirational, almost devotional fascination with the truly great art he created. Just think how good a painter he could have been if he had been able to concentrate on his work - da Vinci was utterly fascinated with everything around him, and his mind could rarely stay focused on one thing for very long. I did not know this, but he actually left many of his most famous works of art unfinished - yet even these unfinished portraits stunned the art world and established him as the most influential painter of the age and probably of all time - although this fact was not fully appreciated in da Vinci's own time.
This video follows da Vinci from childhood in Italy to his death in France, succeeding fairly well in capturing the scope of ingenious thoughts and ideas. I knew little about the life of da Vinci, so I sat back and absorbed just about everything that came at me. I was a little saddened to learn that he was not truly appreciated during his own time; Florence, Italy, as things turned out, just wasn't big enough for da Vinci and Michelangelo both (and might I mention the fact that Michelangelo was quite a sourpuss about the whole thing). While his paintings amazed those who saw them and even caused his mentor to give up painting altogether, da Vinci was never truly acknowledged as a master among his contemporary rivals. On several occasions, he had to search out a sponsor for his work, and he was not included among the group of Italian masters sent to Rome in answer to a call for the country's most brilliant artists. More often that not, he assumed the duties of an engineer, and the ideas he played around with in his head almost defy belief. His notebooks record the working of this great mind at work in incredible detail (and da Vinci's distinctive backwards handwriting). Da Vinci's notebooks are simply teeming with new ideas, hyper-studious observations of man and machine, and incredible sketches and illustrations of such futuristic things as submarines, helicopters, automatic machine guns, fortification measures, and all sorts of incredible things that would not become reality until the twentieth century. We don't get to see nearly enough of these notebooks in the video, but of course one can never really see enough of them.
Leonardo: A Dream of Flight(2000) —
Marie Curie: More Than Meets the Eye(2000) —
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TV Guide, June 6, 1998
Unlike the usual chronological biography ("She did this, then she did that"), which can get a little boring even for adults, Marie Curie weaves historical detail into enjoyable fiction. What could be dry textbook material comes alive through the eyes of two young girls.
Starweek, The Toronto Star, June 6, 1998
"As usual with these Inventors' Specials and the earlier Composers' Specials, Canada's Devine Entertainment has created the feel of the past while speaking through the vernacular of modern kids. We see the determination it can take to convince others of new discoveries, as we watch Curie fight for permission to take her portable X-ray van to the front lines to diagnose injured soldiers. Yet by the end of the war, 20 such vans - nicknamed Petite Curies - and 200 radiological outposts took more
From the Director
Marie Curie was filmed in at selected locations in Dublin and its environs. Devine Entertainment had previously made Bratislava, the capital of the Slovak Republic, resemble Dublin for the sake of Handel's Last Chance, so it not unusual when Dublin now needed to play Paris during World War I. "It wasn't easy to find what we needed," says director Richard Mozer. "Dublin is a beautiful city, but it's not 'European.' Its architecture is mostly Georgian, and the parts that could have been easily used, like Temple Bar, have been restored and are now hot tourist districts." Assisted by local location scouts, the series is a Canadian-Irish co-production, producers Devine and Mozer finally settled on a complex of buildings and gardens that had once been St. Anne's Convent and School. "In enough subtle ways, the place had a French, or at least Continental, look, and we ended up shooting most of the film there, controlling it almost as if we were in studio," says Mozer.
The interior scenes--the Boudreau and Yolles apartments, the primitive Curie laboratory, the hospital, and the Radium Institute were filmed there. Moving outdoors, the former Royal Hospital, now the city's modern art museum, served as the exterior of the Radium Institute. Kiladoon, the nearby country estate of the Clement family, posed as the hospital facade, while its grounds allowed Curie to drive to the war's Front lines, with Martine's mother in hot pursuit. And initial expectations to the contrary, Mozer did end up shooting in Temple Bar, on a perfect cul-de-sac called Foster's Place, for the exterior of the Boudreau House.
Naturally, scenes of Curie at work required authentic laboratory equipment, some of which production designer Cameron Porteous was able to locate, some that had to be rebuilt so that it would "perform" safely on camera. "We needed to fake X-ray tubes without, shall we say, bombarding everyone on the set with X-rays," says Mozer. But Marie Curie's large, glowing pre-operative X-ray screens posed a problem until the 11th hour--when Porteous happened to be watching on TV the handover of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China. During a display of synchronized mass celebration, Porteous saw thousands of phosphorescent sticks being waved--and suddenly remembered what they were: Snap-Lites, as they're called in North America. "I had a case of them shipped over the next day," says Porteous, who broke the tubes open and then spent hours figuring out how to make the oozing liquid cooperate for the camera.
As for the finished X-rays, Mozer and Porteous didn't have to look far at all. "Apparently, under the Irish medical system, if you have X-rays taken, you pay for them and they're yours," says Mozer. "So the X-rays you see in the film came from some of the crew!" Rain early in the 15-day shoot required some nimble juggling of locations, but the on-screen result is definitely to Mozer's liking: "I think the wet streets enhance the mysteriousness that the girls feel from time to time."
Starring: John Hurt, Richard Burton
Director: Michael Radford Rating:
First Line: [voiceover] Big Brother: This is our land. A land of peace and of plenty. A land of harmony and hope. This is our land. Oceania. These are our people. The workers, the strivers, the builders…
After The Atomic War the world is divided into three states. London is the capital of Oceania, ruled by a party who has total control over all its citizens. Winston Smith is one of the bureaucrats, rewriting history in one of the departments. One day he commits the crime of falling in love with Julia. They try to escape Big Brother's listening and viewing devices, but, of course, nobody can really escape...
Animal Farm (1955)
Starring: Gordon Heath, Maurice Denham
Director: Joy Batchelor, John Halas
A successful farmyard revolution by the resident animals vs. the farmer goes horribly wrong when corrupt pigs hijack it for their personal gain. Plot Synopsis:
Britain's first animated feature, which, despite the title and Disney-esque animal animation, is in fact a no-holds-barred adaptation of George Orwell's classic satire on Stalinism, with the animals taking over their farm by means of a revolutionary coup, but then discovering that although all animals are supposed to be equal, some are more equal than others…
Amazon.co.uk Review Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith) is a
lawyer with a wife and family whose happily normal life is turned
upside down after a chance meeting with a college buddy (Jason Lee)
at a lingerie shop. Unbeknownst to the lawyer, he's just been
burdened with a videotape of a congressman's assassination. Hot on
the tail of this tape is a ruthless group of National Security
Agents commanded by a belligerently ambitious fed named Reynolds
(Jon Voight). Using surveillance from satellites, bugs and other
sophisticated snooping devices, the NSA infiltrates every facet of
Dean's existence, tracing each physical and digital footprint he
leaves. Driven by acute paranoia, Dean enlists the help of a
clandestine former NSA operative named Brill (Gene Hackman) and
Enemy of the State kicks into high-intensity hyperdrive. Teaming up
once again with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Top Gun director Tony
Scott demonstrates his glossy style with clever cinematography and
breakneck pacing. Will Smith proves that there's more to his
success than a brash sense of humour, giving a versatile
performance that plausibly illustrates a man cracking under the
strain of paranoid turmoil. Hackman steals the show by essentially
reprising his role from The Conversation--just imagine his
memorable character Harry Caul some 20 years later. Most of all,
the film's depiction of high-tech surveillance is highly convincing
and dramatically compelling, making this a cautionary tale with
more substance than you'd normally expect from a Scott-Bruckheimer
--This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.
"Enemy Of The State", is a good piece of entertainment from a duo of filmmakers that have brought many such pieces to the screen. Having said that, if we had 1% of the gee-whiz gadgets that this film had, and they worked with 1% of the efficiency that the film portrays, Osama Bin Laden would have been apprehended before midnight on September 11th. The balance of Al Qaeda would have been rounded up within a day or two. Orwell's vision in, "1984", is tame when compared to the absolute instantaneous control this film portrays the US Government as having over any citizen they pick.
Land of the Pharaohs VHS Video
Jack Hawkins, Joan Collins
Director: Howard Hawks
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-2 Days
Comment by William W Morgan
The great director Howard Hawks thought Land of the Pharaohs was his only failure. Yet it was his greatest success. Starring the magnificent Jack Hawkins as Pharaoh, it shows the futility for those who try to create an immortality for anyone who creates nothing of value in life.
As with all polticians—whether of the civil, military or religious branch—Pharoah wished to be remembered throughout history. The less that someone achieves in life, the more they wish to be rememered. Yet there is only one way to be remembered: Through the creation of new and useful property. Whether it is of ideas—such as a Newton or Einstein—or through tangible “monuments.” Such as with a Christopher Wren, Wilbur Wright or Nikola Tesla.
Wilbur Wright has both a tangible and intangible monument. The airplane and its technology. Tesla has perhaps the greatest monument of all. It is his alternating current electricity (AC) that powers the world. It and its electricity appear intangible. Although the motors and air conditioners it runs are tangible devices. Its lights—including the fluorescent lamp he invented—are more ephmeral in nature. Yet very real if you are suddenly without them. As when there is a brown–out or blackout caused by socialism. The inability of state–controlled monopolies to deliver the product. But back to “importance in history” and immorality…
Only those who create new and useful knowledge leading to new and useful products can achieve immorality in history. Such as an Archimedes, Galileo, Newton or Einstein. Also a Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, or Margot Fonteyn. But never someone such as Pharoah. Whether of the Egyptian or Texas desert. Whose only “products” are the control of the lives and property of others. And as Pharaoh did not solve a single societal problem, neither can a modern American Pharooh. Or any other individual who choses to control the lives and property of others.
Think of this as you watch this video. Even the haunting music seems to speak of the futility of the immoral and irrational results of politics…
Starring: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren
Director: John Boorman
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy
Tagline: No mortal could possess it! No kingdom could command it!
Plot Outline: Another retelling of the tale of King Arthur and the
Plot Synopsis: The myth of King Arthur brought once again to the screen. Uthur Pendragon is given the mystical sword Excalibur by the wizard Merlyn. At his death Uthur buries the sword into a stone, and the next man that can pull it out will be King of England. Years later Arthur, Uthur's bastard son draws Excalibur and becomes king. Guided by Merlyn, Arthur marries Guenivere and gathers the Knights of the Round Table. Arthur's evil half–sister Morgana sires a son with him, who may prove his downfall.
Comments by William W Morgan
It was while watching John Boorman's version of the Arthurian legend that I suddenly understood the true concept of the “Holy Grail.” That our quest must be to discover that which is “right.” Meaning knowledge that is based on true premises & valid and logical thought processes. And that when action is taken based on this knowldge, the action is moral. That it does not interefere in the property of others.
And when individuals do this on a consistent basis we have created a rational and durable societal structure. One whose time–scale of existence will be concomitant with that of our local universe.
On Twitter I am ATwwmorgan
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