Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|EXPO - Magic of the White City DVD|
Actors: Gene Wilder, Claire Litton
Director: Mark Bussler
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Documentary
Narrated by Gene Wilder, "EXPO - Magic of the White City" brings the Chicago World s Fair to life! Experience the world of 1893 through a cinematic visit to Chicago's Columbian Exposition. Many of the world's greatest ac... more »
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Great to see a documentary about this fair
Mad Midwest Maggie | Southeastern, WI United States | 09/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you have only read "The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson and want to see and know more about the fair you will be happy with this documentary. If you have read many books about the fair and taken advantage of all the resources at the Paul V. Galvin Library Digital History Collection online you may find yourself wanting more.
The focus of this documentary was mostly a tour of the fair. In recent books on the fair there seems to be either a "horray for progress/wasn't the fair pretty?" or a "damn American imperialism, racism, and sexism" route. The tone of this documentary was neutral/celebratory as it largely omitted discussion of racism and sexism (with only a few passing mentions). There were photos I hadn't seen before, and the narration (Gene Wilder) was superlative.
I do have quibbles with the film, which are most likey not the fault of the creators. See, what I really want is a bigger-budget version of this, full of computer reproductions of the fair so that we can "walk through" it instead of just scenes of a camera panning over a still photograph or painting. The live reinactments were limited to a belly dancer, beer drinking, and the murder of Mayor Harrison. There was also some live footage of fish and animals that the fair goers would have seen, which I am ambivalent about. But don't just tell me that the great pyramid would fit inside the Palace of Manufactures and Liberal Arts, drive the idea home with a little graphic, even a simple one, of the pyramid sitting inside it.
All that said, this was worth every penny and contained a lot of great material which I am bound to watch over and over again."
I loved this DVD!
Kurt A. Johnson | North-Central Illinois, USA | 02/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having grown up in the Chicagoland area, I always heard passing references to the great Columbia Exposition, the 1893 World's Fair. This two hour documentary, narrated by Gene Wilder(!), tells the story of the Columbia Exposition from its conception down to final closing and aftermath. Chockfull of interesting pictures, it gives the modern day viewer something quite close to a guided tour of that great event of more than a century ago!
Overall, I must say that I loved this DVD. It gave a very interesting and highly informative look at the Fair, and I do not hesitate to recommend it to everyone! The one thing I must say is that the documentary did make me a little sad. Living in the early 21st century, it's hard to believe that people once dreamed so big. I have never before realized what a smaller, meaner world we now live in.
This is a great DVD, and I give it my highest recommendations!
Documentary of the Year
Meredith Towbin | Pittsburgh, PA | 09/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Columbian Exposition was vast in every way - from the sheer size of its physical location to the number of its visitors to the diversity of its exhibits - yet this film covers it all using a historically responsible and entertaining approach. "EXPO" treats its viewers to a detailed "behind-the-scenes" look into the Exposition with Gene Wilder as a guide. The tour is chock-full of fascinating tidbits, and the period photographs add a whole other dimension that is often absent from texts on the subject. The film truly drops the viewer smack in the middle of the Fair. The quality of the high-definition transfer is stunning, and the picture looks as clear and crisp as a high-definition broadcast. The sound is enveloping and adds depth to the documentary; you actually feel as if you're surrounded by the Fair's bustling crowds. The film is without a doubt satisfying for everyone from the amateur history buff to the well-read historian."
Robert Kozlowski | Garden Grove, CA USA | 01/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I found the DVD of the Chicago World's Columbian Expo, 1893, an excellent record of the exposition. I am from Chicago and my great grandfather came to Chicago, from Germany. He was a brick layer in Berlin. Chicago was where the jobs were. I know he was in Chicago when the Columbian Expo was going on. There was very little written about family backgrounds.
My wife's maiden name is Ferris. For generations her family believed they were related to George Washington Ferris, inventor of the Ferris wheel, which was first exhibited at the Chicago Columbian Expo.
Further investigations revealed that the family myths were just that, myths. The DVD gave us a lot of information on the inventions of the day, why the Expo was so popular. As a youth, growing up in Chicago, one of my favorite places was the Museum of Science and Industry. The only building still standing, from the fair. I think that museum may have had a lot of influence on my career. I'm an engineer. Great DVD.