Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Gert Heidenreich
Directors: Manfred Baur, Hannes Schuler
Genres: Special Interests, Documentary
Journey to the heart of urban life and witness the splendor and brilliance of the world?s most magnificent cities throughout the ages. Using computer animation, lavishly staged scenes and expert commentary, this 7-part ser... more »
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Good Documentary on Classical and Renaissance Cities
midwestguy | Peoria, IL United States | 07/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a German-Canadian production, and I believe that the German subtitle means "Power of the City". "Metropolis" is another series which combines computer graphics, live actors and sets, and interviews with historians and archeologists to give a picture of life in cities of the classical age. Similar series are "Engineering an Empire", "Secrets of Archeology", and "Ancient Discoveries". Each of these series takes a slightly different approach, and each has its strengths and weaknesses.
Compared to other series, "Metropolis" is focused on how these cities operated: what were the markets like, how were the streets laid out, how were basic services like sewer and water provided, how were they policed, etc. While the approach is not exactly "what was daily life like", the series does try to show something about the culture, and sometimes the art and architecture, of the cities. These episodes are very well written and do a good job of explaining what we know from archeology and history. Sometimes this is a limitation, however. For example, the section on Alexandria has a good deal about plumbing, which is what is left from classical Alexandria, everything else having been built over. As the narration says, the city must have had magnificent buildings, but we have no idea what they looked like. Personally, I would have much preferred that they showed their best guesses.
One of the strengths of "Metropolis" is its superior computer graphics. However, there is usually no more than a few minutes of this in each hour long episode. I would have preferred more, and accordingly lowered my rating of this series.
Disc 1 contains episodes on four classical Mediterraen cities: Athens, Rome, Carthage, and Alexandria. For the cities of Athens and Rome, for which there is a great deal of information, in addition to the standard material you would expect, the series looks at some aspects which are not frequently covered (policing, unusal public building, etc.). Not as much is known about Carthage and Alexandria and these episodes are more traditional. As I mentioned above, I was disappointed in the Alexandria episode; even though it includes something about the famous library I do not feel this series did the library justice (the best treatment of the Alexandrian library I know of is in "Ancient Discoveries").
Disc 2 covers three medieval cities: Constantinople, Venice, and Paris. The Constantiople and Venice episodes are excellent, and the Constantiople episode is by far the best that I have seen on that city. One of the techniques of the series is to tell a story set in the time period covered for each city. Of course this is to help us get a sense of what life and culture was like then. The story included for medieval Paris was that of Francois Villon. While this is a fascinating story, I felt that the episode spent too much time on it, so that the episode became more about Villon that Paris."
"Metropolis (2007) ... Gert Heidenreich ... Koch Vision (200
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 08/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Koch Vision presents "METROPOLIS" (2007) (364 mins/Color) (Dolby digitally remastered) --- A German-Canadian Co-Production of Tangram Christian Bauer Flimproducktion --- The complete seven parts series, from the ships of Carthage to the theatrics of Athens, METROPOLIS explores the details civilization's dawning in the first major cities --- All seven episodes of the series are included in this set, featuring remarkable re-enactments and computer generated images of early life in Venice, Paris, and many others.
Journey to the heart of urban life and witness the splendor and brilliance of the world's most magnificent cities throughout the ages --- Using computer animation, lavishly staged scenes and expert commentary, this 7-part series explores invention and innovation as well as the experiences of daily life in these centers of power.
"THE POWER OF CITIES" - Athen, The Rule of the People --- Through a fascinating but arduous process, Athens brings the world a new political system - democracy --- But even in this bastion of logic, the gods still have their say --- Watch as the restoration of monuments on the Acropolis gives spectacular insight into some of the most famous buildings constructed in this cradle of western culture.Alexandria --- The Centre of Knowledge: Hellenistic culture creates a bustling metropolis deep in the Egyptian desert. Guided by the vision of Alexander the Great, architects erect the most powerful urban center of its time --- Visit the Greek royal city in the land of the Pharaohs and ascend one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the legendary Alexandria lighthouse --- Carthage: City of Seafarers -Follow Phoenician sailors along the coast of North Africa to the city that will rule the western Mediterranean for decades - Carthage. Computer animation helps to unravel the mystery of the secret war harbor and reveal the underground mines where many seafarers' hopes of fame and glory were dashed by imprisonment. Rome --- The Heart of the Empire - In the 2nd century AD, Rome is both the crown jewel of a massive empire and an infamous capitol of crime --- Here the elite's shallow lifestyle contrasts sharply with the meager existence of ordinary citizens --- Extensive computer animation re-creates the Colosseum in all its glory alongside the city's seedy underbelly of dark alleys and inns.
"THE BRIGHT CITIES OF THE DARK AGES": Mission to Constantinople -1437 --- The wealthiest and most beautiful city in Christendom stands isolated in the heart of the Byzantine Empire, completely surrounded by the Ottoman Turks --- Constantinople defies the Islamic onslaught only by virtue of its massive defensive works and ramparts, but unless they receive help from Rome, all may be lost.Escape to Venice -1494 --- The world is in upheaval, but thanks to its powerful arsenal, Venice, the largest industrial complex of its time, remains wealthy and powerful - rich in both trade and the arts --- Dive below the water, to see how this amazing floating city was constructed on a forest of logs and see buildings that were destroyed long ago come to life once again. Murder in Paris -1455 --- The city is in the process of recovering from the horrors of the Hundred Years War, marauding soldiers and the Plague --- The spirit of change and new beginnings is in the air. Computer animation, contemporary paintings and an examination of the city's lifeline -the Seine - provide a clear picture of Paris in the medieval ages.
1. Gert Heidenreich (Narrator)
Date of Birth: 30 March 1944 - Eberswalde, Brandenburg, Germany
Date of Death: Still Living
Great job by Koch Vision --- looking forward to more high quality titles from the BBC Collection film market --- order your copy now from Amazon or Koch Vision where there are plenty of copies available on DVD, stay tuned once again for top notch releases --- where they are experts in releasing long forgotten films and treasures to the collector.
Total Time: 364 mins on DVD ~ Koch Vision 6550 ~ (7/08/2008)"