Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Terry Jones Collection|
Actor: Terry Jones
Director: Phil Grabsky & Daniel Percival
Genres: Educational, Documentary
Monty Python star Terry Jones presents this award-winning documentary series, featuring Ancient Inventions, the Surprising History of Sex and Love and the hidden histories of Egypt and Rome — Ancient Inventions — This three-... more »
Look Here for "Ancient Inventions"
R. Sardrena | shrinking tributary in Brazil | 11/03/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Long have I searched for Terry Jones' "Ancient Inventions" series (well, at least since 1998 when it briefly aired). For those of you who remember James Burke's brilliant "Connections" series, you would also like Jones' short series about the unexpected, serendipidous paths taken towards humanity's most noteworthy inventions. Given that Jones is a Monty Python alum, it shouldn't be surprising that this program is more heavily weighted towards humor than Burke's was. It doesn't trivialize its subject matter however; its ultimate thesis actually goes grimly further than James Burke's program did. According to Jones, every innovation has brought vexing new problems. Human history is not a march of progress, but rather a vicious circle carved by a species forever trying to overtake challenges of its own making. Moreover, he adds that inventions don't simply enter use when they are devised, but can rot away, unappreciated, until political and social circumstances are ripe.
As an educator, I've found that "Ancient Inventions" is highly accessible to cynical teenagers. Its tongue-in-cheek discussion of many inventions slips deftly into young minds. As wonderfully appropriate as "Ancient Inventions" is, the next installment in this series - "The History of Sex" - while similar in tone and interest, is not. So park the latter at home, folks."
History without the boring bits
DG Bucknall | Atlanta, USA | 01/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
".........this is what I would have liked my history classes to be like when I was at school. The historical eras covered by Terry Jones in these DVDs is not to everyone's liking but the presentation and discussion of the history is very engaging and is very watchable. The visual imagery of Terry Jones in various historical costumes to help explain a point is perhaps not what everyone wants their history to be reduced to, but he does this with style that few other more formal presenters could match. This does make the program more lighthearted that some weightier programs but in many respects the result is much more memorable this way.