Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Director: Robert Uth
Genres: Television, Documentary
This program recounts the life of scientist, inventor, and visionary Nikola Tesla, often remembered as more of an eccentric cult figure than an electrical engineering genius. Many of his achievements are still attributed t... more »
An excellent general overview of this enigmatic inventor!
Gradient Vector Field | MA, USA | 05/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I picked up this documentary because I got really interested in Tesla after watching "The Prestige" starring Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman. I suspect I'm one of many that fall into this category. I mean, I knew who Tesla was prior to seeing the movie, but I realized that outside of the Tesla Coil, I really didn't know much else about the man. So I took it upon myself to do a little research, I picked up this DVD and picked up a biography by Margaret Cheney (who actually is interviewed on this DVD to my surprise!). I'm a little over half done the biography as I'm writing this.
Anyway, this documentary was put out by PBS and I've been quite pleased with their documentaries and television shows in the past, so I didn't feel I had anything to worry about in terms of quality. I was quite correct for the most part. It's really not a very light hearted documentary and I would say it's even a bit dry at times. However, the content is very fascinating and tells you all the major things you need to know about this phenomenal inventor. Basically we would be dealing with a lot of power issues today if it wasn't for Tesla's alternating current. Usually in the United States (at least while I was in school) everyone talks about Thomas Edison and all his amazing accomplishments, but there are very few who mention Tesla, whom essentially enabled the world TO be lit with Edison's invention.
The documentary takes us from Tesla's humble beginnings in Serbia and his rising interest in engineering during the industrial explosion in the late 1800's. The documentary goes into detail on all his major accomplishments and some of the controversies he had to deal with. It touches on the war of the currents between Direct Current and Alternating Current. It also shows that Marconi for a long time was credited as the inventor of radio, but later it was decided Tesla should technically have that honor. It also touches on Tesla's first work on robotics with his remote control boat. From there it goes into his later years when Tesla fell more into himself with little public appearance and would make grandiose public announcements, but none of which came out of them (publicly at least). I found this last section the most interesting, especially things concerning the lost Tesla papers (which there wasn't much depth on, unfortunately).
The details of all of the above are very fascinating and the documentary is rife with all kinds of photographs of the time. However, this feels like a general overview of Tesla's life and accomplishments. It doesn't really delve into the nitty gritty of the situations like you would get in the biography I'm reading. Though the documentary goes more in chronological order of Tesla's life, which is something I like, because some books seem to be formatted based on his inventions and he invented a lot in the late 1800's, but they never got major recognition until later, so it was nice to see it spelled out for me in terms of a real chronological order.
I would definitely recommend this documentary to anyone who wants a broad overview of Tesla's life. If you're already well versed in Tesla and his works, this probably isn't what you want to get, because it's very rudimentary in its information. I thought the documentary could have had a little more to it with such a quirky character. Tesla's phobias were certainly well known to the community around him! Unfortunately we are left with strictly an information exchange and it does feel a little dry towards the end. However, having known somewhat little about Tesla and his fascinating life, I did walk away feeling much more informed and I suppose that is the major point of a documentary. Personally, I'd recommend it."
Well Detailed & Entertaining!
NattyRey | Atlanta, Ga | 04/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've only recently been gaining an interest in Nikola Tesla but after reading his autobiography I ordered this on a whim and really enjoyed it! It is a long dvd but since the subject matter is so intriguing I didn't mind. The photographs and voice overs are really well done and not at all cheesy as may be the case with some documentaries. I watched it with my boyfriend's 10 yr. old daughter (pretty sharp for her age!) who was excited to learn about Tesla's impact on our civilization today & was curious as to why she wasn't learning more about him in school. I'd like to know the answer to that myself! He harnassed the power of Niagara Falls, invented the alternating current giving us the ability to transmit electricity over great distances, gave us the fundamentals of computer and missile science...and had an eccentric, interesting personality to boot. He mingled with the likes of Mark Twain, William K. Vanderbilt, J.P.Morgan, and Thomas Edison. I highly recommend this dvd for anyone who gets excited about amazing inventions (that work), science, the utoptian dream and conspiracy theories!"
JohnBeckerMD | Prescott, Arizona | 06/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow! What a life...what a video! After you watch this, you will realize this man, NOT Edison, is the great inventor of the 20th century. As you click the remote control on your TV to change channels, you'll always think of TESLA!"
BEST DVD ON TESLA'S LIFE AND TIMES
FRANK DUVALL | Ocala Florida | 12/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have looked at a lot of materials on Nikola Tesla and this is by far the best! Get the hardbound book written by Margaret Cheny and Robert Uth if you want a good reference book to keep around on the coffee table."