Samuel Taylor Coleridge's epic poem is brought to life with an evocative mix of animated and real images which give this famous poem an exciting new dimension. This visually remarkable cinematic work is narrated by Sir Mic... more »hael Redgrave, who gives an inspired reading of this literary classic. The program is presented in two parts. Part One is a biography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge from his orphaned childhood, through his vain attempts at being a dashing blade in 18th Century London. Part Two is a unique visualization of Coleridge's poem that takes us on a lonely voyage where time and space are as limitless as the imagination.« less
Sir Michael Redgrave taught this poem as a schoolmaster. Gr
MKG | Litchfield County, CT USA | 03/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recently, a friend and I were discussing educational and ethical influences when we were growing up in the 1950's versus today. She mentioned Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who, in 1798, wrote The Rime of The Ancient Mariner. Both of us had been required to recite parts of the epic poem in high school and in English Literature courses in college. My friend said, "Its messages even might be called metaphysical within today's context."
We tried reciting it and only remembered bits and pieces. (I have problems remembering Dr. Seuss.) I said I'd get two copies of the poem so each could read it. That was easy enough, but I was extremely surprised to find it had been made into a film. We looked forward to watching the film to see how it had been interpreted. After all, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner isn't exactly light reading. After each had read the poem, we watched the film together.
We considered the film a remarkable achievement, especially considering it was made in the 1970's, before computers, before the so-called "Ken Burns effect," and before special effects too often began compensating for a lack of substance. Particularly noteworthy are the 19th and 20th century illustrations culled from "lesser known artists," such as Willy Pogany, the early Hollywood designer.
The film is narrated by Sir Michael Redgrave, whom had taught the poem when he was a schoolmaster, adding a tone of authority and credibility in remaining true to the poem.
Its mastery is in the layers of subtle messages, conveyed without "instructing," or becoming an oppressive and obvious morality tale. We found it such a refreshing change from today's 'in your face' and 'clobber them over the head' mentality. Most of today's morality messages in film are two-dimensional: extreme violence, murder and mayhem mark the bad. The bad are really, really, bad, and good are super heroes. It is as if human character lacked any nuance. The Rime of The Ancient Mariner is a celebration of the individual, of character, of an appreciation for celebrating all the richness life has to offer, within the larger context of humanity, i.e., man's capacity to give to others.
Proud of ourselves for having found this "unknown" gem, we then learned it had won the top award in its category five out of six times at "name" international film festivals. Another surprise was learning the film's director, Raul daSilva, is a recognized authority on early animation, and authored six award winning books about film.
This film's message is just as relevant today, if not more so, than when Coleridge penned the original epic poem and when Raul daSilva translated it to film. If I still was teaching high school, which I did for five years, I'd grab this one and show it to all my students. There's a level of richness here that naturally leads to discussion about the big and important issues all of us face, whether in 1798, 1978, or today--in fact, as long as humanity has a spiritual component.
C. Wilson | Fort Collins, Colorado | 09/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I highly recommend this video to individuals, public libraries and for high school and college classic literature classes. This is an excellent film in which creative visualization of a classic poem makes it come alive. We feel the dynamics of the Samuel Taylor Coleridge's words as spoken by the Ancient Mariner. It is as if we are both the listener and the Mariner. When the dead albatross falls from the Mariner's neck, we feel we also were transformed through love in our hearts and understanding of our fellow humans. We have hope for a better outcome to the struggles we face in our own world of war and violence. Director Raul daSilva did an outstanding job in making this poem not only understandable but also to arouse our sensitivity. The incorporation of Doré's illustrations, visual effects of colors, the well-chosen classical music and sounds of the sea all enhanced our senses and deepened our emotional experience with the poem. BRAVO to daSilva and his team. Well done!!"
Exceptional beautiful, artistically excellent uplifting film
Judith Lefelar | 04/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the most creative and inspirational vidoes I have ever seen. I am surprised that the name of the director, Raul daSilva, is not listed at the top of the product description. It is clear that much of the excellence evident in this product is the result of careful, expert, effective directing and editing."
A hauntingly beautiful presentation of a timeless classic!
Judith Lefelar | 07/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
""THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER" is undoubtedly one of the finest video presentations I have ever seen, both in content and form. With a brilliant mix of animation and live images, the live sounds of seagulls, whales and the ocean, and an inspired reading by Sir Michael Redgrave, Mr. daSilva has created a new classic for both young and old alike!"
"This is a wonderful video. Through the dramatic vocalization and rich, imaginative illustrations, this timeless classic comes to life in a very accessible way. An additional bonus is getting to know about the life of the author. Wouldn't it be fantastic if literature of this quality was more widely available in video format?!"