Thursday, July 31, 2014

TVO's astonishing World War I series

It’s more than halfway through TV Ontario’s World War I series, Apocalypse, but definitely worth still tuning into Sunday nights. I came across the series quite by accident, setting up the TV to watch a video. TVO just happened to be on and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. In the series you will see extraordinary and searing film clips from World War I, highly extensive and revealing. And the colourization only adds to the reality of that terrible and in many ways absurd war. The first of this Canadian/France-made series, July 14, was 'Fury' about the political events leading to the war including amazing film of the last minutes of Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife before they were assassinated. July 21’s 'Fear' was about the actual beginning of fighting. Last Sunday was 'Hell' - the sickening manifestation of weaponry’s devastation in all its hideous forms. This Sunday is 'Rage' about the political spinoffs including the Russian Revolution. And finally on Aug. 11 'Deliverance.' (Series repeated during the week so check times.) This is the most riveting doc series I’ve seen in years. If anything might turn you into a lifelong peacenik this could be it. 

The news this week from filmmaker Michael Moore that $250,000 will be donated to a fund to bring independent, foreign and documentary films simulcast to theatres across North America is similar to the recent unveiling of the New York Film Critics series (see WDF May 5) which Bloomfield, Mi.’S Maple Theater is an affiliate.....In both series the same film is or will be screened simultaneously at dozens of affiliated cinemas. The idea is to create one huge shared movie going experience for thousands of people with similar interests from coast to coast……Besides making doc films not many people are aware of Moore’s personal commitment to the reviving of the movie industry generally or I should say the classic movie industry. You know, the way we used to go to movies sitting in bricks and mortar theatres with hundreds of others sharing the celluloid experience. Moore started the 10-year-old Traverse City Film Festival - which is currently under way until Sunday - in the northern Michigan community, partly with that in mind. And he pretty much single-handedly revived or created two theatres in town – the State (an original theatre) and the newer Bijou, carved out of a “Roosevelt-era” building. Like the NY series each movie ends with a question-and-answer session where moviegoers across NA (including Canada) can ask questions. Moore’s bricks and mortar revival seems to be working. In relatively little Traverse City (pop. 15,000) more than 1.1 million people have seen movies at the two theatres – open 365 days a year - since they opened respectively in 2007 and 2013.

No comments:

Post a Comment