Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesday "The Civil War"

I'm Cheating here because this documentary was done on television on not at the theatre.  I apologize.

I remember watching Ken Burns' documentary on the Civil Way in 1990 and became enamored with Shelby Foot ( not in that way BTW but as a historian, where in the hell are you people's minds. Gosh) along with this epic documentary about the largest event in our history besides the American Revolution. A complete southern historian he had written a three volume set on the war in 1956 and it sold a few copies.  After Burns' documentary it was a best seller.  Foote made the documentary for me and a lot of others.  His insight into the time of the event is incomparable.  I have watched this series at least a dozen times.  It's the best thing done on television EVER in my opinion.  The still photography for the events, the voice narratives and who they chose to have them were all incredibl along with the writing and music which is haunting.  This clip is way over the asked for three minutes but trust me when I say it is well worth the watch.  Thanks to our wonderful host Boxer for picking such a great theme.  This has been my favorite.
From Wiki.

In the late 1980s, Ken Burns had assembled a group of consultants to interview for his Civil War documentary. Foote was not in this initial group, though Burns had Foote's trilogy on his reading list. A phone call from Robert Penn Warren prompted Burns to contact Foote. Burns and crew traveled to Memphis in 1986 to film an interview with Foote in the anteroom of his study. In November 1986, Foote figured prominently at a meeting of dozens of consultants gathered to critique Burns' script. Burns interviewed Foote on-camera in Memphis and Vicksburg in 1987. In 1987, he became a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.



When Burns' documentary aired in September, 1990, Foote appeared in almost ninety segments, about one hour of the eleven-hour series. Foote's drawl, erudition, and quirk of speaking as if the war were still going on made him a favorite. He was described as "the toast of Public TV," "the media's newest darling," and "prime time's newest star," and the result was a burst of book sales. In one week at the end of September, 1990, each volume of the paperback The Civil War: A Narrative sold 1,000 copies per day. By the middle of 1991, Random House sold 400,000 copies of the trilogy. Foote later told Burns, "Ken, you've made me a millionaire."

Here's to you Mr. Foote. I really don't think Ken Burns rises to his success without you.

(I know its kind of long.  But at least watch Foote for the :30 mark to 1:14. )

7 comments:

Karl said...

Good morning MRM,

Very good choice. This was one of the best documentaries ever made. You're correct that Mr. Foote's portions of the film really helped to make it what it one of the best.

Happy clip day!

Aunty Belle said...

Outstandin', Suh. Nine minutes wuz too short.

I love Shelby Foote, though I does take issue wif' his characterization of Lincoln as a genius...reckon he meant to say "opportunistic genius" as that is what the man wuz--his first words after the firing on Ft. Sumter bein' "What will happen to mah tarrif?"

After all, the president knew dern well that 90% of federal taxes was levied on the South, to keep them yankee manufacturers from havin' to pay much, ya see. An them yankees oppressin the Irish the Poles an all other poor indentured servants kept in pens an forced by fraud to work as unpaid labor in widget factories.

Oh gracious, I is off to a poor start heah...

I'll back up some--love Foote's observation that now the United States "is" rather than "are", with which Aunty is in robust agreement, bein' a unreconstructed State's Rights advocate.

Foote of course wuz a confederate (heh) of Walker Percy--the two are wonderful examples of the best of contemporary Southern writers.

Iffin' ya have not read their predecessors -- the Southern Agrarians-- I 'spect they would be of interest.

Enjoyed this, MilK River Madman. Sorry fer the long comment, an I'se off now to perfect mah yip an' squall.

Happy MCW

moi said...

Bwahahahaha to Aunty :o) Saw this as well and have to agree that it's one of the best documentaries ever made. Great choice.

Milk River Madman said...

Karl,
Burns' baseball series was epic as well. He also did a great job on the Lewis and Clark expedition and National Parks.

Aunty Belle,
Your comment was not even close to long. You can talk as long as you want here. Especially if I learn as much as I just did.

Moi,
I'm actually rewatching this for the umpteenth time. It never gets old.

Boxer said...

it's not cheating at all, a documentary is a documentary and Ken Burns changed the way people look at history by creating his films. The Civil War one was his best (I believe) and I enjoyed the clip as much as Aunty's view from the South. It's important to remember that there were two sides. Great choice and Happy MCW!

Buzz Kill said...

I considered going with the World at War series but thought it might be too depressing. This could have had the same affect but you made a good choice with the Shelby Foote clip and his stories (without too much gore). I didn't realize he passed away.

Happy MCW!

Pam said...

Very good choice, but is it cheating if it wasn't a movie theater release? I think not because it probably has more intelligence than 99% of any movie ever released ;) Happy MCW