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Category:    Home > Reviews > Special Interest > Philosophy > Myth > Mythology > Art > Documentary > TV Mini-Series > Joseph Campbell: Mythos – The Complete Series (1996, 2007, 2011)/Understanding Art: Impressionism (2009/Acorn/Athena DVD Sets)

Joseph Campbell: Mythos – The Complete Series (1996, 2007, 2011)/Understanding Art: Impressionism (2009/Acorn/Athena DVD Sets)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C/B-     Episodes: B-



Athena’s special interest series continues with two new DVD sets…



First we have Joseph Campbell: Mythos – The Complete Series (1996, 2007, 2011) continuing releases on his philosophy and studies on DVD from Athena that we previously covered in the following releases:


Power Of Myth with Bill Moyers


The Hero’s Journey




I covered the latter release and though I admit he is at least consistent and even influential outside of anything George Lucas did, more extensive is just more of the same for me even if Susan Sarandon is hosting.  This 3-DVD set includes a 12-page viewers guide with an essay by Conrad never before published, its only extra and is a nicely produced set, but this is for fans only.



Understanding Art: Impressionism (2009) features Waldemar Januszczak hosting and discussing the misperceptions of the art today as simple, easy, benign and acceptable when it has a history that is often quite the opposite, challenging, subversive and was a revelation around the world.  This four-episode mini-series is as thorough as I have seen on painted art and the first true documentary look at Impressionism we have seen since the site began.


In addition, there is a bonus show Monet: The Man Who Invented Modern Art and three-part Vincent: The Full Story mini-series on Vincent Van Gogh, so this is a very thorough collection on a subject that could use much more coverage.  I wanted more and sometimes in the main program, thought a few questions were not asked, but otherwise, this is a great show worth your time and one that definitely deserves a DVD release.


A Januszczak biography and 20-page booklet on the subject are the remaining extras.



The 1.33 X 1 image on Campbell and anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Impressionism are shot on video and may be consistent, but are also softer than expected with the former a professional analog video shoot and latter HD shoot that has more motion blur in its presentation here.  Maybe it would look better on Blu-ray.  The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on both sound better and playback just fine for such programs, as clean and clear as can be expected for their age and purpose.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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