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  • #46
    Originally posted by Los Bravos View Post
    Jack Johnson
    Yes. love that one and In A Silent Way too. It was just after those that he went off the deep end, musically speaking.
    They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
      Yes. love that one and In A Silent Way too. It was just after those that he went off the deep end, musically speaking.
      I think he didn't want to just rest on his laurels and be stuck playing the same stuff in his 60's. It makes for a great discussion, surely. We see the same argument about baseball-traditionalist vs. "modern". Aren't you curious as to how his planned collaboration with Jimi Hendrix would have turned out?

      Now, speaking of documentarians, imagine if Werner Herzog had done the project instead . . .
      Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
      Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
      Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
      Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
      Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Michael Green View Post
        OK, this is a special one for me, because I'm a history professor and one of my main specialties is the Civil War. I loved the Burns documentary, but a lot of people in my line of work didn't because he didn't do enough with issues, as opposed to the military and the focus on personalities. My point is that he did it in such a way that he excited interest in the subject, and then people can look into the issues that a television documentary cannot properly cover. I was and am in awe of the job he did, in terms of archival material and in the marriage of audio and visual.

        That's why his baseball documentary disappointed me. I'm a Dodger fan, but he paid too much attention to the coasts and not enough to the middle (except some on the Cubs). He used a lot of talking heads in the Civil War documentary but there is plenty of footage of baseball, and he forsook it to put on ... Doris Kearns Goodwin? Stephen Jay Gould? Gerald Early? Fine people, all, but ... and barely any Red Barber and Vin Scully and no Ernie Harwell--merely the three best storytelling broadcasters you could have hoped to find? Please. Also, he has a style, but the style can't overwhelm the subject.

        I understand that Burns hoped to do a movie--not a documentary--on Jackie Robinson, and that was allegedly one of the reasons he pushed Robinson so hard: to ingratiate himself to Rachel Robinson, who then made the deal with a different filmmaker.
        Well said. There have been a few threads on this subject and I concur with the Burns detractors, for pretty much the same reasons. I can tolerate factual errors in movies, really I expect them. But at the very least I expect a historical documentary to get it right. I mean the task of finding film, restoring it, editing, weaving in a story line and script for such a huge topic as "Baseball" is monumental...wouldn't have a clue how to do it, where to start, etc. But getting your facts right really isn't that hard in this day and age.

        For me, the HBO 3 part series "When It Was A Game" was much better, although this is covering a much smaller time period, pretty much the 30's-60's. Fantastic old color footage, much of it was from home movie Super 8 film cameras taken by players. While it also get a bit heavy handed with the schmaltzy prose about the game that seemed directly from "Field of Dreams"...something like "Baseball is proof there must be a deity...because only HE could create something so perfect!"...at least WIWAG just did the quotes in voice-overs instead of having to show us their narrators in sepia tones. Some of the voice overs, from actual players of the period was pretty interesting. Part 1 of WIWAG was excellent. Part 2 was mostly footage used in the first, just rehashed. Pt3, dealing with the 60's was pretty good.
        It Might Be? It Could Be?? It Is!

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
          ...Aren't you curious as to how his planned collaboration with Jimi Hendrix would have turned out?
          Yes, I am indeed. At the time of Hendrix's death, Miles was working with John McLaughlin on the Jack Johnson album, or maybe it was already released, I don't know. But yeah, that would have been mind-blowing to say the least. But when Hendrix passed, Davis went in a very different direction, and lost me along the way.
          They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
            Now, speaking of documentarians, imagine if Werner Herzog had done the project instead . . .
            "Dock Ellis came to my hotel room late one night and offered to kill Kinski if I wanted him to."
            3 6 10 21 29 31 35 41 42 44 47

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Los Bravos View Post
              "Dock Ellis came to my hotel room late one night and offered to kill Kinski if I wanted him to."
              That is awesome.
              Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
              Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
              Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
              Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
              Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by 9&10 View Post
                Most of you are missing the point re: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Billy Crystal, Mario Cuomo, etc. One of the main trends with Burns' documentaries is that he's brought in personal stories from people to give the history some more life and keeps it from being like a stale history textbook.
                I don't see though what makes those particular "personal" stories more important than any one else's. Why should Cuomo, who BTW was running for re-election at the time in 1994 and thus was basically getting free publicity for himself (he lost though) get attention devoted to his forgettable minor league career when we had elected members of Congress at the time with deeper connections to the game like Jim Bunning and Connie Mack III? And the loving attention on Bill Lee really made me gag, especially since he spent his entire face time wearing a cap emblazoned with the emblem of a political party responsible for more human slaughter than the party that had a swastika as its emblem.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by epaddon View Post
                  I don't see though what makes those particular "personal" stories more important than any one else's. Why should Cuomo, who BTW was running for re-election at the time in 1994 and thus was basically getting free publicity for himself (he lost though) get attention devoted to his forgettable minor league career when we had elected members of Congress at the time with deeper connections to the game like Jim Bunning and Connie Mack III? And the loving attention on Bill Lee really made me gag, especially since he spent his entire face time wearing a cap emblazoned with the emblem of a political party responsible for more human slaughter than the party that had a swastika as its emblem.
                  First, today, if Burns did the documentary, the ubiquity of the internet (which wasn't so ubiquitous then) might have led him to use less famous people to share their memories; we do not and cannot know, but this was a lot earlier in his career, too. Second, Cuomo was in New York while the members of Congress mentioned were in DC and, when they were at home, in Kentucky and Florida, respectively, and had little or nothing to do with the teams that were most central to Burns's narrative. That fits into the northeastern bias that Burns, it seems to me, demonstrated. Third, I will refrain from political commentary, but I would think that epaddon also could and should object to George Will's presence.

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                  • #54
                    I actually didn't care for Will's presence because I've never cared for anything he's ever written about baseball with his dull "men at work" musings and his comment about how Steinbrenner was the first one to "wreck the Yankees" was bogus even before 1996 (CBS having done that).

                    Considering that Bunning was actually a major figure in pushing for a players union back in the day he actually would have fit right in with the narrative.
                    Last edited by epaddon; 08-30-2014, 06:50 PM.

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                    • #55
                      The scope of Burns’ documentaries are so awesome in breadth that he is bound to disappoint enough people to make it look like he did half the job he should have done. Criticisms mount when the subjects are baseball, jazz, Civil War and the rest of his topics. Nearly all of his topics have had college courses taught around the topic, and if college courses can be justified, then squeezing all the facts into 30 hours would challenge anyone with any available resources.

                      There is one parallel between his docs on Jazz and Baseball which is worth noting here. Both docs focus a great deal on events through about 1957, and then address subsequent events in a blur. I agree wholeheartedly that this is disappointing, but this is only because I happen to love jazz and baseball and so I know enough to ask some questions.

                      A better documentary is available somewhere, I am sure. Someone mentioned the HBO doc, When It Was A Game, which I haven’t seen (and will search for). However, that is part of my point. If HBO produced it, then it was a whole cable channel which financed it with an open end time frame. Burns did not have a cable channel’s revenue stream for finances and he was employing several people in the project at the time. That fact probably explains some of the problems behind valid criticisms. Most of Burns’ Baseball criticisms are valid, but IMHO the complaints should be placed in proper context one guy and his team versus that of a cable company and its resources. Burns worked with a public broadcasting network. Although I might be wrong on this, but HBO for example, would grant time and resources where public funding would not. At least, that is my two cents.
                      Last edited by abolishthedh; 08-31-2014, 02:35 PM. Reason: usual embellishment
                      Catfish Hunter, RIP. Mark Fidrych, RIP. Skip Caray, RIP. Tony Gwynn, #19, RIP

                      A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Winston Churchill. (Please take note that I've recently become aware of how this quote applies to a certain US president. This is a coincidence, and the quote was first added to this signature too far back to remember when).

                      Experience is the hardest teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson later. -- Dan Quisenberry.

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                      • #56
                        When It Was A Game is a wonderful program/series, but it doesn't compare with Burns' doc for historical information. Burns' Baseball was made for the masses, and while the hardcore fanatics like most of us here love to pick it apart, it's an embarrassment of riches for the average fan.
                        They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

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                        • #57
                          I still love to watch it regardless of issues...it revives my need for baseball in the winter months

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