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Ken Burns

4 Ratings: 4.8
An American director and producer of documentary films known for his style of making use of archival footage and photographs

Date of Birth 29 July 1953, Brooklyn, New York, USA       Birth Name Kenneth Lauren Burns       Mini Biography Celebrated American documentarian who gradually amassed a considerable reputation and a devoted audience … see full wiki

Filmography: Wordplay
1 review about Ken Burns

An impressive body of work

  • Sep 27, 2009
  • by
When Ken Burns' epic documentary film "The Civil War" first appeared on PBS in 1990 it became the most watched program ever on PBS.  More than 40 million viewers tuned in.  In the nearly two decades that have followed Ken Burns has produced a number of other impressive projects including 1994's "nine inning" series "Baseball" and the 2001 ten-part feature "Jazz".   For those who bemoan the vast wasteland that is network television any Ken Burns film is deemed a "must see" event.

Ken Burns long and wildly successful association with PBS affords him the time to create films that fully explore the subject matter that he is pursuing.  His use of  "pan and scan"  that has come to be known as the "Ken Burns Effect" is now being frequently imitated by other filmmakers.  This feature enables a widely used technique of embedding still photographs in motion pictures, displayed with slow zooming and panning effects, and fading transitions between them.  It is an incredibly effective tactic and one that his audience quickly embraced.  Likewise, Ken Burns conducts very extensive interviews with experts on his subject and has an uncanny knack of interjecting the most relevant comments at exactly the right time.  What I most appreciate about any Ken Burns film is that I always come away knowing that I learned something.  Meanwhile,  for subjects that do not demand nearly as much time there is the series "Ken Burns American Stories".   What a cornucopia of fascinating topics!   This series of one hour programs features shows such as "The Shakers""Thomas Jefferson", "Mark Twain" and "The Brooklyn Bridge" to name but a few.  

The collaboration between Ken Burns and PBS has been a "win-win" for just about everyone involved.  Ken Burns programs remain among the most highly successful fund-raising shows for the network.  The incredible public response to these films over the past two decades has enabled PBS to underwrite more Ken Burns projects.  Frankly, I don't know anyone who does not enjoy and appreciate the work of Ken Burns.  We await with great anticipation his next project "The National Parks:  America's Best Idea".    Very highly recommended!
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