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Case Number 26368: Small Claims Court

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The Dark Ages: An Age of Light

Acorn Media // 2012 // 240 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 6th, 2013

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson entered the Age of Light last week. He achieved full enlightenment and earned a small trophy and a Dairy Queen gift card.

The Charge

The extraordinary art of an overlooked era.

The Case

Fewer historical ages get the old shaft more than the Dark Ages. But, as argued by Waldemar Januszczak, writer, filmmaker and art critic, this much-maligned period was actually a rather robust generator of aesthetics. Four hour-long productions make up the series:

• "The Clash of the Gods"
With Christendom surging, the art followed, dominated by depictions of Jesus. When Constantine adopted Christianity as the Roman standard religion, creative forces were unleashed—often in conjunction with pagan art.

• "What the Barbarians Did for Us"
Januszczak has a bone to pick and it's with all you clowns who think the Huns and Visigoths were jerks. Granted they might have indulged in their share of slaughter and pillaging, but history—and Rome for that matter—have unfairly crapped on their reputation over the years.

• "The Wonder of Islam"
So, the Muslims were getting their groove on in a big way during the Dark Ages. Januszczak gets to the bottom of Islam's artistic contributions.

• "The Men of the North"
Granted, the Vikings came very close to wiping out the Saxons and squashing our English culture in the cradle, but check out their wood-carving acumen!

The Dark Ages: An Age of Light offers up a good dose of art history. Januszczak loves this stuff obviously—and has a soft spot for barbarians apparently—and is genuinely jazzed about both the history and the subject matter. For some reason, the camera guy decided to follow him while filming, creating an awkward situation where Januszczak is constantly craning to talk. Speaks to the guy's enthusiasm to keep rolling through. The fact that he gets to hang around some gorgeous vistas while dropping his knowledge helps too.

The Verdict

Not guilty. Artsy without the fartsy.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Acorn Media
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 240 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Foreign
• Historical
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Biography
• Booklet


• IMDb

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