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Case Number 19436: Small Claims Court

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Venice Revealed

Acorn Media // 2009 // 164 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 7th, 2010

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All Rise...

After Venice was revealed, Judge David Johnson wanted to look, but he was too shy.

The Charge

The artistic past and the precarious future of the floating city.

The Case

Author and historian Peter Ackroyd hosts and narrates this four-episode program that gets all up into the nitty-gritty of Venice. For many of us (okay, for me), Venice was just that place where Indiana Jones had that awesome boat chase and stepped on a bunch of disgusting rats. But there's so much more to it. So much more!

For starters, did you know about the palazzos and the huge churches and the rich musical and theatrical history and the gondolas and the magnificent architecture? And did you know the threat of water and advanced age consistently loom large as potential ravagers of Venice's treasures? If you didn't, Ackroyd is going to lay it on you.

And he does. If you're even slightly interested in this material, Venice Revealed is a must-watch. For its 164 minutes, the series is an exquisitely mounted, gorgeously shot documentary that covers the cultural and historical bases associated with the city—and they are legion. Here is how the four episodes break down:

"The City as Architecture"
Ackroyd tours the building marvels of the city, negotiating the alleyways and famed waterways and taking inspiration from 19th-century critic John Ruskin.

"The City as Art"
From the Renaissance to the 1900s, Ackroyd looks at the various artists who drew inspiration from Venice.

"The City as Music"
The myriad of musical history gets the spotlight. Ackroyd teams up with other experts to peel back the story.

"The City as Theatre"
It's not just the opera houses that get the goods; this episode takes a look at the glittery street performance scene.

The episodes are transferred in beautiful 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, giving the colors and feel of Venice its due. A stereo audio mix provides the sound. Extras: biographies of the Venice artists and Web extras. Also, gondola facts!

The Verdict

Not Guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 90

Perp Profile

Studio: Acorn Media
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 164 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Foreign
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Text Features
• Web Content


• Athena Learning

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