The Dark Ages

The Dark Ages

An Age of Light

DVD - 2013
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The early Middle Ages have been dismissed as a step backwards for civilization-a barbaric time in which warfare and conquest eclipsed learning and progress. But were the Dark Ages really so bleak? Art historian Waldemar Januszczak says no, and then takes us on an artistic journey back to this much-maligned epoch to reveal the evidence. He travels the world, finding beauty and refinement where one might have expected only brutality and destruction.
Publisher: [Silver Spring, Md.] : Athena, 2013
Edition: Widescreen format
ISBN: 9781621721086
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (approximately 240 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
Call Number: DVD 709.02 DAR

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gates2
Oct 09, 2018

I liked it a lot. I thought the host does a good job and is passionate about his argument that "the Dark Ages" were anything but.

multcolib_susannel Mar 05, 2018

Using period art, this documentary explores popular misconceptions about the groups of people who invaded the latter times of the Roman Empire - including the Muslims, Vandals, the Goths, and the Visigoths.

n
nickster13
Jan 02, 2018

I really enjoyed it. The presenter is fun and gets you engaged and the information presented is done well, with good visuals too. Good stuff!

d
DrFolklore
Feb 02, 2017

The Dark Ages is an informative series, showing that so-called "barbarians" on the edges of the Roman world were highly sophisticated in terms of art, architecture, and technology. We learn such interesting facts as that many of these "pagans" had become Christian before most Romans did. However, as a previous reviewer pointed out, the shooting is so low-budget as to be ludicrous. The camera often fails to focus on the art that Valdemar Janusczak is discussing, shadows fall across the artwork, Valdemar places the maps (mentioned in another review) in the air, on tables or even on the ground, and the same woman browses in museums around the world. In fact, the cinematography is so amateurish as to be silly. I watched part of the series with two young film students, and we laughed aloud at the hilarity of it all. The series does teach you about European art and cultural history, and is worth watching, but be prepared for such sights as a house cat following Hun warriors, and Valdemar veiling a room by holding his hand in front of the camera. If you get a kick out of B-movies by Ed Woods, you'll definitely enjoy this one. And you'll be repeating "Gold, gold, gold, gold!" I'd recommend The Dark Ages as the next "cult classic".

r
RainbowRabbit
Jan 07, 2017

I agree with the comment that this is an 'interesting exploration of a time we know little about.' The four-part series is partly about the history of the 'Dark Ages (subtitled An Age of Light'). The other part is about the art of the dark ages. There are many comments and pictures of certain crafts and arts and architecture, and discussions of the movements of peoples - specifically the Christians, the barbarians, the Muslims, and the 'northern peoples' (ie the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons). There is little about individuals (eg the writers, the rulers) and the events which they made happen and which made the history. So this is very much an art historian's take on history.
The series travels around the Mediterranean and the North Sea coast of England, taking us to places we are unlikely to ever visit. In that it has an expensive sheer. But comically, many bits are very low-budget, such as when the presenter regularly pulls out one map or another which he has been hiding behind his back, kneels down on the ground (perhaps beside the Black Sea or the Danube), unfurls the map, and starts pointing about with his finger as he expostulates on this or that development.
I do not want to turn you away with this comment, but it is quite instructive, but I say that in a good way.

f
finn75
May 25, 2014

Very interesting exploration od a time we know little about. Very entertaining.

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