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The Impressionists with Tim Marlow: The Collection - art documentary DVD / biography documentary DVD review
THE IMPRESSIONISTS WITH TIM MARLOW: THE COLLECTION Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating: 4 stars
Featuring: Tim Marlow
  Distributor: Microcinema
DVD release: 30 June 2009   Runtime: 192 min. (1 disc)
Format: Color, DVD, NTSC
DVD Features: Aspect ratio 1.33:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital Stereo - English), Bonus interviews, Image gallery, Resources for educators, Trailers

This series of eight programs focuses on the biographies of Impressionist artists Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, CÚzanne, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. Tim Marlow takes viewers on an educational tour through the life and works of a single artist in the span of a given episode. Watching the series in its intended order, viewers are able to follow the overlapping lives and time periods many of these artists shared. The influences and divergences among the artists are a topic of continued interest throughout the series.

The artists' lives are well-researched, giving viewers tremendous insight into the mental, emotional, social, and personal influences on each artist's work and growth over time. While most of the artists never really achieved notoriety or greatness until after their deaths, a few managed to find financial and career-oriented success in life. The birth of the Impressionist era, for all the greatness it produced, was fairly short-lived; many still favored the previous era's style and methods.

In addition to the biographies of the debuting impressionist artists is a well-scripted educational journey through the art revolution that led to the Impressionist style. With a central force in the art community dictating style, technique, and tastes for artists, too many great artists were dismissed from favor for their lack of conformity to the favored art of the time; these eight Impressionists blossomed quietly behind the scenes before launching their art and newfound style with significant success into the world.

As a series narrator and host discussing the complex world of art and artists for both the unfamiliar and the educated in the fields, Tim Marlow is a marvel with a light and easily understood presentation of art history. His passion and knowledge for the subject facilitates greater insights and enthusiasm.

This particular DVD, The Impressionists with Tim Marlow: The Collection, bundles the eight-program series on the Impressionists and runs a total of 192 minutes (each episode is 24 minutes long); individual shows/artists are available for purchase separately at These informative, beautifully produced films are a valuable resource for educational settings and home viewing.
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reviewed by Sonia R. Polinsky
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