Thursday, November 17, 2016

Another Example of "The Art Of" - One of the Great Documentaries...

As a  reminder : I've long synthesized the term "the art of " and the creative process; whether the product is, say,   the Edison light bulb; or, Tesla and AC; or, Horowitz and the piano transcription, etc., etc.
I once created  an arts course, titled "Sights and Sounds,"  which combined these two elemental aspects of consciousness by way of fusing the artist and musician in countless ways in order to enhance each of these powers; for instance, dealing with Impressionist artists and Debussy in their products of depiction, such as, say, a body of water.
Then why not "the art of"  the Word?     Shakespeare? - enough said...
One of my favorite activities is to collect documentaries that are so defining and  powerful in message as to represent, at a high level of attainment, the altering of the direction of the Road of History.
One such example is, in my view, a documentary made in 1981 by a  wonderful writer , who, I think,  is still teaching at Master's level, the profession of journalism at  the University of California. His name is Jon Else.
When I first saw the work shortly after its release, my primary reaction was " I need to  own this documentary", - which I immediately proceeded to do.
The title is "The Day After Trinity:   J. Robert  Oppenheimer and the Atomic  Bomb"
The sense of a rather arcane, engrossing; yet, rather gentle form of atmosphere wafts out of  this video - the narrative Else writes to depict the tale of the  men and women grappling with one of the mysteries in our existence is so wonderfully fused to the Byzantine path leading to that  defining moment in New Mexico just weeks before Hiroshima - some of the finest writing I've been witness to,  in this form of presentation.
The gradual destruction of the moral core of a number of physicists working in the Manhattan Project is so disturbingly evident in the  increasingly vacant, and, in a sense, dying  eyes of such great scientists as  Hans Bethe, Robert Wilson and Oppenheimer's brother Frank, also a physicist, who at times, in interview, wraps his arms around his head in anguish as he describes his reactions to that first atomic explosion in the desert.
And so; in this documentary, Jon Else, in unparalleled power, depicts the feeling of these geniuses  undergoing, within a second, the horrendous journey of  "We did it!!"  to "My God, What Have We Done?"
I have yet to witness a more brilliant example of the Power of the Word...



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