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Standing With Stones (DVD Review)

15 May, 2009 By: John Latchem

Standing With Stones

Street 5/26/09
$24.95 DVD.

Standing With Stones is a slickly produced travelogue of ancient British history, and the stone megaliths that remain from those times. The most famous of these sites is Stonehenge, which is really just a small part of a larger puzzle of thousands of stone structures built throughout the islands.

Renowned lecturer and travel photographer Rupert Soskin guides viewers on a trip of some 8,000 miles from the southern tip of Britain, through Ireland and up to Scotland, finding architectural beauty in what appears to be simple piles of rocks. The sites served a variety of functions, from places of worship, to burial sites, to bloodsport arenas and astronomical guideposts.

With its sweeping photography of green British landscapes, this is a beautiful show to watch. Computer animation enhances the experience, re-creating some of the ancient structures to provide a sense of what they may have looked like to those who used them.

The DVD offers a cool menu system that shows maps with the chapter headings. It’s not quite at the level of picking a place on the map and having it take you there, but it’s good enough for viewers to get a general idea of the geography. The film is divided into seven 20-minute segments, each covering a different geographical area.

For those who can’t get enough of this stuff, the DVD is loaded with unused footage, outtakes, and the filmmakers’ original television pilot presentation.

Also included are an informative interview with Soskin and director Michael Bott, plus a cathartic interview with the pair. Perhaps the amount of behind-the-scenes coverage for a travelogue is a bit self-indulgent, but having spent eight years on the project, they certainly are entitled.

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