The Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles

A Grand Tour Inside the Historic French Palace

DVD - 2011
Average Rating:
7
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The Chateau of Versailles remains forever the emblematic symbol of Louis XIV, whose reign lasted for almost half a century. It is recognized as one of the most beautiful works of art of the 17th century France. The most symbolic of the rooms is no doubt the Hall of Mirrors. During the next century, under the reign of Louis XV, the Chapel and the Opera were completed. This program presents a tour of the many rooms and works of art inside of France's national treasure.
Publisher: [United States] : Kultur, 2011
Edition: Widescreen ed.
ISBN: 9780769791388
0769791387
Branch Call Number: DVD H 726.6 PAL
Additional Contributors: Vichet, Jacques

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v
VRMurphy
Apr 08, 2013

Just ok, but what could they do on this subject in under an hour? The comments from the head of the restoration workshops was interesting but the whole program could have been on that and it still wouldn't have been enough. This reminded me of something you'd buy in a so-so giftshop, after a tour.

r
RainbowRabbit
Aug 28, 2012

This is an English-language DVD which is voiced over the French version. It appears to be a translation. One might expect however that the audiences would differ in that a French-language DVD could be aimed at the local, i.e. French national, audience, while anglophones would be from afar. Not necessarily true but this would be a valid assumption. In this case, I would not do a direct translation, as a foreign audience may not be as familiar with the personages, the history and the time period, so more background would be necessary. A few charts and maps would be helpful, as well as identifying contemporary historical figures and events.
Secondly, the reader rushes quickly through the translation so quickly that one wonders at the fact that he does not lose his breath.
Thirdly, the DVD focuses exclusively on the Palace itself, to the exclusion of the stunningly beautiful gardens as well as the other buildings on the property, such as Marie Antoinette's model village, built on-site for her pleasure.
Finally, the subject matter of the DVD is really the rococo decorations that tart up the facility, and little is said about the magnificent architecture.
On a more positive note, the DVD does go into some depth about how the building was used by the monarchs for leisure and political drama, with some nod to post-revolutionary uses. This part could have been dramatized with costumed actors staging some events, such as some King Louis reigning the country from his bedchamber, rather than from a throne.
This was obviously a staff in-house project, rather than a professional documentary.

b
Buddy_Garriott60
Jul 30, 2012

Not at all what I was expecting. The French obviously are more proud of the place. Beautiful interiors, what there were of them, wish we could have seen where the soldiers stayed and the officer's building. I thought I would like to see this place but after seeing this video, I've changed my mind. Greed and blood and sweat built this place all so some philandering monarch could have a place to play. So hyped. I'm surprised that the people during the french revolution left the place standing and didn't burn it to the ground knowing full well how much they hated the monarchy and all it's lavishness, pomp, and infidelities. It's a good thing it did come to an end. Overrated, indulgent. Boring!

k
Keogh
Jun 27, 2012

It's worthwhile for the visual aspect of the rooms and buildings at Versailles, but the entire thing might have been better done with the use of subtitles instead of voice over dubbing. A different director and production team would have brought better strengths to the concept. And a single narrator, French or English, would have served better.

d
dontbugmeimreading
May 28, 2012

I was so disappointed in this DVD. I was expected a bit of history of the building and it's contents with some computer-generated pictures showing how it's evolved over time. Instead, I got a tour from room to room with a french-speaking tour guide dubbed by an English translator - very distracting and very boring! Basically just reciting dry facts about dates and who was in power at the time. This DVD could have been so much more with the use of an entertaining guide giving a little of the dirt that was going on behind the scenes.

b
Basileus
Mar 31, 2012

Visually, this is a stunning documentary about the famed palace of the French kings. But that's all it is. Nice shots of nice rooms, with a couple of workroom shots showing how they are restoring various pieces of furniture etc. But I was very disappointed in the narrators. They may be employed to work at Versailles, but they are not historians and seemed to get the various Kings mixed up. They actually attributed a portrait of the Sun King with Louis XVI. They look nothing alike! They also said Louis XVI liked to gamble in the salons. No he didn't, but his wife Marie Antoinette did. They even got the royal mistresses mixed up. If you are doing a paper on Versailles, it is probably not a good idea to use this DVD as a citation.

b
becker
Feb 11, 2012

Anyone who is interested in French history, art or architecture or just has an appreciation for beautiful things will enjoy this tour of Versailles.

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