A growing Ken Burns’ backlash?

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With the PBS premiere of Ken Burns’ much anticipated National Parks: America’s Best Idea quickly approaching, The Los Angeles Times is examining the filmmaker, his approach and his subject matter. “Though he’s generally respected by critics and scholars,” the paper said, “a backlash has been building, dismissing him as middlebrow, charging that he’s repeating himself, that he’s too earnest, too dark or naively patriotic.” As Tim Page of The Washington Post wrote of Burns’ 2001 film Jazz, in which Burns presented the improvisational music as a mirror of American culture, “This sort of unreflected populist Hallmark-ese seems a strange mixture of New Deal and New Age, and I don’t believe it for a moment.”

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