Combustible Celluloid
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With: Gene Wilder (narrator)
Written by: Brian Connelly
Directed by: Mark Bussler
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements including some violent images and nudity
Running Time: 116
Date: 03/18/2013

EXPO: Magic of the White City (2005)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Fair Play

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This full-length documentary re-creates the wonder and takes usbehind-the-scenes of every conceivable facet of the 1893 Chicago World'sFair. Meant to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus DiscoveringAmerica (but coming one year late), the Expo contained many of the"world's largest" of everything, including buildings, gatherings ofpeople and lumps of coal. It is said to have inspired everyone fromThomas Edison to the Wright Brothers to L. Frank Baum. It evenintroduced Cracker Jack! Director Mark Bussler creates his two-hour filmfrom photos, drawings and cheesy little video close-ups of birds, fish,beer and anything else from this century that could be cheated a little.There's also a refreshing lack of talking heads; Bussler relies onnarrator Gene Wilder and his passionate delivery to help things along.It's hard to think of a more complete World's Fair experience, exceptfor traveling back in time and visiting it yourself.

DVD Details: The new DVD from Inecom comes with a ton of extras, including a feature commentary track by World's Fair expert David Cope, deleted scenes, featurettes and trailers. Pay no attention to the MPAA's silly rating. The "nudity" comes in the form of classic paintings. EXPO is perfectly acceptable for younger viewers.

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