Nature and Environmental Book Reviews

Short List of Best Nature and Environmental Books



Planet Earth: Images of Nature DVDs

Nature documentaries have come a long way, and Planet Earth by the BBC sets a new standard for inclusiveness, variety, technical excellence, and an engaging story line. Below are other nature documentaries we recommend.

Recommended Images of Nature DVDs

Amazing PlanetAmazing Planet (2 DVD Set)
James McKenna, director

National Geographic has teamed up with NASA and the US Geological Survey to create a 4-D Planet Earth - an eye-popping CGI time machine that makes it possible to see in seconds what took eons to create. Witness the bumper-car movements of continents; ice ages emerging from the poles and shrinking back; the Himalayas surging upwards; the march of sand dunes swallowing and then uncovering African villages. 2007, National Geographic

Ron Fricke, director

The word baraka means "blessing"; watching this film the viewer is blessed with a dazzling barrage of images that transcend language. Filmed in 24 countries and set to an ever-changing global soundtrack, the movie draws surprising connections between various peoples and the spaces they inhabit. 2001, Mpi Home Video

The Blue Planet and Seas of Life DVD setThe Blue Planet and Seas of Life (5-DVD Special Edition)

Winner of 2 Emmy Awards, The Blue Planet is the definitive exploration of the marine world, chronicling the mysteries of the deep in ways never before imagined. Six and one-half hours of viewing time includes 80 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage. 2007, BBC Warner

Edge of the EarthEdge of the Earth - Corner of the Sky
David Herbig, director

Relax to the serene beauty and soothing music of this DVD Digital Art Show collaboration between legendary nature photographer Art Wolfe and Windham Hill recording artist Scott Cossu. Witness the sheer wonder and drama of our miraculous Earth with photos that take you from the Great Bahamas Bank to the icebound Arctic, accompanied by the beautiful and refreshing music of New Age jazz. Bonus CD-ROM with photography notes included. 2005, Performing Arts

Exploring the Deserts of the EarthExploring the Deserts of the Earth (2-DVD Set)

Two ambitious filmmakers document their travels on film as they attempt to cross all of the world's deserts on a motorbike in only 900 days. They head first to the Arabian deserts, then to Asia, Australia, South and North America and finally to Africa documenting their experiences of each country's unique culture. Six hours viewing time. 2007, Koch Vision

Forces of NatureForces of Nature

This exciting DVD is filled with incredible footage of nature at its most potent. A powerful image and music-filled journey of discovery that takes you to the very brink of exploding volcanoes, across rupturing earthquake faults to the edge of tornados and more. 2004, National Geographic

In the Shadow of the MoonIn the Shadow of the Moon (DVD)

In the Shadow of the Moon is an intimate epic of the Apollo moon program. Between 1968 and 1972, the world watched in awe each time an American spacecraft voyaged to the Moon. Only 12 American men walked upon its surface and they remain the only human beings to have stood on another world. In the Shadow of the Moon combines archival material from the original NASA film footage, much of it never before seen, with interviews with the surviving astronauts. These men first saw the Earth from space, and they were awestruck. The Earth appears to be a fragile blue-green ball against the great darkness of space. This film recaptures the exhilaration and wonder of this project. 2007, Velocity/Thinkfilm

Koyaanisqatsi / PowaqqatsiKoyaanisqatsi / Powaqqatsi (2-DVD Set)
Godfrey Reggio, director

These award-winning films present a visual concert of images set to the haunting music of Phillip Glass. Using extensive time-lapse and slow-motion photography the filmmaker is able to show the relationship between types of physical motion, such as the movement of cloud formations and the rolling ocean waves. The films highlight the contrast between Earth's beauty and the suffering that mankind has inflicted upon it. 2002, MGM

Pacific Explorations with Jacques CousteauPacific Explorations with Jacques Cousteau (6-DVD Set)
Joe Thompson, director

Jacques Cousteau is television's most celebrated maker and presenter of documentaries about the underwater world. This 6 DVD gift set includes 12 programs from Cousteau's multiple exploration journeys throughout the Pacific region, including Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. 2005, Warner Home Video

Planet Earth & The Blue Planet Seas of Life (Special Collector's Edition 10 DVD Set)
Short List

Planet Earth & The Blue Planet Seas of Life (Special Collector's Edition - 10 DVD Set)
Alastair Fothergill, producer

BBC natural history producer Alastair Fothergill spent the last ten years producing two of the most stunningly beautiful series ever created. Seas of Life is the definitive exploration of the marine world, chronicling the mysteries of the deep, coastline populations, sea mammals, tidal and climatic influences, and the complete biological system that revolves around the world's oceans. Planet Earth uses high definition photography and revolutionary ultra-high speed cameras to produce the ultimate portrait of our planet - capturing rare action, impossible locations and intimate moments with our planet's best loved, wildest and most elusive creatures. Sixteen hours of viewing time, including many extra features. 2007, BBC Warner

Planet EarthPlanet Earth - The Complete BBC Series (5-DVD Set)
David Attenborough

Planet Earth is quite simply the greatest nature/wildlife series ever produced. This astonishing 11-part BBC series is brilliantly narrated by Sir David Attenborough and sensibly organized so that each episode covers a specific geographical region until the entire planet has been magnificently represented by the most astonishing sights and sounds you'll ever experience from the comforts of home. The final DVD discusses issues of conservation, global warming and the protection of delicate ecosystems. The last word from Sir David in the closing episode: "We can now destroy or we can cherish - the choice is ours." 2007, BBC Warner

Rivers & Tides
Short List

Rivers & Tides (DVD)
Thomas Riedelsheimer, director

This documentary focuses on artist Andy Goldsworthy, a sculptor whose medium is nature itself and whose preferred studio is the outdoors, particularly where water forever flows, rises, and/or retreats. The soft-spoken artist is seen hard at work making ephemeral sculptures out of bits of ice in the trees, or building tall, mysterious cones from loose rock, which stand like spiritual sentinels in forests and on shorelines, overgrown by plants or swallowed daily by high tides. A mesmerizing, poetic and contemplative portrait of this renowned sculptor. 2004, New Video Group

Sacred Planet DVDSacred Planet (DVD)
Jon Long, Director

Narrated by Academy Award winner Robert Redford, Sacred Planet is a refreshing journey away from the hectic world we live in. Through stunning cinematography it transports you to some of the most fascinating and remote sites on Earth, giving you new insights into her diverse landscapes, peoples and animals. You'll be mesmerized by the beauty of these faraway places, the majesty of the creatures who live there and the wisdom of the elders who hold the knowledge of the past. 2005, Walt Disney

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