EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|SOUTH: ERNEST SHACKLETON AND THE ENDURANCE EXPEDITION (director/cinematographer: Frank Hurley; music: Neil Brand (piano score added to the DVD); cast: Ernest Shackleton ( Leader of the Expedition), Captain F. Worsley (Captain of the Endurance), Lieutenant J. Stenhouse (Captain of the Aurora), Captain L. Hussey (Meteorologist), Dr. McIlroy (Head of Scientific Staff), Mr. Wordie (Head of Scientific Staff), Tom Crean (Crewman); Runtime: 88; MPAA Rating: NR; Milestone Films; 1919-UK-silent)|
survival film ever made."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
South is the 1999 restored by the British Film Institute version of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his 28-member crew's doomed expedition on the ship called the Endurance, from 1914-17, to Antarctica. Shackleton had gone to Antarctica twice before the Endurance story. First (1901-1904) as a member of the Robert F. Scott expedition from which he returned home an invalid in 1903. Then he commanded an expedition (1907-1909) on which they ascended Mt. Erebus and located the South Pole. (They crossed the plateau within 100 miles of it). For this he was knighted in 1909.
This mission started from Buenos Aires as The
(1914) set out planning to enter the Weddell Sea and
cross overland to
the Ross Sea - some 2000 miles. The sea froze over as
in the Weddell Sea and pressure of the expanding ice
crushed the ship
No icebergs in the usual sense except as ice pressed
The photography by the Australian Frank Hurley is truly amazing, as that art form was in its infancy and his survival footage seems to be the only thing the expedition was able to accomplish on their painful mission. Crewman Hurley stashed the undeveloped film in snowdrifts for safekeeping and most of it survived, including memorable shots of crew members staking tents on moving ice floes and photographs of the ship as it was being destroyed by the icebergs over the nine month period. There was also the unforgettable photography of the Endurance taken at night, with the help of 20 flash bulbs, which made it look eerie like a ghost ship. This is probably the greatest documentary survival film ever made not because of its story or photography, but because the bravery of the men as recorded is undeniable.
REVIEWED ON 4/23/2004 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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