Extraordinary account of Captain Scott's doomed expedition
An extraordinary account of the doomed expedition on the Terra Nova by Captain Robert Falcon Scott to the south pole between 1910 and 1913, by cinematographer, Herbert Ponting. This document follows the ship from New Zealand as it lands on the antarctic coastline where the team set up a camp. Here, Ponting films both the people and their actions, along with the wildlife that inhabits the area.
Much of the middle section of the film focuses on the wildlife, documenting the habits of seals, penguins and gulls. Throughout these animal parts, the "narrator" (obviously being a silent film , these narrations are provided within inter titles) almost seems to place human characteristics to them (such as stating that a male penguin searches for his "bride"), his observations at times entertaining and occasionally amusing. Unfortunately, some of the practices for capturing footage seems very archaic to modern viewers, as Ponting often interrupts nature to capture certain footage; a practice that I'm sure David Attenborough would be astounded with.
Obviously, Ponting did not follow the five men who set off from camp to reach the south pole. As history is now aware, those men never returned alive. With some incredibly stunning images of polar caps, icebergs etc, the film is a beauty to behold. Unfortunately, the film was not really successful at the time, and Ponting died in poverty 10 years after its release. However, the British Film Institute has released the film in a beautiful digital transfer that means that this film of historical importance may live on for future generations to enjoy.
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