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"Survival" (1961)
8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Wild at heart, 1 April 2007

The creator, architect, inspiration and editor of the Anglia 'Survival' TV series which was screened on ITV during the sixties and seventies was Colin Willock.

Colin started his career in Fleet Street as a journalist and editor, but during the fifties migrated to where the 'action' was - television.

With all the endearing bravado of chef and restaurateur, Rick Stein, searching for 'Food Heroes', Colin made his first tentative programme for Anglia at a maggot farm near Yiewsley.

Not quite so appetising as some of Rick Stein's discoveries, but a foretaste of things to come.

The 'Survival' series, promoted and facilitated by Aubrey Buxton - then Managing Director of Anglia TV, based in Norwich - ran and re-ran for many years.

This series of wildlife programmes blossomed and, like David Attenborough, went further and further afield giving opportunities for wildlife cinematographers from a range of countries and disciplines.

Luckily, in old age, Colin Willock recorded his recollections of a lifetime in a 'countryside' that ranged from the ploughed fields and hedgerows of Norfolk to the proverbial 'plains of the Serengeti'.

This book published in 2001 by The World Pheasant Association - shortly before his death - is called 'A Life on the Wild Side'.

It's a great tribute to a man who spent almost all of his time behind the camera, so that we could enjoy what was going on in front of it.

12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Connaitre.. Aimer.. Proteger.., 31 March 2007

This early TV series, produced aboard the marine research vessel 'Calypso', catalogues what is more or less Jacques-Yves Cousteau in Wonderland.

After a military career as a naval officer spanning the Second World War, during which Cousteau and Emile Gagnan developed some of the earliest serviceable scuba diving apparatus, he found the sponsorship to promote and facilitate his lifelong fascination with the wildlife of the oceans.

Through the medium of the films he made, we were able to accompany this remarkably gifted and resourceful individual as he explores different maritime habitats across the world.

Like one of the crew, we follow - episode by episode - as Captain Cousteau leads us into new underwater habitats and introduces us to many different species and illuminates their everyday lives, we share their enthusiasms and disappointments.

In many episodes, the narration (in English editions) is by Jacques Cousteu, himself. Telling the stories of the animals he has discovered and the progress of his own understanding in his own words and his own way.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau showed a generation how to get to know, love and protect the precious natural environment which lay beneath the surface of the water.

These ground-breaking wildlife documentary films set the tone for everything that came after them.

Walkabout (1971)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Hope Springs, 31 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Nicholas Roeg's (1971) film, drawn from James Vance Marshall's (1964) book 'The Children' is set in the desert or 'outback' of Australia sometime during the fifties.

It's a powerful and disquieting film which confronts the situation of two city children (Jenny Agutter and Luc Roeg) who are orphaned and stranded in a remote and inhospitable area by their father's suicide.

At once alone and traumatised, they are befriended by a teenage Aboriginal boy (David Gulpilil) and they accompany him on a journey into territory that is completely unfamiliar to them.

Numb to the crisis of being so suddenly orphaned and abandoned, they become focused on ensuring their own survival in an environment with which they ill-equipped to deal.

Though their new friend is very much at home in the outback, he is on a journey of his own and at a crisis of a different kind in his own life. He is a alone and vulnerable in a way that is not evident at the beginning of the film.

As he completes his task in re-uniting these lost children with people of their own culture, events somehow take them back to where they were at the start of the story.

A great film that begins to disentangle the roots of our natural humanity; bridging all cultures and every epoch.