Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The 54th BFI London Film Festival - The Great White Silence

The Great White Silence - a film telling the story of Captain Scott's team's heroic 1910 expedition to the South Pole - was debuted at the Gala Archive night. As is tradition with silent films, the viewing featured live music from Simon Fisher Turner's new score featuring Simon Fisher Turner, the Elysian Quartet, David Coulter and Alexander L'Estrange.

This film was painstakingly restored by the BFI archive team in conjunction with the Discovery Channel, exactly as requested in the cameraman and director Herbert Ponting's original 1924 edit. Ponting went to courageous (and often, downright crazy) lengths to provide the English public with never-before-seen footage. The film features slides of text from his notes and diary, including detailed information on Scott and his team's tragic journey, the team's fantastic sense of humour as well as awesome footage of the icy landscape and its incredible inhabitants. I learned a huge amount about the lifestyle of the Adélie penguins and the Antarctic seals.

The film is due to be released on DVD and shown on the Discovery Channel in 2011. Not only is the film fascinating and moving but I think we owe it to Scott, his team and Ponting to see this film to benefit from the footage from the expedition for which the Polar Team sacrificed their lives.


AB x

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