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May 24th, 2007


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09:24 am - Penguins
Last night we watched March of the Penguins. Pretty amazing, if a little heavy on the anthropomorphizing. Interestingly enough, while Morgan Freeman narrates the entire thing solo in the English version, IMDb credits voice parts for "Penguin Father, Penguin Mother and Penguin Baby" in French (and possibly Japanese, depending on how Haha-Penguin, Ko-Penguin, and Chichi-Penguin translate). I'm tempted to go back and watch the French version just to see.

Even more than the main film I enjoyed "Of Penguins and Men", the documentary about making the documentary (and not just because I'm entertained by recursion). Luc Jacquet manages to wax lyrical about the penguins, the landscape, and even a near-death experience getting lost in a white-out. But I'm a cranky curmudgeon who has Opinions About Love rather than a parent looking for age-appropriate cinema for youngsters that won't by itself drive me to distraction.

Finally there was the National Geographic Critter-Cam feature, which was interesting in terms of material, but way! too! breathless! in presentation by comparison with the other two pieces. On the other hand it seemed like this was the penguin-specific episode of an ongoing series about filming things via Critter-Cam, so I can understand the stylistic difference, if not appreciate it so terribly much. It was also the saddest of the three, because it talked about how the B-15 glacier calved off of the Ross Ice shelf destroyed one of the breeding grounds by breaking up the ice of the terrain. Penguins of various sorts were getting themselves trapped in crevasses too steep for them to escape.

I was most entertained, I think, by an almost throw-away line the second documentary. Amid talking about how excited they were when they first birds arrived, he says something about how from only a few yards away, now, the smell is overwhelming. I think a good deal of nature cinema is made watch-able by the lack of smell-o-vision.

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[User Picture]
From:nihilistech
Date:May 24th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
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Heh. On a BBS I used to frequent, there was an item/topic specifically entitled "Smelly Penguins".

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