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March 1996, Week 4


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 25 Mar 1996 13:20:35 EST
text/plain (52 lines)
Rolf W Brandis writes:
> >
> >One final Nanook:
> In Flaherty's own words...from "How I Filmed Nanook of the North"
> THE WORLD'S WORK, September 1922
> "Behind the crest, I mounted the camera and Nanook, stringing his harpoon,
> began slowly snaking over the crest."
> The above, re: the walrus scene.
> Re: the battle with the walrus:
> "For a long time it was nip and tuck - repeatedly the crew called me to use
> the gun- but the camera crank was my only interest then and I pretended not
> to understand."
> More:
> "For at least twenty minutes that tug-'o-war went on. I say twenty minutes
> advisedly for I ground out 1,200 feet of film"
> No mention is made by Flaherty of a second camera being used or of an
> operator other than himself.
> Can we believe him? Will we ever really know?
Flaherty's diary described the scene above, with
some minor differences (it is clear in the diary that Flaherty shot the
walrus with his rifle -- far less clear in his later statements).  I think
that we can accept the diary material as more or less accurate.  It is
conceivable that Flaherty might lie or incorrectly recall material in
later accounts, but less likely that he would lie to himself in his diary
written at the time.
Mark Langer
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