Monday, July 16, 2012

Cousteau Mini Blogathon: Voyage au bout du monde

YEAR: 1976; DIRECTOR: Philippe Cousteau, Jacques-Yves Cousteau

With this review of Voyage to the Edge of the World, my Cousteau Mini Blogathon comes to an end. It was out of a spontaneous mood that I started this little project, knowing that it would catch little interest among my readers as Cousteau with his 4-5 films isn't exactly a man of the cinema (although he won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature two times). 
I'm still glad to see that there was a handful of people that read my posts, and maybe it's not too much to hope for that someone got inspired to watch some Cousteau film. 

World Without Sun remaining my true favourite of the three movies I watched and reviewed for this event, I did enjoy Voyage to the Edge of the World. It was the most conventional documentary of the three, with a special 70s flair to it. Something about the lighting. 
Being accustomed with J. Cousteau's voice-over from the first two movies, it was an interesting alternation to be listening to his son Philippe during the underwater sequences of this movie. Clearly, Jacques himself has grown much older since the 12 years older World Without Sun, which is why he didn't participate in the diving this time. It was amazing to see what the Arctic sea looks like under the surface, regardless of the fact that we've seen it before many times. The feeling that we are the first to see these intriguing shots, and the scientists' enthusiasm just really comes across. Like, "whaaat, the iceberg is actually 7 times larger under the surface?!".
I just love it when films are able to capture me like that. And that without really proving or discovering anything - quite an accomplishment for a nature documentary. 
What Voyage to the Edge of the World did was show things, and show a few people's love for those things. As well as their fear. But no risk no fun, right? I'm pretty sure this was the mantra of the people who made this. Climbing a giant sphinx-formed iceberg and diving into its grottos is near to suicide. But when you get the best and never before seen shots of more than 1000 year old chunks of ice, forming a complex tunnel system, that's pretty much worth it, I guess.

And although Voyage to the Edge of the World neither had a title as catching, nor an ending sentence as inspiring (though it was quite great) as the ones of Cousteau's previous films, it still lingers with me. 
Adding up to the knowledge I have gained from the previous three nights.

The final frame


  1. Is the narration in French? Underwater is interesting, but when you combine it with The South Pole it gets even better. That's as foreign as it gets. But I'll be happy if there's plenty shots of the whale as its poster on IMDB suggests.

    1. I think there's an English track on the DVD as well, but I watched it with the original French narration.
      Well, I hope you're not too disappointed, but there aren't many shots of the whales... I think they met whales only two times during the whole journey. But watch it anyhow, especially when you're interested in underwater and South Pole.

  2. oh Jacques Cousteau was my hero! There was a time (when VHS of Cousteau were all over the house) when I wanted to be a marine biologist because of him - it didn't last long, though. I still love National Geographic, Shark Week and all of that... he's just adorable. I'm thrilled that you loved his films.

    1. Cool! Marine biologist was the dream job of my childhood!
      I also considered it again lately, but I'm not that good at physics. Although I still have a huge passion for anything related to the sea.


Let the discussion begin!