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Films on IceCinemas of the Arctic$
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Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerstahl Stenport

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748694174

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748694174.001.0001

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The Changing Polar Films: Silent Films from Arctic Exploration 1900–30

The Changing Polar Films: Silent Films from Arctic Exploration 1900–30

(p.265) 20. The Changing Polar Films: Silent Films from Arctic Exploration 1900–30
Films on Ice

Jan Anders Diesen

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses not only the first known examples of film shot in the polar region, but also elucidates the role polar expedition films played as cinema was becoming of broad attraction globally. Analysing footage from archives around the world, Diesen contextualises how mass media and technological developments for capturing and relaying to the world feats of exploration, often in the service of nationalism or personal gain, have come to shape the perception of the Arctic region to this day. Case studies in this chapter includes: documentation and media coverage of the Baldwin-Ziegler, Nobile, and Amundsen-Ellsworth Expeditions, including films by Anthony Fiala, Walter Wellman, George Hubert Wilkins, Georgi and Sergei Vasilyev, and Oskar Omdal and Paul Berge. Diesen also considers the propagandistic value of these films for various nation states and their mass media appeal for news companies.

Keywords:   Polar exploration, Baldwin-Ziegler Expedition, Anthony Fiala, Walter Wellman, George Hubert Wilkins, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, Roald Amundsen, Umberto Mobile, Actualités, Charles Urban Trading Corporation

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