The Great White Silence

A Film by Herbert Ponting, with a new score by Simon Fisher Turner featuring the composer, the Elysian Quartet, Sarah Scutt, David Coulter and Alexander L'Estrange.

The official record of Captain Scott's legendary expedition to the South Pole restored by the BFI and presented , with live musical performance from Simon Fisher Turner, on DVD & Blu-ray for the first time.

A hundred years ago the British Antarctic Expedition led by Captain Scott set out on its ill-fated race to the South Pole. Joining Scott on board the Terra Nova was official photographer and cinematographer Herbert Ponting, and the images that he captured have fired imaginations ever since. Ponting filmed almost every aspect of the expedition: the scientific work, life in camp and the local wildlife - including the characterful Adélie penguins. Those things he was unable to film he boldly recreated back home. Most importantly, Ponting recorded the preparations for the assault on the Pole - from the trials of the caterpillar-track sledges to clothing and cooking equipment - giving us a real sense of the challenges faced by the expedition. Ponting used his footage in various forms over the years and in 1924 he re-edited it into this remarkable feature, complete with vivid tinting and toning.

The BFI National Archive - custodian of the expedition negatives - has restored the film using the latest photochemical and digital techniques and reintroduced the film's sophisticated use of colour. The alien beauty of the landscape is brought dramatically to life and shows the world of the expedition in brilliant detail. A happy scene of Scott and his team in a tent demonstrating how they would cook and sleep on their race to the Pole - the same tent that would be their tomb - is particularly poignant.

Special Features:

Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
Includes 90 Degrees South (1933, 70min); the re-edited, official sound film of the Antarctic expedition
90º South (1933, 72 mins): Herbert Ponting s final sound version of the legendary footage he shot in 1910 11
The Sound of Silence (2011, 13 mins): new documentary about Simon Fisher Turner s score
Location field recordings (2010, 4 mins): celebrated sound recordist Chris Watson s audio document of the interior of Scott's polar expedition hut, presented in both 2.0 stereo and 5.1 surround
Archive newsreel items (1910-1925, 5 mins, DVD only): a selection of archival film extracts which capture the departure and return of the expedition party

Illustrated booklet with essays, credits and an extract from Francis Spufford's "I May Be Some Time"

Actors: Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Captain Lawrence Edward Grace Oates
Directors: Herbert Ponting
Format: PAL
Language English
Number of discs: 1
Classification: U
Studio: BFI Video
DVD Release Date: 20 Jun 2011
Run Time: 110 minutes

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The Great White Silence

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