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Salient: At Victoria University College, Wellington, N. Z. Vol. 24, No. 10. 1961.

Ninety Degrees South

Ninety Degrees South

(Britain, 1934)

Produced, directed and photographed by Herbert Ponting, with a foreword by Vice-Admiral E. R. Evans and commentary by Commander F. A. Worsley, this is a record of Captain Robert Scott's expedition to the Antarctic, as taken by a member of the expedition.

Although Ninety Degrees South is the record of an actual event, it can hardly be called a documentary and has more the quality of a highly dramatic story film. Beginning with an introduction by Ponting in person, of the main people who took part in that expedition to the Pole, the producer of the film goes on to describe both verbally, by means of a commentary spoken by himself in the first person, and visually as his camera pictures the journey, the planning and organisation of Scott's great journey.

Once the ship has left Lyttelton, where the story begins, he shows the life of the men and animals on board. The film continues with a description of the things they see during the sea voyage, and then goes on to describe their landing on the edge of the great ice barrier where they estabish their headquarters and break their last link with civilisation by sending home the ship on which they came and which is to collect them again in a year's time. Finally. Pontine recalls, with the aid of Scott's diary. the last stages of the expedition.

The technical quality of the photography is excellent. Working under extremely adverse conditions Ponting not only photographed, hut developed his film as well. Aided perhaps by the transparent Antarctic atmosphere, and despite the hardships, the result is beautifully clean and detailed.

A. W. Everard