Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Whales of Atlantis

In searching for anything with the words "Moby Dick" in them, I came across a DVD:

Jules Verne Adventure Expeditions--Whales of Atlantis: In Search of Moby Dick (2007)

Just another tenuous grasp of calling on the name of Moby Dick to talk about whales and ecology. I guess it is the "in" that the producers make to have us feel comfortable talking about it.

However, it was kind of interesting in examining the now-defunct whaling industry of the Azores. They referenced several times that the Azores could be Atlantis.

Narrated by Christopher Lee, the quotes from the book sound so much better in his voice, making Melville give "a harrowing description of these hunts" and you actually believe they are harrowing in his voice.

Like the book, this show talks about the whaling town almost as if Ishmael had seen it from this 2007 perspective instead of 1850. It does not romanticize whaling though, as they quote from Albert I of Monaco about whaling being barbaric.

And then it gets a bit cheesy: "Watching the killing of a whale is a vision of the end of the world."

While it started with a quote from Melville, it ended with a Verne quote from Captain Nemo. I guess it is appropriate, being a Verne expedition. However, it is almost disquieting as they needed to grasp Melville in order to show their dive with a sperm whale. So which author do they really want to track? That's the tenuous connection--whale? oh, gotta say Moby Dick. I am sure they could have steered clear of it and just used Verne's works, even remotely. But no, they have to say Moby Dick if it is a whale.

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