a film by Herbert G. Ponting
Black and white / Silent
This film version is kept in the collections of the Toulouse Film Archives and has been restored in collaboration with the French Film Archives (CNC)
The Terra Nova Expedition which aimed at reaching the South Pole first, was led by Robert Falcon Scott and has remained one of the most famous exploratory voyage. It was conducted between 1910 and 1913 and it tragically ended with the death of five explorers including Scott. Scott had a movie camera with him and the pictures found near the frozen bodies provided the matter for the film ETERNAL SILENCE.
This musical project is based on an improvised approach to echo Scott 's polar expedition which had no certainty apart from its departure. Therefore, we have here an instrumental mixing on the verge of balance, fed with a primitive energy which expends in an unrestrained way and develops a taste for the broken time, that is excessiveness. The only directions are : rough, film-concerts, orchestral tutti, wild techno, duple-time waltzes... We are then free to express our inspiration and desires.
The jagged summit of the Erebus volcano has not been gazed at by more than fifty pairs of human eyes and however we enjoy the privilege to own its smoke lying in red and purple skies ,blown by the polar wind... So that we could admire this pink and black smoke, this threatening and magnificent picture, some men, precisely those who are shown black with cold, their faces peeled in patches, had to leave, carried by the discoverers ' fatal curiosity and arrogance.
The long, wise and enterprising figure of Scott, his hand on the bridle of his horse, had to fade slowly away in the white desert, waving to us a supreme and priceless goodbye... He had to die, they had to die, and their cracked cheeks are still laughing on the screen and even when dying, when preserving the films, photographs and manuscripts ; they had to be thinking of us ; we, their glory.
The Scott Expedition on the cinematograph by Colette