“ In 1914, Antarctica-bound Ernest Shackleton set sail aboard the Endurance with a 27-man crew, intent on becoming the first man to cross the frozen continent on foot, through the South Pole. Today the world is wired, space stations orbit the earth, satellites land on asteroids and edge-of-the-world explorers are never more than a phone call away. Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure seeks to transport us to an earlier time, when a brave wave farewell from the bow of a boat was the adventurer's last contact with the known world. „
My first ever visit to the IMAX cinema was in November to see ?Shackleton?s Antarctic Adventure". It was a mandatory part of my Media Course, and I would have to write an essay on the original expedition photographer Frank Hurley. Not really knowing anything about Sir Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance, I was completely open to anything! So the IMAX theatre - wow is all I can say! The screen gives you almost peripheral vision; the screen is something like 5 double decker buses high! Before the feature started the audience were given a great demonstration on how the unique IMAX experience worked, was also warned that if we felt sick at any point to close our eyes for a few moments - oooh err!! The feature is narrated by Kevin Spacey and opens with a panning air shot of Antarctica. The feature is comprised of both the original photography and cinematography by Frank Hurley ? Expedition Official Photographer, and reconstructed footage. Frank Hurley is man I admire a lot since viewing this feature and the documentary ?South?. Hurley stopped at nothing to achieve stunning photographs of the Antarctica and the ship Endurance. Hurley?s technical expertise, passion for photography, love of the Antarctica and his uniqueness shine through each and every photograph saved from the Shackleton expedition. The conditions were difficult for every crew member; Hurley continued to work in the freezing darkroom while his fingers were cracked and bleeding. He would scale icy peaks and masts in search of the perfect photograph. In order to work more efficiently Hurley would strip off the vital warmth of his glove and hat. Perhaps one of the most moving and amazing photographs Hurley produced, is that of frost coated Endurance encased in ice. Hurley worked with 20 sychronised flashes to produce this dramatic night shot. When the warmer weather and Spring arrived, the Endurance was not set free by the ice, ins
tead the ice began to crush the vessel, as crew members raced against time to salvage as much of the provisions as possible from the sinking ship, Hurley continued his photographic work. As the ship continued to sink Hurley stripped to the waist and broke through the walls of the ice chest, which were by this time under 4 ft of mushy ice, to save the watertight tin boxes that held his developed glass plates. It was after this that he and Shackleton were forced to destroy many of the images. Hurley continued to produce documentation on Elephant Island where he and the other crew members were stranded for many months. Hurley?s courage and will to achieve the best possible work he could produce and his ability to continue until the end earned his name by one of the Endurance team ?Warrior?. So the adventure begins - Sir Ernest Shackleton advertised for crew members to join him on his expedition to the Antarctica, the advert read ?safe return doubtful?. Despite the forewarning from Shackleton ? many men did apply. So in 1914 the Shackleton expedition began. However tragedy struck and the ship Endurance became stuck in ice, the crew tried to dig it out, but the ice was too strong. The crew had no option but to wait until the Spring when the ice should thaw, then the Endurance should break free and they can continue their journey. The crew lived on the ice for several months. Shackleton?s original mission was to be the first man to cross the Antarctic on foot, now his mission was to get each and every member of the crew home safely. When Spring finally arrived, instead of freeing the Endurance as hoped, in a turn around of events the ice began to crush the ship. Slowly the ship was pulled into the depths of the ocean. Using the lifeboats and as much supply as they could physically take, Shackleton and his crew set off on a heroic journey home and safety. Enduring hurricanes, malnutrition and freezing conditions. This is an extremely moving feature ? and as with most movies I watch, I like the element of surprise, which is why I do not detail all events in my opinions, merely an insight and leaving the best bits for you! This feature can only be viewed at the IMAX theatre in London ? so get there while you can and enjoy!