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Animal Attacks: Documenting Fauna in Southeast Asia in the 1920s and 1930s

Academy of Film (August 29, 2013)

CONFERENCE / SYMPOSIUM : Documentary Film in South and South-East Asia (including Hong Kong/Macau) Conference

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Animal Attacks: Documenting Fauna in Southeast Asia in the 1920s and 1930s
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MAJOR SPEAKER : Barnard, Tim
LENGTH : 34 min.
ACCESS : Open to all
SUMMARY : In 1926 an American expedition under W. Douglas Burden filmed the Komodo dragon in its natural environment. This footage was among the earliest nature films to come out of Southeast Asia, and other footage of animals soon followed. Whether elephants rampaging through a village in Siam (Thailand) in Chang (1927) or pythons attacking tigers in Malaya in Bring 'em Back Alive (1932), much of this documentary footage was made for an American market, and reflected the transition of films from documentary to narrative cinema. This paper will examine these violent nature films as works that were made beyond the purview of colonial authorities to fulfill American understandings of exotica in Southeast Asia as well as the wild, and came to influence how Asia - and the natural world - was depicted on film.  [Go to the full record in the library's catalogue]

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