Shackleton - The Search for Good Video Documentation
Dr. John P. Kelly | Boerne, Texas | 11/23/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As one thirsty to find good video content on Shackleton's legendary expedition to Antartica, I am especially interested in Hurley's (Shackleton's photographer on his Endurance voyage) motion picture images, said to exist and to be used to document that trip. Unfortunately, this video has (little or) no footage of Hurley's moving pictures, but does contain the most famous still photos. Perhaps the weakest part of the video is the periodic dramatization, in a studio, of the life threatening circumstances. The snow and setting are obviously fake and don't convey the sense of suffering and harsh conditions under which the expedition labored. On the positive side, the video does a good overall bio on Shackleton, presenting him in a positive light, and showing something of the extraordinary nature of his character."
Tom Brody | Berkeley, CA | 05/26/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The production of Francis Drake consists of a narration, some live action monologues, beautiful costumes, and nice close-ups of antique maps. The acting by the Francis Drake character, and other characters, consists mainly in a number of poses. There is little real dialogue, just mainly monologues by the actors. Francis Drake's speech is somewhat easy to understand, but there is a young, blond-haired actor who plays some other character, whose speech is unintelligible. At one point, the Queen Elizabeth character talks to herself by a window, posing stiffly. Wouldn't if have been better to have her talking with some other character? This picture could be helped a bit if it allowed you to activate captions, since the actor's speech is not well recorded. The scenes of the ship, both inside and out, are lovely and inspiring. However, there are no scenes of the ship (Golden Hinde) in the proximity of any other ships, and there are no scenes of it docking near any beaches or towns. Hence, the production as a whole gets a little monotonous. The production could be improved by a few dialogues involving two actors, an argument or two, a short debate, some amusing banter. The company that made this video made a large series of videos on historic persons. Unfortunately, I also bought their version of King Alfred the Great. It too, has monotonous monologues, and speech that is not well recorded."
Productions from Kulture Video are generally poor.
Tom Brody | Berkeley, CA | 11/08/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is about productions from Kulture Video. The acting is wooden, and generally consists of "actors" dressed up in period costumes, and reciting a memorized monologue, while staring blankly somewhere beyond the camera. There is generally little or no dialogue. Nearly all of the scenes show just one "actor" by himself or by herself. The speech is generally difficult to understand, because of poor diction on the part of the "actors" and because of the low quality of the recording.
There are plenty of excellent actors, available from 2-year colleges, 4-year colleges, and from community theaters. Therefore, Kulture Video simply has no excuse for its failure to find any decent actors.
I bought two videotapes made by Kulture Video--King Alfred the Great and Sir Francis Drake. Both of them suffer from the above-disclosed problems. It is often not possible to understand what the "actors" are saying, since the sound recording is so poor, and there is little or nothing whatsoever in the video that might be construed as actual "acting." I also have the Kulture Video production of a Stravinsky ballet. It is a true horror. The image is out of focus throughout. And the camera is stable throughout. The ballet is not shown from different angles, for example, from close up or from far away.
You have been warned.