Nanook of the North

Nanook of the North

5.0 2
Director: Robert Flaherty

Cast: Berry Kroeger

     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Robert Flaherty's landmark documentary Nanook of the North comes to DVD with a standard full-frame 1.33:1 image (as it should be for any film produced before 1955). The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are neither subtitles nor closed-captions on this disc. Supplemental materials include portions of a television documentary titled

Overview

Robert Flaherty's landmark documentary Nanook of the North comes to DVD with a standard full-frame 1.33:1 image (as it should be for any film produced before 1955). The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are neither subtitles nor closed-captions on this disc. Supplemental materials include portions of a television documentary titled "Flaherty on Film" and a photo gallery of still pictures taken by the director while he was working in the Arctic. Considering the stature this film holds in the film canon, one could always wish for more information, but this package is thorough, well-rounded, and should both educate and please new generations of documentary filmmakers.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ben Wolf
When Robert Flaherty began shooting this groundbreaking work near Canada's Hudson Bay in 1920, the term "documentary" didn't exist. With NANOOK OF THE NORTH, Flaherty established techniques still employed by documentarians today: He explored a foreign culture by living among its people, then organized the resulting footage into an emotionally involving film. Nanook, whose ever-present smile makes him a natural onscreen, is the father of an Inuit -- or as Flaherty called them, Eskimo -- family, and the film chronicles their day-to-day struggle to find food and shelter in a barren landscape. NANOOK has been criticized because it is not a documentary in the purest sense. Flaherty occasionally manipulated reality for the camera; the building of an igloo, for instance, was partially staged. But as a work of art that captures unforgettably the daily drama of the Inuit fight for survival and the stark beauty of the snow-driven landscape, NANOOK OF THE NORTH cannot be faulted. It remains one of the world's great documentaries.
All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Before Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North, filmmakers who had recorded the daily lives of people, starting with the Lumiere Brothers and their famed glimpses of workers leaving their factory, had been casual observers. Flaherty instinctively understood that film audiences loved a good story, and he set out to marry the conventions of narrative cinema with the reality of commonplace life. By choosing a setting of extreme conditions -- the death of Nanook shortly after the film's release only underscored the treacherous conditions of his life -- Flaherty started out with an inherently dramatic foundation. He built on that by asking his subjects, whose cooperation he wooed by screening footage of their work together, to stage scenes for him. The igloo which Nanook, his family, and friends built for Flaherty was larger than normal and contained only three sides, to allow the filmmaker's cameras access to the interior. Critics have charged that this technique compromised the film's authenticity, but, as in all of his major features (Moana, Man of Aran, Louisiana Story), Flaherty was more interested in the general rather than the specific. The truth of these films lies in their faithful rendering of man's relationship to the natural world, and in that regard, Flaherty had no peer.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/26/1999
UPC:
0715515009829
Original Release:
1922
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, stereo]
Time:
1:19:00

Special Features

New digiral transfer, remastered at the visually correct speed by preservationist David Shepard; New orchestral score by silent film music specialist Timothy Brock; Excerpts from the television documentary Flaherty and Film, featuring interviews with the filmmaker's vidow and Nanook co-editor Francis Flaherty; Stills gallery fo Flaherty's photographs of life in the artic

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Chapters
0. Chapters
0. Menu Group #2 with 13 chapter(s) covering 01:18:20
1. Logos/Introductory titles. [2:25]
2. Barren Land. [1:56]
3. The family kayak. [4:53]
4. The "big igloo." [6:07]
5. Finishing on the thin edge of starvation. [6:06]
6. The Tiger of the North. [7:41]
7. Two miles a day. [7:17]
8. Building the igloo. [8:51]
9. Home schooling. [3:48]
10. "Morning." [7:42]
11. Ogjuk, the big seal. [10:57]
12. Shelter from the storm. [10:14]
13. Restoration Credits. [:19]

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Nanook of the North 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Filmninja More than 1 year ago
Despite that reputation the truth is, it is neither the first, nor a real documentary. The action is sometimes staged, such as the scene when the Inuits hide their rifles off camera and fight a huge walrus with spears and ropes instead. This doesn't take away from the educational value of this "documentary" though. After all, who would better reproduce ancient Inuit hunting techniques than someone as intelligent, brave and charismatic as the film's star, Nanook? Anyone interested in travel, adventure, indigenous cultures, hunting or film history would find this DVD extremely interesting.