Exquisite wonder: Colour film, realism and the Yankee voyage, 1936–38 | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2050-4039
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4047

Abstract

This article looks at rare Kodachrome film taken across Oceania, mostly shot by a skilled amateur filmmaker, Edmund Zacher, to document the circumnavigation of the famous clipper . There are three intertwined lines of inquiry traced here. The first explores relations between US imperialism, moving image media and a popular imaginary, considering how experiences of virtual travel engage with cultural ideology. The second examines how this footage may be interpreted: how might critical frameworks brought to bear on amateur non-fiction differ from those commonly applied to professional and narrative fiction film? A key reference point is the theory of cinematic gesture developed by Giorgio Agamben, who expands on the work of Gilles Deleuze and his notion of the movement image. This stress on gesture and on the mediality of moving images leads towards a third key area under consideration: colour and the (then) new medium of Kodachrome. Homing in on relations between colour stock and motion picture realism, this study explores the ways that Kodachrome colour might have affected broader perceptions of the world itself.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1386/nzps_00015_1
2020-05-01
2024-05-29
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Agamben, Giorgio. ( 1999;), ‘ On potentiality. ’, Potentialities: Collected Essays in Philosophy (trans. D. Heller-Roazen.), Stanford, CA:: Stanford University Press;, pp. 17784.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Agamben, Giorgio. ( 2000;), ‘ Notes on gesture. ’, Means without End: Notes on Politics (trans. Vincenzo Binetti, and Cesare Casarino.), Minneapolis, MN:: University of Minnesota Press;, pp. 4260.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. American Asiatic Association ( 1925;), ‘ Advertisement. ’, Asia, 25, pp. 458, 548, 632 .
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Anderson, Warwick. ( 2012;), ‘ Hybridity, race, and science: The voyage of the Zaca, 1934–35. ’, Isis: Journal of the History of Science Society, 103:2, pp. 22953.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Anon. ( 1934;), ‘ Society announcements. ’, Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, 22:5, p. 331.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Anon. ( 1938;), ‘ Zacher’s film of Yankee’s cruise has strong appeal. ’, The Times (Hartford, CT), coll. 240, box 18, f.3 , Mystic, CT:: Johnson Collection, Mystic Seaport Research Library;.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Anon. ( 1947;), ‘ Solomon Islands: Martin Lo. ’, Time, 29 September, http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,804245,00.html. Accessed 1 June 2017.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Arnheim, Rudolf. ( [1935] 1997;), ‘ Remarks on color film. ’, in Rudolf Arnheim. (ed.), Film Essays and Criticism (trans. Brenda Benthien.), Madison, WI:: University of Wisconsin Press;, pp. 1823.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Askari, Kaveh. ( 2009;), ‘ Early 16mm colour by a career amateur. ’, Film History, 21:2, pp. 15063.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Bateson, Gregory, and Mead, Margaret. ( 1942), Balinese Character: A Photographic Analysis, New York:: New York Academy of Sciences;.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Bennett, Judith. ( 2002;), ‘ Roots of conflict in Solomon Islands – Though much is taken, much abides: Legacies of tradition and colonialism. ’, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia discussion paper, Australian National University open access , https://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/41835. Accessed 1 June 2018.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Bethell, John T.. ( 1998;), ‘ “A splendid little war”: Harvard and the commencement of a new world order. ’, Harvard Magazine, 11, https://harvardmagazine.com/1998/11/war.html. Accessed 1 June 2018.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Bougainville, Louis-Antoine de. ( [1767] 2002), The Pacific Journal of Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, 1767–68 (ed. and trans. John Dunmore) , London:: The Hakluyt Society;.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Brown, Simon. ( 2009;), ‘ Colouring the nation: Spectacle, reality and British natural colour in the silent and early sound era. ’, Film History, 21:2, pp. 13949.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Brown, Simon,, Street, Sarah, and Watkins, Liz. (eds) ( 2012), Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive, London:: Routledge;.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Bruno, Giulina. ( 2002), Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture, and Film, New York:: Verso;.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Buschmann, Rainer. ( 1997;), ‘ Review of Die Grosse Insel by Doris Byer. ’, The Contemporary Pacific, 9:1, pp. 27779.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Byer, Doris. ( 1996), Die Grosse Insel: Südpazifische Lebensgeschichten. Autobiographische Berichte aus dem südöstlichen Salomon – Archipel seit 1914 (The Big Island: South Pacific Life Histories; Autobiographical Reports from the Southeastern Solomon Archipelago), Vienna:: Böhlau Verlag;.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Clifford, James. ( 1997), Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century, Cambridge, MA:: Harvard University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Coates, Paul. ( 2010), Cinema and Colour: The Saturated Image, London:: British Film Institute;.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Connery, Christopher L.. ( 1994;), ‘ Pacific Rim discourse: The U.S. global imaginary in the late cold war years. ’, Boundary 2, Special Issue: ‘Asia/Pacific as Space of Cultural Production’ , 21:1, pp. 3056.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Craven, Ian. (ed.) ( 2009), Movies on Home Ground: Explorations in Amateur Cinema, Newcastle:: Cambridge Scholars;.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Craven, Ian, and Shand, Ryan. (eds) ( 2013), Small-Gauge Storytelling: Discovering the Amateur Fiction Film, Edinburgh:: Edinburgh University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Crocker, Stephen. ( 2007;), ‘ Noises and exceptions: Pure mediality in Serres and Agamben. ’, in Arthur Kroker, and Marilouise Kroker. (eds), 1000 Days of Theory, March, http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=574. Accessed 1 June 2018.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Da-lite Unipod Camera Support ( 1936;), ‘ Advertisement. ’, Movie Makers, 11:7, p. 309.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Dalle Vacche, Angela, and Price, Brian. (eds) ( 2006), Color: The Film Reader, New York:: Routledge;.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Deleuze, Gilles. ( [1986] 2003), Cinema 1: The Movement Image (trans. Hugh Tomlinson.), Minneapolis, MN:: University of Minnesota Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Devichand, Mukul. ( 2016;), ‘ #TheDress couple: “We were completely left out from the story”. ’, BBC News, 1 January, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-35073088. Accessed 1 June 2017.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Droessler, Holger. ( 2013;), ‘ Whose Pacific? U.S. security interests in American Samoa from the Age of Empire to the Pacific Pivot. ’, Pacific Asia Inquiry, 4:1, pp. 5865.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Eastman Kodak ( 1935;), ‘ Black and white home movies come to life. ’, Movie Makers, 10:6, p. 252.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Eastman Kodak ( 1936;), ‘ When your picture moves, it lives. ’, Movie Makers, 11:7, p. 311.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Eperjesi, John R.. ( 2005), The Imperialist Imaginary: Visions of Asia and the Pacific in American Culture, Hanover, NH:: Dartmouth College Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Geiger, Jeffrey. ( 2007), Facing the Pacific: Polynesia and the U.S. Imperial Imagination, Honolulu, HI:: University of Hawai‘i Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Geiger, Jeffrey. ( 2018;), ‘ The voyager’s sublime: Kodachrome and Pacific tourism. ’, in Michelle Keown,, Andrew Taylor, and Mandy Treagus. (eds), Anglo-American Imperialism and the Pacific: Discourses of Encounter, New York:: Routledge;, pp. 11030.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Green, Roberta. ( 1937;), ‘ Now booking for 1938: A new adventure by Captain Irving Johnson and informal talks about life aboard a schooner by Electa Search Johnson. ’, Artists for the Season of 1937–38: Advance List, Boston, MA:: Roberta Green;, pp. 1415.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Griffiths, Alison. ( 2002), Wondrous Difference: Cinema, Anthropology, and Turn-of-the-Century Visual Culture, New York:: Columbia University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Gunnell, Frank E.. ( 1936;), ‘ Vacation accessories. ’, Movie Makers, 11:8, pp. 33656.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Gunning, Tom. ( 1994;), ‘ Colorful metaphors: The attraction of color in early silent cinema. ’, Fotogenia, 1, pp. 24955.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Gunning, Tom. ( 1995;), ‘ Animated pictures: Tales of cinema’s forgotten future. ’, Michigan Quarterly Review, 34:4, pp. 46585.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Hagman, Hampus. ( 2012;), ‘ The digital gesture: Rediscovering cinematic movement through GIFs. ’, Refractory: Journal of Entertainment Media, 29 December, http://refractory.unimelb.edu.au/tag/agamben/. Accessed 1 June 2019.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Hau‘ofa, Epeli. ( 1993;), ‘ Our sea of islands. ’, in Eric Waddell,, Vijay Naidu, and Epeli Hau‘ofa. (eds), A New Oceania: Rediscovering Our Sea of Islands, Suva:: University of the South Pacific Press;, pp. 216.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Holton, Robert J.. ( 2009), Cosmopolitanisms: New Thinking and New Directions, Basingstoke:: Palgrave Macmillan;.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Ishizuka, Karen I., and Zimmermann, Patricia R.. (eds) ( 2008), Mining the Home Movie: Excavations in Histories and Memories, Berkeley, CA:: University of California Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. J. W.. ( 1938;), ‘ Incredible becomes real in “Yankee” film. ’, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, coll. 240, box 18, f.5 , Mystic, CT:: Johnson Collection, Mystic Seaport Research Library;.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Johnson, Irving, and Johnson, Electa. (as ‘Captain and Mrs. Irving Johnson’) ( 1939), Sailing to See: Picture Cruise in the Schooner Yankee, New York:: W. W. Norton;.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Kalmus, Natalie. ( 1935;), ‘ Color consciousness. ’, Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, 25, August, http://www.zauberklang.ch/Kalmus_ColorConsciousness_SMPE_1935_print.pdf, pp. 13947. Accessed 1 June 2018.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Kant, Immanuel. ( [1790] 2008), Critique of Judgement (trans. James Creed Meredith.), Oxford:: Oxford University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Kattelle, Alan D.. ( 2000), Home Movies: A History of the American Industry, 1897–1979, Nashua, NH:: Transition Publishing;.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Küper, Henry. (Heinrich) ( 1926;), ‘ Tapitapi, or the tattooing of females on Santa Ana and Santa Catalina (Solomon group). ’, Journal of the Polynesian Society, 35, pp. 15.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. LaFeber, Walter. ( [1963] 1998), The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion, 1860–98, Ithaca, NY:: Cornell University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Lowe, Lisa. ( 1994), Critical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms, Ithaca, NY:: Cornell University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Lyons, Paul. ( 2006), American Pacificism: Oceania in the U.S. Imagination, New York:: Routledge;.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Mead, Sidney M.. ( 1973), Material Culture and Art in the Star Harbour Region, Eastern Solomon Islands, Toronto:: Royal Ontario Museum, University of Toronto Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Misek, Richard. ( 2010), Chromatic Cinema: A History of Screen Color, New York:: Wiley-Blackwell;.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Moore, James W.. ( 1936;), ‘ Tips from movie travelers. ’, Movie Makers, 11:8, pp. 33859.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Neale, Steve. ( 2002;), ‘ Color and film aesthetics. ’, in Graeme Turner. (ed.), The Film Cultures Reader, New York:: Routledge;, pp. 8594.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Nichols, Bill. ( 1991), Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary, Bloomington, IN:: Indiana University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Norris Nicholson, Heather. ( 2009;), ‘ Framing the view: Holiday recording and Britain’s amateur film movement, 1925–50. ’, in Ian Craven. (ed.), Movies on Home Ground: Explorations in Amateur Cinema, Newcastle:: Cambridge Scholars;, pp. 93127.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Oliver, Myrna. ( 2004;), ‘ Electra [sic] Johnson, 95; with husband, told of adventures sailing around globe 7 times. ’, Los Angeles Times, 4 December, http://articles.latimes.com/2004/dec/04/local/me-johnson4. Accessed 1 June 2017.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Ruoff, Jeffrey. (ed.) ( 2006), Virtual Voyages: Cinema and Travel, Durham, NC:: Duke University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Strain, Ellen. ( 2003), Public Places, Private Journeys: Ethnography, Entertainment, and the Tourist Gaze, New Brunswick, NJ:: Rutgers University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  62. Szczepaniak-Gillece, Jocelyn. ( 2012;), ‘ The hues of memory, the shades of experience: Color and time in “Syndromes and a Century”. ’, in Simon Brown,, Sarah Street, and Liz I. Watkins. (eds), Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive, London:: Routledge;, pp. 10413.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Szerszynski, Bronislaw, and Urry, John. ( 2006;), ‘ Visuality, mobility and the cosmopolitan: Inhabiting the world from afar. ’, The British Journal of Sociology, 57:1, pp. 11331.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. Teaiwa, Teresia. ( 1999;), ‘ Reading Paul Gauguin’s Noa Noa with Epeli Hau‘ofa’s Kisses in the Nederends: Militourism, feminism, and the “Polynesian” body. ’, in Vilsoni Hereniko, and Rob Wilson. (eds), Inside Out: Literature, Cultural Politics, and Identity in the New Pacific, Lanham, MD:: Rowman & Littlefield;, pp. 24963.
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Tepperman, Charles. ( 2013;), ‘ Color unlimited: Amateur color cinema in the 1930s. ’, in Simon Brown,, Sarah Street, and Liz I. Watkins. (eds), Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive, London:: Routledge;, pp. 13848.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Tuttle, Harris B.. ( 1935;), ‘ The how of Kodachrome. ’, Movie Makers, 10:6, pp. 241, 264–65 .
    [Google Scholar]
  67. Tuttle, Harris B.. ( 1937a;), ‘ Seeing color, part 1. ’, Movie Makers, 12:10, pp. 48182.
    [Google Scholar]
  68. Tuttle, Harris B.. ( 1937b;), ‘ Seeing color, part 2. ’, Movie Makers, 12:11, pp. 55152, 561–63 .
    [Google Scholar]
  69. Villiers, Alan. ( [1937] 2006), The Cruise of the Conrad, Woodbridge:: Seafarer Books;.
    [Google Scholar]
  70. Ye, Sandy. ( 2007;), ‘ U.S. trade policy and the Pacific Rim, from Fordney–McCumber to the Trade Expansion Act of 1962: A political–economic analysis. ’, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Stanford University, August, http://siepr.stanford.edu/research/publications/us-trade-policy-and-pacific-rim-fordney-mccumber-trade-expansion-act-1962. Accessed 1 June 2017.
  71. Zacher, Edmund. ( 1935;), ‘ Winter Kodacolor. ’, Movie Makers, 10:2, pp. 69, 83–84 .
    [Google Scholar]
  72. Zacher, Edmund. ( 1937a;), ‘ Tree drums, traders, visits to man-eaters occupy the Yankee crew in Pacific Islands. ’, The Times (Hartford, CT), coll. 240, box 18, f.5 , Mystic, CT:: Johnson Collection, Mystic Seaport Research Library;.
    [Google Scholar]
  73. Zacher, Edmund. ( 1937b;), ‘ Yankee crew says farewell to Pitcairn and heads Westward to the South Sea Isles. ’, The Times (Hartford, CT), coll. 240, box 18, f.5 , Mystic, CT:: Johnson Collection, Mystic Seaport Research Library;.
    [Google Scholar]
  74. Zacher, Edmund. ( 1938), Around Again in the Yankee, AV 107, 36-1, rolls 1-3 , Mystic, CT:: Johnson Collection, Mystic Seaport Research Library;.
    [Google Scholar]
  75. Zimmermann, Patricia R.. ( 1995), Reel Families: A Social History of Amateur Film, Bloomington, IN:: Indiana University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  76. Geiger, Jeffrey. ( 2020;), ‘ Exquisite wonder: Colour film, realism and the Yankee voyage, 1936–38. ’, Journal of New Zealand & Pacific Studies, 8:1, pp. 5779, doi: https://doi.org/10.1386/nzps_00015_1
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1386/nzps_00015_1
Loading
/content/journals/10.1386/nzps_00015_1
Loading

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error