Ocean Pictures : the construction of the ocean on film
Kennerson, Elliott Doran.
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Common filmic tropes of the ocean draw upon ideas that go back to the novels of Herman Melville and Jules Verne, who constructed the ocean respectively as a hostile wilderness and a watery Eden. Two of the earliest and most influential underwater filmmakers, Jacques Cousteau and Jean Painlevé, employed these tropes, as have subsequent filmmakers, especially in their depictions of charismatic ocean fauna. The power of the Eden/wilderness dichotomy of the ocean has spilled over not only from novel to film and from fiction to non-fiction, but into the socio-political sphere of ocean-related controversies like the one that is the subject of my film, Sealed Off!!!