News

The Path to Public Service at SEAS

News

Should Supreme Court Justices Have Term Limits? That ‘Would Be Fine,’ Breyer Says at Harvard IOP Forum

News

Harvard Right to Life Hosts Anti-Abortion Event With Students For Life President

News

Harvard Researchers Debunk Popular Sleep Myths in New Study

News

Journalists Discuss Trump’s Effect on the GOP at Harvard IOP Forum

The Moviegoer

At the Old South

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

"The Yellow Cruise" is the acme of the travelogue. This pictorial account of the third Citroen-Haardt-Audouin-Dubreuil Asiatic Expedition is not content to edify with its splendid scenes of the exotic, but succeeds in giving to the collection a unity and a thrilling dramatic punch, involving both terror and beauty.

Actually, this grand effect derives from the dynamic possibilities of the material, which the producers of the film had the good sense to handle truthfully and artlessly. Asia, if not the darkest of the continents, is the greatest and the richest in mysterious meaning. These Frenchmen, traveling from Beirut to Pekin approximately along the route of Marco Polo, proceeds in business-like fashion, using powerful trucks with caterpillar treads in the rear, and yet they were ever sensitive to the appeal of the old and the unknown about them. There are moving shots of Oriental luxury and squalor as seen in Bagdad; then, as we penetrate deeper, there are wild, frenzied dances of the nomadic tribesmen; the ruined palace of the mighty Queen Zenobia; gaunt, starving Mongolians. The picture ends with a glimpse of voluptuous Indo-China, splendid brown bodies gliding across the views.

The most exciting scenes of all, however, are the result of a disappointment and a last minute change of plans. After full permission had been granted, the Soviet government decided nevertheless to prohibit the expedition's passing through Russia, and so it became necessary to cross the Himalayas. The trucks crept painfully over the narrow icy passes, and the photographers produced their masterpieces. The edge of the road would crumble into the valley below, and for agonizing seconds a truck would lurch and then hold. Sometimes the risk was too great, and there was no way through except by means of the infinitely wearisome process of pulling the cars apart and carrying them piece by piece across the apparent impasse.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags