In this literature review the project is a 4,500 word attempt to look at Jacques Cousteau as a figure and cultural icon. The literature I have reviewed is very journalist based. I am also going to apply some theory learned previously into this information. In a broader sense I will take media texts and summarise my angle for Jacques Cousteau Odyssey The Complete Series on Three discs. I have also observed Jacques Cousteau narrative structures and this is something I will talk about.
I will also use Jacques Cousteau as a brand or the project the society which is listed on the video. I will use this for a useful resource of researching more. The concentration is on the myth of Jacques Cousteau . The Branding in television has been wrote about by Marcel Dunaise.
This paragraph is about the consumption of his product in Britain. The amount of talking in the show and the voice over in the show makes this a universal product. This voice over and the strong narrative is a strong lingua franca (find a quote). That knowledge and media products are worth their weight in gold. I also explain how Jacques has set up his branded product, which has successfully created a branded product; which has helped his family continue to make revenue from his and his teams work.
In order to understand Jacques Cousteau brand as an image as a journalist and as a documentary that travels around the world and also touches upon Jacques Cousteau’s published interest in Genius a good text that draws from this is in the book Mythologies by Roland Barthes. (Barthes, 2000, pp.30-31) He critically explains his views on this within writers on holiday, saying ‘the establishment enslave its writers” to always portray a good image. He goes one to describe how this is best described when challenged in some way because this demystified the true image and he says this type of analysis comes from the trick of “Hagiographies“. Notably this word is often suggested with innocence of saints in biographies similarly though the word derives from Roman descriptive text which the earlier chapter in mythologies called Romans in Films. Throughout this book Barthes seems to speak for the French as a whole, and Jacques originally French does deliver the spoken parts of the DVD in English could also partly be dubbed into any langauge due to narrative and plot described throughout the documentary.
Jacques Cousteau has autobiographies written after him and he wrote a book called ‘In Search of Genius ‘again this can be linked with the concept Roland Barthes highlights in his continuation of his Roman theme, using this type of descriptive language, because linked to this word within its plural is the pursuit of transparency and critical truth for an autobiographies success. That word is hagiographic and connects to the complete works of people, much has been published on Jacques Cousteau in earlier documentaries and later compilations of his life and his family legacy, much of which is more popular in France and America. Jacques Cousteau lived in the 50th state of America ‘Hawaii‘.
This paragraph is about the more technical side of documentary making. In the book writing Directing and producing documentary films and video’s wrote by Alan Rosenthal 2007 fourth addition he gives a clear outline of what is to be done, in-order to deliver a documentary to mainstream viewers and continues by explaining the details of creating a legal global product. This includes Form writing the narrative of the shows, to drafting budgets, signing contracts even guidance for each of the individual crew members who were responsible for creating a product such as Jacques Cousteau’s documentary.
Constructively the re mastered version for CD which I purchased on the South Bank Rosenthal explains even the technicalities of transferring video and archives to DVD. In this he breaks down the price of credits and fonts to also paying royalties for soundtracks added Film transfer to video (Rosenthal, 2007, pp.134-135). So it would be interesting to analyse the source of music used in The Jacques Cousteau Odyssey however it may well be easier to just research data compiled from the previous series for which there is so much information.
This paragraph is about the considered media effects and the considerations a family may choose in-order to make documentaries a success.’TV living’ by Dave Gaunlett and Anette Hill is a book about television culture and everyday life. It sets up the scene of British viewers and how they consume television as audiences. What’s practical in this project is the part about families and how families choose a certain type of show for the children to watch. The documentary set is perfect for family viewing although some of the narrative requires high-end linguistic knowledge of ecology, geology and history the story is such that both parents and children alike will enjoy. What is I think particularly appealing this section of TV living is that Jacques Cousteau Odyssey has the occasional reference to his own family in Hawaii.
This again reinforces a similar reflection of family lifestyle. Similarly within his work place Jacques Cousteau represents a team player which is all important within the work place, this could also be seen as a very practical political and sociological message for families and anyone who really watches the show, or in this case the DVD series.
However in summary cultural difference in other countries differs and this can be seen in later qualitative figures of viewers of television during the time of the documentaries release in the European Union, Australia and indeed America and Canada. Notably his earlier series had already been a success and some of quality this over 30-year-old documentary may well be due to the trail and error of earlier episodes. I have not yet managed to study these earlier studies.
Background research is all extracted from a magazine article published online called Diver published in 1997 by Kendall McDonald a reputable Scottish Writer who has over 12 books published in Britain about diving one of which is commissioned by Prince Charles.
Jacques Cousteau background started in the Navy, he was an important member of the French resistance and helped on a mission to get valuable information (Codes) from Italy during the Second World War for which he was awarded the Croix de Guerre medal from France. He worked closely on developing the ‘Auqalung’ and attributed with patenting this key diving apparatus in Paris. He also after the Second World War as well as being an inventor and war hero was known for his underwater filmmaking. He and his team produced a short film called ‘Par Dix-Huit Metres de Fond’ (Sixty Feet Down). The second made in 1943 when they discovered the sunken British steamer, Dalton, in 20m and was called ‘Epaves’ (Wrecks).
His third earliest recorded documentary was made in 1944, Paysages du Silence (Silent Landscapes). In 1950, Cousteau was given the former Malta ferry, Calypso, award by the English MP, Loel Guinness and the same year made his first film called ‘The Silent World’.
In Britain the first BSAC branches, which had been formed after the book of the same name in 1953 became extremely popular among divers. He made his famous “Homo Aquaticus” speech about men with gills at the First World Congress in London. David Bellamy a British television figure was there and spoke highly of Jaques points about the ocean, the fishing industry and diving. The BSAC asked him speak at the second congress but he refused because they could not guarantee that no spear hunting divers were present in the audience. The chairman of the BSAC Chris Allen said
” …Cousteau was one one of the major influences of the 20th century.”
During this period in his career US President John F Kennedy presented him with the National Geographic Society’s Gold Medal. At the age of 75 in 1985 was awarded the ‘Medal of Freedom’ from President Ronald Reagan reportedly being America’s highest award.
Jacques-Yvese Cousteau story does also come with disappointments and family disputes about the Cousteau name. In 1979 his son died in a plane crash whilst working on a documentary. Jaques also was involved in an affair with another women called Francine Triplet who he later married prior to his wifes death of cancer in 1991. He also publicly sued his son for using the name ‘Cousteau’ for a Fiji holiday centre (MacDonald, 1997). Currently this is an acclaimed resort to go on holiday or honeymoon and is subsequently now called ‘Jean- Micheal Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort’ (http://www.fijiresort.com/).
Most information here is from
McDonald, K (1997): Diver Magazine. The Sea King [Internet] http://www.divernet
xtra.com/profs/jyc897.htm [Viewed 15/12/09]
An American Documentary on DVD made in 1970’s and broadcasted on British TV at a time when television was limited for financial and political reasons. This remastered version is the central theme for this project. The Jacques Cousteau Odeyssey DVD collection is affiliated with http://www.cousteau.org a website which is basically two separate non profit organisations The Cousteau Society founded by Jacues Cousteau in 1973 and Equipe Cousteau the French organisational side renamed as a subsection of the Society in 1992 due to French legal reasons to help protect the organisation internationally. Currently Francine Cousteau his second wife who he married in 1991 is now responsible for the control of TCS as agreed in Jacques Cousteau’s will.
(The Cousteau Society, 2009)
Cousteau Society (2009): Cousteau: Custodians of the Sea: About us: Who we are.
[Internet] http://www.cousteau.org/about-us/who-we-are [Viewed online 12/15/2009] Virginia: The Cousteau Society
TV documentaries during President Kennedy’s era began an international collaboration in late 1967. Intertel came into being when five groups of broadcasters in the four major English-speaking nations formed the International Television Federation. The company in Britain were called ‘Associated Rediffusion, Ltd’. By 1968 during the Vietnam war President Nixon cut most of the funding for Media documentaries.
Museum of Broadcast Communications (2008): MBC: Radio Hall of Fame: Documentary
[Internet] http://www.museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entrycode=documentary [viewed 15/12/09]
According to the MBC David Wolper who was rated one of the top three series documentary producers by NBC and CBS produced the series from 1968 -1976.
Museum of Broadcast Communications (2008): MBC: Radio Hall of Fame: Walper, David: U.S. Producer [Internet] http://www.museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entrycode=wolperdavid [Viewed online 15/12/09] Chicago
Reflect and draw upon their work in SM2E38N, Researching Communications and Culture. How I came to examining television instead of cinema? What is my interest in this documentary? Why did I choose this current version of the series and why I chose not to draw upon previous series already wrote about in books about the academic televisual documents of this characters brand.
Critical analysis of British television theories about the fears of Americanization the published debates of polaticains and BBC companies objective traditions if indeed the documentary was broadcasted on there two stations in the 1970’s. The methods used in order read and gauge this type of documentary.
The methods used in-order to show this documentary as a viable product for global consumption. The techniques used in the taxonomy of the show. The genre of the product and the use of technology in the show.
The theories raised in the narrative, the debates made about the show’s accomplishments including the current rights of this show. Plus the methods used in the brand to reinforce this.
In the storytelling process of a media documentary Marcel Dunesi a Canadian lecturer and expert on semiotics in his book Brands also explores the liguistic narratives of storytelling. His draws his thoughts from Todorov Morphology of the Folktale 1928. Jacques Coustaeu series follows many of these levels of storytelling suggested by Todorov that help children understand the world. Marcel Dunesi suggests the universal plot used in the grammar of the narrative is an important part of branding a global product in this case not into a film but a documentary (Dunesi 2006). ‘The life Equatic’ interview by Stella Papamichael from the BBC of the writer and maker Wes Anderson of the film ‘The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou’ made in 2005 which is attributed as being a homage to Jacques Cousteau. The film was first released in British cinema on 25th February 2005. And is perhaps a better example of Todorov’s theories about films.
Review of Barthes Mythologies and how useful it is when critically analysing a Media text such as The Jacques Cousteau Odyssey.
In the introduction of Roland Barthes (1915-1980) book Mythologies first wrote in 1957 he explains his rhetorical stance on how we perceive media: news, theatrical, image and television. He talks about the glossy look and teaches how to look closer into the text and see between the truth and the mediated image. His nationality and French pride is clear throughout but again the emphasis is built of his dichotomy of understanding the media creators freedom as it goes through the media branding process (p11-12). He sets the scene for nuances that the public expect to see from people in the media in his first chapter. And as vulgar as it all appears beyond this is a paradigm shift in thinking that underlines his own observations and aversions and pleasures he looks for in the iconography of entertainment. This book is a difficult read but at the same time is poignant in its messages about defining English style and American culture. In the case of Jacques Cousteau odyssey of when it was originally broadcast in Britain, Almost a halfway house between the two, with Barthes and Jacques united patriotism mixed with the cultural differences of British Entertainment as opposed to the more mediated propagandist fears about American products being broadcast on British Television. In-fact Barthes goes into a whole historical ie of the lineage of man tracing most French back to the time of the Romans. He clearly defines this international difference as a political one. America in it’s arguable pursuit of ‘good and Evil’, and the international being based on ethics (p23) to my mind this clearly shows that Barthes Mythologies is trying to analyse American Media texts. He cleverly uses biblical text to set up many situations throughout the paragraphs then desist in humorously ripping them apart. Throughout the documentary the show chooses to analyse and solve very important questions and introduces each series which a problem which you almost assume Jacques and his team will be able to solve.
Additionally in the section called ‘The Writer on Holiday’ comprehensively highlights cultural rules adhered when filming in other countries (pp.30-31).
This is discussed repeatedly in Jacques Cousteau’s travels, one good example of this is when an expedition is nearly canceled due to a war dispute. As a journalist’s Jacques Cousteau his family and team would have to adhere to the rules of Cyprus and remain objective in their communication with the locals who support and give permission to dive in their oceans.
- Help Me, Jacques Cousteau, by Gil Adamson – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Sea noise adventures (physorg.com)
- Documaker Flaum dies (variety.com)