Disney and the Myth of Lemming Suicide 1958.

lemmingLemmings do not commit mass suicide. It’s a myth, but it’s remarkable how many people believe it. Ask a few.
“It’s a complete urban legend,” said state wildlife biologist Thomas McDonough. “I think it blew out of proportion based on a Disney documentary in the ’50s, and that brought it to the mainstream.”
Lemmings are a kind of short tailed vole, a mouse-like rodent that favors tundra and open grasslands.
Three kinds are found in Alaska, including the collared lemming, the only rodent that turns white in winter.
In 1958 Walt Disney produced “White Wilderness,” part of the studio’s “True Life Adventure” series. “White Wilderness” featured a segment on lemmings, detailing their strange compulsion to commit mass suicide.
According to a 1983 investigation by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation producer Brian Vallee, the lemming scenes were faked.
The lemmings supposedly committing mass suicide by leaping into the ocean were actually thrown off a cliff by the Disney filmmakers.
The epic “lemming migration” was staged using careful editing, tight camera angles and a few dozen lemmings running on snow covered lazy-Susan style turntable.
“White Wilderness” was filmed in Alberta, Canada, a landlocked province, and not on location in lemmings’ natural habitat.
There are about 20 lemming species found in the circumpolar north – but evidently not in that area of Alberta. So the Disney people bought lemmings from Inuit children a couple provinces away in Manitoba and staged the whole sequence.
In the lemming segment, the little rodents assemble for a mass migration, scamper across the tundra and ford a tiny stream as narrator Winston Hibbler explains that,
“A kind of compulsion seizes each tiny rodent and, carried along by an unreasoning hysteria, each falls into step for a march that will take them to a strange destiny.”
That destiny is to jump into the ocean. As they approach the “sea,” (actually a river -more tight cropping) Hibbler continues, “They’ve become victims of an obsession — a one-track thought: Move on! Move on!”
The “pack of lemmings” reaches the final precipice. “This is the last chance to turn back,” Hibbler states. “Yet over they go, casting themselves out bodily into space.”
via Lemming Suicide Myth, Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Wings 3D a film about birds by Birds.

0_0_525_1_70_http---i“We put cameras on everything that moves,” says John Downer, the producer and director of Wings3D, a unique wildlife movie distributed by BBC Worldwide.
How do you capture thousands of hours of up-close-and-personal footage of tigers, polar bears, vultures, bald eagles and penguins in their natural element in ways that have never been seen before?
In the 2011-2012 series Earthflight, he placed cameras on trained birds, providing a totally unique POV (don’t worry, no birds were hurt).
In 2013, Penguins: Spy in the Huddle, part of Downer’s successful Spy wildlife series, drew more than 9 million viewers.
He’s used elephants as his cameramen as well, when filming tigers in India for Tiger: Spy in the Jungle.
He wanted to film tigers in a way that had never been seen before.
He realized they were comfortable around elephants, so his crew rode on elephants.
He knew that elephants liked to carry logs, so his crew put a camera on the end of a tree trunk. Downer says it was like having “a nature-made steadicam.”
As the elephants moved, the shots panned smoothly.
Wings3D relies on the science of avian imprinting, using trained birds, including a vulture, to capture scenes while the team flies alongside in a microlight aircraft.
The imprinted birds consider the pilot to be a parent.
The team also created a robotic vulture glider and attached a GoPro to a bald eagle, vulture and a fish eagle.
via In New Movie, Birds Are The Cinematographers | Nature | Science | Australian Popular Science.

The Rock City Of Adsprach where ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ was shot.

Pictured is he entrance to the rocky city of Adrspach situated in the Czech Republic. near the border with Poland. 

It was the site and region where the movie “The Chronicles of Narnia” was shot.
Image Credit: Photograph by My Natural Blog.
Source: My First Steps In Photography In The Rocky City Of Narnia | Bored Panda

1927-28 Oscar Winner Emil Jannings was a bit Strange.

The first person ever presented with an Academy Award was Emil Jannings, a silent-film actor who took the Best Actor award for two films.
The first, 1928’s “The Last Command,” told the tale of a brave Russian Czarist commander reduced to squeaking by as a Hollywood extra.
The second, 1927’s “The Way of All Flesh,” starred Jannings as a happy bank clerk who gets bamboozled by a femme fatale and ends up a tramp. (Sensing a theme?)
Jannings’ Oscar win is chock-full of weirdness.
He won in the only year that awards were given for multiple performances; there are no surviving copies of “The Way of All Flesh,” so the film is entirely lost; and according to legend, the famous German Shepherd Rin Tin Tin actually got more votes for the prize than Jannings.
(The rumor is hard to substantiate outside of modern news reports poking fun at the Academy.)
Perhaps most surprising to modern eyes, though, is what Jannings did after he won his Award.
A native German, Jannings returned to his home country and starred in several Nazi propaganda films.
via 5 Weird Facts About the Oscars : Discovery News.

Sean Connery brings Bond to Cannes, 1965.

Sean Connery at the Cannes film festival, May 1965. Mr Bond, we’ve been expecting you…
Image Credit: Photograph by Sipa Press/Rex/Shutterstock
In May 1965, Sean Connery was at Cannes to promote Sidney Lumet’s film The Hill, in which he played a gruff and unbreakable rebel in an army prison in north Africa.
He had chosen the role because he felt he was becoming a “Bond slave” and the film was about as far away as possible from the cartoon smoothness of 007.
Cannes wasn’t much interested in that distinction, however. Goldfinger had come out the previous year; Thunderball was on its way.
When Connery cruised the Croisette in an open-topped sports car it was Bond, “Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” as the New York Times called him, the crowds wanted to see.
Connery, for all his reluctance to identify with his character, clearly didn’t disappoint. Has he ever looked more Bondlike than in this picture?
Eyebrow raised, catching the eye of a beautiful face in the crowd, keeping his head and his tailoring on point, while all around him are losing theirs.
This was his first time at Cannes, but he knew exactly what Cannes demanded: it was the place actors had always come to act
Source: The big picture: Sean Connery brings Bond to Cannes, 1965 | Art and design | The Guardian

Hedy Lamarr, the 1940s Movie Star with a beautiful mind.

After a brief early film career in Czechoslovakia, she fled from her husband, a wealthy Austrian ammunition manufacturer, and secretly moved to Paris.
There, she met Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio head Louis B. Mayer, who offered her a movie contract in Hollywood, where she became a film star from the late 1930s to the 1950s.
Among Lamarr’s best known films are Algiers (1938), Boom Town (1940), I Take This Woman (1940), Comrade X (1940), Come Live With Me (1941), H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941), and Samson and Delilah (1949).

Lamarr is also credited with being an inventor.
At the beginning of World War II, she and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes, which used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat the threat of jamming by the Axis powers.
Although the US Navy did not adopt the technology until the 1960s, the principles of their work are arguably incorporated into Bluetooth technology, and are similar to methods used in legacy versions of CDMA and Wi-Fi.
Lamarr was married six times, had two sons and a daughter.
She died in 2000 in Casselberry, Florida, of heart disease, aged 85.
via Hedy Lamarr: The 1940s Hollywood Beauty With Brilliant Mind ~ vintage everyday