Wednesday, October 05, 2011

KnitFlix: The Red Tent (1969)

We’d had this disc sitting on our shelf for a couple of months and only got around to watching it Saturday night. I’d put it in the queue because of my obsession with the exploration of the polar regions. It’s a dramatization of Umberto Nobile’s tragic 1928 airship voyage to the North Pole.

IMG_4132The Red Tent is not a bad film, although they really wanted to get their money’s worth with all the B-roll they must have bought of icebreakers, polar bears and calving glaciers The movie is a joint Soviet/Italian production, and it’s kind of cool to see strangely inserted Russian scenes, one of which was filmed in Leningrad.

It’s set up as a dream tribunal with the aged Nobile being confronted by and reliving the events with some of the expedition’s participants, both airship crew and would-be rescuers. Sean Connery plays Roald Amundsen (who actually died trying to find Nobile), although he’s pretty much there because he’s Sean Connery.

IMG_4130The main reason to watch this film, though, from a knitter’s point of view, is to see all the large-gauge chunky knits that the cast wears throughout the film. Scarves, gloves, hats, balaclavas, and of course, sweaters, are everywhere – most knitted with ultra-maxi-super-chunky-mondo yarn on needles in their upper teens. It probably only took one employee in a Tromsø sweatshop two hours to make any one of these garments.

Above, Valeria, a nurse played by Claudia Cardinale, hugs a soiled scarf that used to belong to her love interest, the expedition’s Swedish meteorologist, Finn Malmgren. Malmgren, played by Russian actor Eduard Martsevich and shown in the lower picture, sports a herd’s worth of wool and a roll collar that just won’t stop while doing shots with Nurse Valeria in a Spitsbergen honkeytonk.

Is it wrong to want to live somewhere where you can wear this stuff?

2 comments:

  1. Well, if you don't mind actually dealing with snow and ice (which, frankly, is not as fun as it might sound!).....

    ReplyDelete
  2. No! Not wrong!
    Or...you could VISIT a northern clime... (ahem)

    ReplyDelete