A friend who is going to try to grit his teeth and endure Moby-Dick along with us discovered that PBS will be airing a documentary entitled Into the Deep tonight at 9 Eastern. It purports to provide a history of whaling in America interwoven with the story of the whaleship Essex, whose sinking by a whale would certainly have informed Melville’s classic book. Check your local schedule for the broadcast of the American Experience program, under whose banner this two-hour thrill-ride will appear.
Perfect – I had a note on my desk to put up a quick post on this today but you’ve already got it. I’m definitely watching it.
Beware though: if you want the ending of Moby-Dick to be a surprise, do not watch this film! It pays almost as much attention to the Pequod as it does to the Essex. The movie does have some great archival footage, along with newly staged scenes, and provides a solid overview of whaling’s history and importance to the U.S.
Just got done watching this and thought it was fantastic. I was riveted the whole time. There wasn’t much info that was new to me (I’ve read Philbrick’s book along with others about whaling and Melville), but I thought it was presented really well.
I loved it too. Like Daryl I’ve read Philbrick’s book, and I have Dolin’s book on my coffee table and Delbanco’s on the way, so not a lot of new material. What I really enjoyed was the way it was woven together with the archival footage and art as well as the readings from Moby-Dick. It’s been 12-15 years since I read it and I had forgotten just how beautiful some of the prose is.
Joan, yes! I actually got a little misty during some of the readings (and I’m not really the getting misty type). Color me stoked.