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My Octopus Teacher on Netflix

Discussion in 'Scuba Diving TV & Movies' started by aviator8, Sep 9, 2020.

  1. aviator8

    aviator8 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
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    I saw this on Netflix yesterday. I really enjoyed this movie and how Craig Foster narrates his relationship with an octopus over the course of a year. I would recommend this as a must watch.
     
  2. GreggS

    GreggS Manta Ray

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    Location: Thomasville, NC
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    Just finished watching. Very powerful and poignant film. Incredible interaction between Craig and the octopus.
     
    Barnaby'sDad and aviator8 like this.
  3. Snoweman

    Snoweman Great White

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    I just watched it. Very powerful. But..., I wondered when he started employing a second photographer. I don't think he got some of those shots by himself.
     
    Fibonacci likes this.
  4. aviator8

    aviator8 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Georgia
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    Yeah about halfway in I started thinking the same.
     
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  5. Scuba Lawyer

    Scuba Lawyer Manta Ray

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    Location: Laguna Beach, California
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    I really liked the film. Something tells me multiple octopi were used in the production. :)
     
    Snoweman likes this.
  6. Snoweman

    Snoweman Great White

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
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    Which would kind of kill the story. Who took the last shots of him having physical contact with the octopus? And, was the octopus a stand in??
     
  7. Knockneed Man

    Knockneed Man Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: An easy chair with my boots on
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    I loved it. Watched it twice in 24 hours... firstly by myself and then with my 10 year old who also loved it. My take was that his son who they show at the end, was doing some of the filming. At least that’s what I want to think.
     
    Snoweman likes this.
  8. Perryed

    Perryed Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Missouri
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    Absolute loved it! The narration and video were first rate. I believe that it was probably his son that was the second camera man. And I do not think there was more than one octopus. Would have defeated the whole premise of the documentary. My wife and I both cried a little at the end and she very seldom gets emotional for TV shows. Very powerful movie!
     
  9. Saboteur

    Saboteur Regular of the Pub

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    I was afraid it was going to lock on to his face and shove a tentacle down his throat.
     
  10. Fibonacci

    Fibonacci Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
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    I really enjoyed the film, some stunning photography and insights to octopus behaviour... but thought it a little too Blue-Planet-polished if you accept the accompanying carefully crafted solo diver narrative.

    The focus I thought then shifted too much onto Craig Foster viewing this photogenic cephalopod through a prism of his 'personal journey' and at times steering a little too close to anthropomorphism to tug the heart strings as part of a good story for my comfort.
    “A lot of people say that an octopus is like an alien, but the strange thing is that as you get closer to them, you realise that we are very similar in a lot of ways.”
    A more laid back Steve Irwin approach perhaps vs the more usual Attenborough style where the animal is always the star.

    Although three expert advisers are credited on the film (including “octopus psychologist” Jennifer Mather, who flew from Canada to consult on the edit), Foster’s takeaways tend to be emotive, rather than scientific. Indeed, his eagerness to find similarities can rather sell his subject short. When Foster suggests their “lives were mirroring each other” as the octopus regrows a leg bitten off by a shark, you wonder if she would agree.

    But one can excuse My Octopus Teacher’s occasional sentimentality for its intimate, absorbing view into an alien life.
    With a subject so captivating, narrative hardly seems important.​

    Soooo... I did a bit more research.

    In partnership with Off The Fence /ZDF Enterprises, My Octopus Teacher took ten years to make.
    The film is produced by Craig Foster and Directed by Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed.
    Hot Docs 2020 Women Directors: Meet Pippa Ehrlich – “My Octopus Teacher”

    Turns out a lot of the UW photography was shot by Roger Horrocks, who was credited as a co-DOP:
    Foster collaborated on shooting the sequence with his friend, Blue Planet 2 cameraman Roger Horrocks. The pair have spent many years documenting South Africa’s kelp forests (more recently, as part of the non-profit Sea Change Project) and are listed as joint directors of photography on My Octopus Teacher.
    But that back story is omitted in favour of a close crop on Foster’s personal relationship with the octopus, and what he learns on his daily visits to her world.

    Read more:
    My Octopus Teacher review: The strange lives of cephalopods up close
    projects – Sea Change Project
    Jennifer A. Mather's research works | University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge and other places
     
    drbill, Scuba Lawyer and Snoweman like this.

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