John Bod­ner to present lec­ture on ‘The Viking’ tonight at Corner Brook Mu­seum

The Western Star - - Close To Home - THE WESTERN STAR

The loss of 27 lives dur­ing the pro­duc­tion of the 1931 film “The Viking “will be the cen­tre of a lec­ture be­ing pre­sented by John Bod­ner on July 26 at Corner Brook Mu­seum.

The lec­ture will pro­vide peo­ple with a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of its place in his­tory by ex­am­in­ing the life of its di­rec­tor, Var­ick Fris­sell, and the role of the film in con­tem­po­rary New­found­land iden­tity,

“The Viking: is set in New­found­land and the ice floes off its coast.

It tells the story of Luke, a sailor and fish­er­man who gets im­mersed in a seal­ing ex­pe­di­tion, a ri­val, Jed, who plots against him, and the sweet­heart he left be­hind.

The film was di­rected by Fris­sell who, af­ter a pre­lim­i­nary shoot­ing in 1930, re­turned to St. John’s the fol­low­ing spring to cap­ture ad­di­tional footage of the spec­tac­u­lar ice floes.

The SS Viking again sailed out March 9, 1931, with a film crew tak­ing some new shots.

A week later, a store of dy­na­mite, which was car­ried to blast a pas­sage through the thick ice, ig­nited and the en­su­ing ex­plo­sion killed 27 peo­ple, in­clud­ing Fris­sell.

This tragedy stands as the largest num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties ever in­curred with the pro­duc­tion of a film.

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