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BBC Two England

The World About Us: The Empty Quarter

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the people who live on it.

The prize-winning film (Trento International Film Festival 1967, Melbourne Film Festival 1968, International Addis Ababa Film Festival 1968) of one man's love for the desert and its people.

In 1946 the explorer Wilfred Thesiger crossed the desert known as 'The Empty Quarter' - an incredible journey through lands where no European had travelled before.

"A beautiful film" (Maurice Wiggin, Sunday Times)
"A truly marvellous colour film" (Stanley Reynolds, The Guardian)
(Colour)

A classic of desert exploration at 8.15
"A Cloud gathers, the rain falls, men live; the cloud disperses without rain, and men and animals die. In the deserts of southern Arabia there is no rhythm of the seasons, no rise and fall of sap, but empty wastes where only the changing temperature marks the passage of the years."

So begins Arabian Sands, one of the classics of desert literature. The author is Wilfred Thesiger, who follows in that peculiarly British tradition of desert explorers established by Burton, Doughty, Lawrence, Bertram Thomas, and St. John Philby.
For five years Thesiger shared the life of the Bedu in southern Arabia, living and travelling in the most desolate and arid deserts in the world-the Rub al Khali, or "The Empty Quarter."

Tonight's award-winning World About Us film is a reconstruction of Thesiger's wanderings.

The film sets out to capture the spirit of the desert and its people. But many lovers of desolate places are saddened that the deserts of Arabia are changing fast. Today the silence of the sands is broken by the drilling rig, and the Bedu has lost his livelihood, for no one needs his camels.

As Thesiger himself says: "Other people will go to Arabia, but they will move about in cars and keep in touch with the outside world by wireless. They will bring back, I am sure, results that are far more interesting than mine, but they will, I believe, never know the spirit of the land or the greatness of its people."
BBC Two England

The World About Us: Magic in the Hills

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the people who live on it.

Primitive medicine is the subject of tonight's film which comes from the rain forests of Malaya. Dr. Ivan Polunin, a lecturer in medicine at the University of Singapore, has for many years been studying this art as practised by aborigines in various parts of the world. Magic in the Hills is an account of his journey, to meet the Jah Hut people of Malaya, and to observe the fascinating ritual and practice of their applied medicine. (Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: Beauty and the Beasts

A series of films, from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the creatures that live on it.

A flower unfurls, a beautiful butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, and the whiplash tongue of a chameleon is slowed down. By using stop and slow motion camera techniques, Italian film-maker Fernando Armati reveals many secrets of nature that would normally be invisible to the naked eye.
A Montello Film produced by Alberto Ancilotto
From the South and West
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: Big D Ranch: 1: Hunting for Giants

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the creatures that live on it

The Dadanawa Ranch in Guyana covers 3,000 square miles of wild, remote country. Across its savannahs roam 30,000 head of longhorn cattle, and in its swamps and forests live some of South America's most exciting animals-the giant armadillo, the jaguar, the harpy eagle, the jabiru stork, and the giant ant-bear.
Stanley Brock, the manager of Big D, is also a naturalist and animal collector and he gets to grips with all these giants, as well as the largest and most powerful snake in the world, the anaconda.
From the South and West
(Next week: Vampires, Piranhas, and Giant Ant-bears)
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: Big D Ranch: 2: Vampires, Piranhas and Giant Ant-bears

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the creatures that live on it

Stanley Brock, the manager of the Dadanawa Ranch in Guyana, is equally at home in the saddle of his horse or the cockpit of his light plane. In his leisure hours he sometimes flies to enjoy the spectacle of one of the world's greatest and most remote waterfalls, the Kaieteur Falls; but most of his spare time is spent in studying the wealth of wildlife in the forest, swamps, and savannahs.
from the South and West
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: The Last Great Journey on Earth: From Amazon to Orinoco by Hovercraft

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the people who live on it.

A film of the 2,000-mile Geographical Magazine hovercraft journey through some of the remotest waterways of the Brazilian and Venezuelan rain forests, including the dangerous Maipures and Atures rapids
Written and produced by Brian Branston
(See page 38)
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: The Secret Bowers

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the creatures that live on it

The birds of Australasia include some whose plumage is among the most beautiful in the world, some with unique methods of incubation, and others whose ways of courtship are incredibly complex. The behaviour of a few even suggests that birds have an aesthetic sense.
from the South and West
Produced by the BBC in association with Norddeutscher Rundfunk and Institut fur Film und Bild
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau: Sharks

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the creatures that live on it

The leading figure in sea exploration is on a five-year voyage which is the culmination of his life's work. On board his ship Calypso he has a team of scientists equipped with some of the most advanced oceanographic apparatus yet devised, including miniature submarines and underwater film and television cameras.
In this the first of several film reports Cousteau turns his attention to the most feared of all the inhabitants of the sea...
Produced by Les Requins Associes and Wolper Productions Inc.
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: Dream of Two Cities

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the people who live on it

The romantic story of two Brazilian cities. Manaus lies isolated in the middle of the Amazon rain forest; Brasilia rises from the desolate sertao - a new capital in the wilderness. Both cities grew as a result of men's dreams: one dream turned into a nightmare, the other appears to be coming true. Manaus is one of the most fascinating, most haunted places man has made for himself to live in; no road leads to this city-only one or two yellow tracks lead away from it and then peter out. Brasilia, in the space of three years, sprang up from an uninhabited desert to become a capital city-the 'city of the future'.
Written and directed by Brian Branston
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: The Two Faces of China

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the people who live on it

The Cultural Revolution and that little red book of thoughts are as near as most of us can get to China these days, for now more than ever it is a difficult country to visit. It took Rene Burri, who is Swiss, six years to get permission to film there. The result is a programme that allows us for the first time in many years to see the real face of a China that is in many ways surprisingly unchanged-and more real; to see the Chinese as people, as individual as any, and not just as a mass of yelling robots controlled by a master switch.
Behind the facade, behind the banners and political slogans of the Public Image, are the faces of 700 million people, the Chinese. In city and village, knee-deep in the paddy fields of the South, galloping at full tilt across the Mongolian Steppes, they continue in spite of the changes that have taken place to lead their own very personal lives, clinging with a stubborn tenacity to a code of private loyalties and traditions that have withstood 4,000 years of dynastic changes and upheaval.

(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: Garden of the Gods

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the people who live on it
*
Gerald Durrell returns to the Greek island of Corfu, where he lived as a boy with his 'family and other animals'; and where he first met his lifelong friend and mentor, Dr. Theodore Stephanides
...it was here that I first learned that there was colour in the world, that one had a sense of smell, a sense of touch. And so, although I was nine years old, you could almost say I was born in Corfu...
from the South and West
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau: Search in the Deep

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the creatures that live on it

In the second film of the voyage of the oceanographic vessel Calypso, Jacques Cousteau and his team of scientists have reached the Indian Ocean. They test Cousteau's specially designed mini-submarines, which enable them to film underwater the mating behaviour of the great Green Sea Turtles.
Produced by Les Requins Associes and Wolper Productions Inc.
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: Signals for Survival

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the creatures that live on it

The familiar cries of the gulls along our coastline are only a small part of the language of these birds. During the breeding season especially, they use a number of other sounds as well as postures to communicate with each other. The meaning and use of all these are examined in this remarkable study of life in a colony of Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Introduced and photographed by Professor Niko Tinbergen
from the South and West
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: Forest Symphony

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the creatures that live on it.

A film by Alexander Zguridi
In the depths of a Russian forest a Red Deer calf is born. Throughout the contrasting seasons of his first year he encounters all kinds of fellow creatures, including a bathing bear, beavers, a menacing lynx, and a pack of hungry wolves.
Produced at the studios of Central Scientific Films, Moscow and Mafilm, Budapest
English commentary written by Desmond Hawkins and spoken by Norman Shelley
from the South and West
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: Down to the Sea in Ships

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the people who live on it

Since time immemorial man has gone down to the sea in ships and created a legend of daring and mystery. This is the saga of his adventure on ocean waters.
An N.B.C. Project 20 film
The storyteller, Burgess Meredith
Written by Richard Hanser

(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau: Coral Jungle

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the creatures that live on it

Jacques Cousteau's research vessel Calypso has reached the Maldive Islands off the southern tip of India. Divers descend to depths of 300 feet to trace the history of the brilliantly coloured coral reefs. Their explorations reveal a wealth of weird and wonderful marine life, each species having its own ways of surviving in this...
Coral Jungle
Produced by Les Requins Associes and Wolper Productions Inc.
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: Avalanche

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the people who live on it

Half a million tons of snow travelling at up to 200 miles an hour... From the Andes to the Alps, ever since man made his home beneath the mountain, avalanches have preyed on him. But now the careless tourist is replacing the mountain dweller as the avalanche's main victim. This film looks at avalanches from their beautiful beginning in the snow crystal to their terrible effect on the dwellings of men, and on to perhaps their ultimate control by explosives and science.
See facing page
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: Fabulous Storks

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the creatures that live on it

Man has always been intrigued by storks, an extraordinary group of birds including the hammerhead, openbill, marabou, and the grotesque shoebill or whale-headed stork-. The most famous is the cherished white stork, the subject of many legends and fables. Heinz Sielmann's film shows 'A Summer with the Storks' in Germany before they migrate south to pass over Istanbul in one of the most spectacular sights of the bird world.
From the South and West
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: River of Death

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the people who live on it

A hazardous dugout canoe journey through Venezuelan jungles towards the source of the Orinoco.
The Guaica Indians live short and violent lives wife-stealing and feuding. But for centuries they have at least been protected from 'civilisation' by the remoteness of their jungle home. Six members of the Hovercraft Expedition brave dangerous rapids to seek out the secrets of some of the most primitive people on earth.
Written and produced by Brian Branston
See page 37
(Colour)
BBC Two England

The World About Us: Islands in the Clouds

A series of films from all over the world about our astonishing planet and the people who live on it.

Far out in the North Atlantic lives a community that is often isolated by dense fog or furious storms-the Faroe islanders. By fishing, catching seabirds, and climbing the huge sea cliffs in search of eggs, many islanders lead a way of life that has remained unchanged for centuries.
From the South and West
(Colour)






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