birding-aus Madagascar Doc

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Subject: birding-aus Madagascar Doc
From: Susan <>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 13:54:48 +1000
Given the recent deserved criticism of the Living Eden documentary on Borneo, I 
thought a couple of words of praise for last night's Madagascar episode might 
be in order. The photography was excellent and, unlike the previously mentioned 
Borneo episode, most of the shots of some of the more difficult to see mammals 
did not appear to have been taken in a zoo (the shots of porcupine, fishing cat 
and so on in the Borneo episode were almost certainly taken at Singapore 
Nocturnal Zoo!). Borneo was really an unfortunate case of documentary making by 
numbers, I feel. In this one we got a reasonably balanced account of a wide 
range of mammals, birds, herps and insects. Again, a welcome change from the 
obsession with glamour species in Borneo - definitely a case of deja vu in 
terms of documentary watching. I still have a couple of criticisms, however - 
why the godawful music? I found it very irritating. Why the add-in sound 
effects? Do they really expect us to believe that Tomato Frog !
made that swallowing noise, for example. And given the superb shot of the 
Madagascar Paradise-flycatchers, why not name them as a number of other birds 
were named (a refreshing change)? More importantly - again, conservation issues 
were overlooked although it was really nice to see the local guides getting 
their names on the end credits, as they should. All that said, the photography 
of the Aye-aye and Fossa amongst others brought back memories of my visit to 
what IMHO is one of the most fabulous places on earth and a place that every 
naturalist has to see to believe.  

Susan Myers

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