The maritime screening room

August 24, 2009

Martin Leduc posts short reviews on maritime themed films and television.  A good resource to start looking for longer format ocean media. Most of the documentaries are about seafaring and life on the oceans but, of course, are strongly imbricated with the life, resources, and politics of underwater spaces.



Energizer Bunny underwater commercial

February 9, 2009

Yet another addition to the underwater commercials. Here the Energizer bunny interrupts a commercial for the Adventure channel.

Clorox Mermaid commercial

May 11, 2008

Continuing my underwater commercial kick, here’s one from Clorox. A young mermaid swims in a mystical underwater environment and follows a message in a bottle up to the surface. The mermaid turns out to be a little girl taking a bath. A mother, getting ready for a night out, turns to look at her daughter. A voice says: “Because a bathroom can be more than just a bathroom. Clorox helps keep it clean, even the imaginary parts.”

This commercial (yet again) depicts the underwater space as a clean, pristine space (which establishes the conditions of possibility for imaginary spaces and imagination) and like the Whirlpool commercials, makes this the natural space of children and women.

Whirlpool underwater commercials

May 7, 2008

Whirlpool has also been using underwater spaces as a way to market dishwashers, washing machines, and general cleanliness.

This one is very similar to the Ariston commercial on the previous post: also for a washing machine, also zooming out at the end to reveal the washing machine, and also focusing on schools of sock-fish and blanket-rays. The difference is that, instead of being a little boy’s vision, it focuses on a beautiful (mermaid-like) woman swimming amidst and in awe of the beautiful underwater life/clothing.

And this ad for a dishwasher makes dishes into a coral reef. This time, the underwater dishes-reef cuts away to a woman standing on the edge of the ocean, being sprayed with foamy white water.

So what is it exactly with this trend of cleaning appliance advertisements and underwater spaces? Did they all happen to come up at the same time or are some of these knock offs?

Ariston Aqualtis “Underwater World” commercial

May 7, 2008

Another underwater commercial involving a washing machine. The spot starts out with a hand closing the washing machine, we zoom in through the front window, the frame disappears and we are underwater. What seems to be fish and rays are really socks and blankets. The space is pristine and magical – at the end we zoom back out to see a little boy gazing in (as through a porthole). The voice says, “the new Ariston Aqualtis. Deeply different.”

This commercial, like the Farmers insurance spot I wrote about earlier, depicts underwater space (specifically within the washing machine) as a transformative and surreal space where anything is possible (and any type of cleaning is possible). This particular spot won a Gold Lion at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

Aquaman: Comics, Cartoon, TV

April 21, 2008

Aquaman is a DC comics superhero who debuted in More Fun Comics in 1941. He subsequently became the star of his own comic books series (Volume 1: 1962-1971, 1977-78; Volume 2: 1991-1992, Volume 3: 1994-2001; Volume 4: 2003-2007). Other spin-offs include animated cartoon show Aquaman (1967-1970) and a 2006 pilot for a TV show (trailer below).

Aquaman parallels Superman and other flying superheroes: while they dominate the skies, defying gravity, he speeds through the ocean. Often his enemies are ocean-related villains that threaten aquatic life: shipping, sailors, etc..

Yellow Submarine (Dunning, 1968)

March 28, 2008

Animated film featuring the Beatles, based on their hit song “Yellow Submarine.” Also draws from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Yellow Submarine