Made in 1942 during the German occupation of France, PAR 18 METRES DE FOND or 18 METERS DEEP is a pioneering film shot partially under water by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Philippe Talliez. It was directed by Frederic Dumas who met the pair in 1937. The film was shot in 1941, and its production did not benefit from the SCUBA breathing system that Cousteau would develop and use later in his career. To shoot the underwater scenes a special depth-pressure-proof camera case developed by mechanical engineer Léon Vèche (engineer of Arts and Métiers and the Naval College) was utilized. The film shows underwater fishing in the Mediterranean Sea and was one of the films to first reveal to the public life underwater. At the time it was made, the four men involved in the production -- Cousteau, Veche, Dumas and Talliez, pooled their money together to make the film a reality. One can only imagine how difficult it was given wartime restrictions on movement and the scarcity of film stock, etc. during the Occupation. The film premiered on April 12, 1943 at the Palais de Chaillot , before the Vichy government officials and officers of the Kommandantur.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com
December 1, 2018 Subject:
Par Dix-Huit Metres de Fond: the first spearfishing film
This film by Jacques Cousteau and his close free-diving associates was an absolute sensation in its day and in my view it still is sensational as it brings that sense of adventure that has been lost somewhat with a plethora of color underwater footage on TV screens in more recent decades.
Pioneer skin diver Philippe "Didi" Dumas is seen here swimming around underwater with the barest minimum of dive equipment (most remained to be invented!) shooting lots of fish with a timber band speargun that has the spear placed in it after cocking the rubber bands. You see him arming this newly developed home-made gun early on in the film. He later drags out some pretty big fish, I was amazed, but of course he is the first spearfisherman that the fish will have encountered in those pristine waters.
A film that is a must see for anyone who goes under the sea in search of adventure and the wonders of the submarine world. This is where it all began.