Cinema: Travelogue

Out of This World (Theodore R. Kupferman) is compiled from Technicolor footage shot by Lowell Thomas Sr. and Jr. on the much-publicized trip the commentator and his son took to Tibet in 1949. It is a cinematic counterpart of the long evening with a photograph album. The pictures are often amateurishly taken, the continuity is rakishly discontinuous, and the narration is written and read like a fifth-grade paper on How I Spent My Summer Vacation.

What is left? A few hundred frames of calm beauty, a quiet memory of a sort of negative Eden, the last backward look into a primitive demi-paradise...

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