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Discussion of diving methods and equipment available prior to the development of BCDs beyond the horse collar. This forum is dedicated to the pre-1970 diving.
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SurfLung
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Les Odyssey

Fri May 04, 2018 9:46 am

Les Odyssey...
The New Cousteau Movie
L'Odyssée[1].jpg
- I rented this movie the other night on Amazon... Its in French with subtitles. Distracting to read and watch at the same time.
- I dozed off a few times... This is nothing against the movie, I just tend to do that watching movies at night. But I missed some sections and so I re-watched the movie last night to pick up the stuff I missed.
- First thing to note is that there are two different reviews possible here. One is the story and the other is the movie.
- Second worth noting is that it starts and ends with a disclaimer that the Cousteau Society did not endorse, participate, advise, or associate in any way with the production of the film. It cites references to the books by Jean Michel Cousteau and others that many of us are familiar with. And interviews with former Calypso crew members and others who were involved with Cousteau through the years.
- Okay... So, the story is pretty close to what we've heard but in a greatly abbreviated version. Some aspects skipped, abbreviated or modified to fit the limits of a two hour film. It's main focus is on the personal relationships of the family and pretty much skips all of the diving (AND personal life) between when the boys went off to boarding school and when they rejoined the Calypso as young adults. And, it presents a constant tension between Philippe and JYC.
- As things progress, tensions grow with the pressure to do anything to get the shot... For film and TV production. I was surprised that the movie depicts the Calypso's trip to the Antarctic as a near suicide mission that was underfunded and dangerously under equipped in a dilapidated Calypso vessel. Then, the money all starts to bail and the Cousteau's form the Cousteau Society to raise money directly through the public... This revives them financially... Then Philippe died and Jean Michel and his father carry on... The rest of the story is left un-told.
- As for the movie itself, the vintage equipment looks close but not the same. In one brief glimpse, you can see a double tank yoke with modern DIN valves on either side but aged to look old fashioned. Brief underwater scenes of the Conshelf II underwater encampment are some sort of animation. There's a scene where Philippe is showing his wife how to dive and they have Royal Mistrals that are facing out rather than in. Underwater scenes in general are highly stylized... The water seems too clear... Like you can see them with perfect clarity from way too far away.
- I suppose we should excuse some of the technical weakness if the focus of the movie was on the story. But on the other hand, if the focus of the story was on the personal relationships, why did they leave the last half out... The whole bit with the mistress and the 2nd family and the extorted complicity of Simone and Jean Michel in covering it up for the sake of the organization. And finally the bitter end where the Mistress ends up owning everything and piloting it all down the tube to nothingness. That's the part of the story everyone would like to know the truth about. And they left it out.
- Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the movie... As I enjoy all diving movies. It just wasn't as much as I hoped it would be.
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SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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lakediver
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First Name: George
Location: Joplin Mo

Re: Les Odyssey

Fri May 04, 2018 11:39 pm

Excellent review. The Cousteau saga would probably fit better in a mini series with all the family drama. Looking forward to viewing the movie. If we could only find this one:
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com ... SY445_.jpg

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antique diver
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Re: Les Odyssey

Sun May 06, 2018 9:13 pm

Almost looked like Lotti and Hans for a moment! Certainly was close to that familiar pose.
The older I get the better I was.

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lakediver
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Re: Les Odyssey

Sat May 12, 2018 9:55 pm

The Odyssey is availible for steaming from Netflix now. Thoroughly enjoyed the film but agree with Surflung's review. I loved the vintage scuba props. I wonder if they covered modern gear with fiberglass or plastic?

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ScubaLawyer
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Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Re: Les Odyssey

Sun May 13, 2018 10:43 pm

I watched the film on Netflix too. It's always hard to watch a film about a subject one has a lot of background info on. I thought the cinematography was great.  If I didn't know the story I think I'd be fairly confused in parts. So much was left out diving wise, but its not a film about diving, or even the history of diving. It's a film about a few (a very few) of Cousteau's trials and tribulations during his life. I liked the film but it's not what I would have done (had someone offered me a film production company of course).  They got Phillipe's death completely wrong. As I understood it the aircraft nosed over during a high-speed taxi run on a river undertaken to check the hull for leakage following repairs. It crashed into a sand bank, the propeller detached from the engine and killed Cousteau instantly. At least that was the version I always heard.

And yes, the dual post DIN valves popped out like an infected sore thumb in several scenes to a hyper-technically observant vintage nerd like me but would not have meant anything to the general public. My 2-psi. Mark 
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

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sitkadiver
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Re: Les Odyssey

Sat May 26, 2018 8:49 pm

I just watched this on Netflix also. I really enjoyed the diving scenes and thought the director photography did a great job.

The relationships in the movie are different than I've read. I was surprised by Falco's portrayal and the absence of technical details about the submersibles or Conshelf. It almost seems the directed had to sacrifice too many details in order to fit the two hour time frame. I almost wish this had been made in to a mini series.
I do not believe in taking unnecessary risks, but a life without risk is not worth living. - Charles Lindbergh

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ScubaLawyer
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Re: Les Odyssey

Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:07 pm

Ok. I was re-watching The Odyssey and found the scene Eben was talking about. Phillipe and his new wife going for a dive and both have their regulators on backwards (cans facing away from the back). Who was their historical diving coordinator? Blasphemy!

Image
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

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antique diver
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Re: Les Odyssey

Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:14 pm

ScubaLawyer wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:07 pm
Ok. I was re-watching The Odyssey and found the scene Eben was talking about. Phillipe and his new wife going for a dive and both have their regulators on backwards (cans facing away from the back). Who was their historical diving coordinator? Blasphemy!

Image
My first thoughts were similar when I watched the movie, but then I recalled some forgotten source that mentioned the original production CG45's were meant to be worn in that position. I could understand that with some of the smaller diameter tanks we see in old photos the regulator could be in an uncomfortable position against the back, neck or head. I forgot about it until the new post by ScubaLawyer.

Coincidentally, just 2 nights ago I was reading the book, IMMERSION: 75 Years of Discovery and Adventure, and found a reference to this very subject. This is a very interesting 160 page book published by Aqua Lung celebrating its 75 year anniversary. Apparently these are hard to obtain, and were given to some or all Aqua Lung dealers. A dealer friend told me he tried to obtain another one for me, but failing that he loaned me his copy, with the suggestion that I take good care of it.

Here is a direct quote, slightly abbreviated, from page 33:
The early prototype regulators were rectangular.... Once production began, the familiar round case was introduced. It was made to be mounted with the yoke facing the diver and the regulator facing backward. The left hose was the intake, the right side the exhaust.... The reason was that the regulator protruded about 1-1/2 times farther than the yoke and screw. It was thought that it would be less likely to hit the diver's head in the head down position. Unfortunately, being bashed by the angular screw was far more painful than hitting the rounded regulator case. So divers began reversing the mounting, which led to the configuration used in today's regulators....

So back to the movie. I don't remember the scene well, but by any chance were the divers using small diameter tanks that may have led them to prefer the regulator "reversed" to keep the cans from pressing into their backs or necks? (Or were they just ignorant?)
The older I get the better I was.

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ScubaLawyer
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Re: Les Odyssey

Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:48 pm

Don't know the answer Bill but the reversed regulators were only seen in the surface shots. Underwater they were in normal mounted position. M
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

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antique diver
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Re: Les Odyssey

Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:01 pm

ScubaLawyer wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:48 pm
Don't know the answer Bill but the reversed regulators were only seen in the surface shots. Underwater they were in normal mounted position. M
Seems like pretty good proof of ignorance.
The older I get the better I was.

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ScubaLawyer
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Re: Les Odyssey

Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:27 pm

antique diver wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:01 pm
ScubaLawyer wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:48 pm
Don't know the answer Bill but the reversed regulators were only seen in the surface shots. Underwater they were in normal mounted position. M
Seems like pretty good proof of ignorance.
More likely someone thought the shot looked better with regs reversed and took "Hollywood license" with the truth. M
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

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