Dallying with danger in the outback

North of Hawker, April 1929 | Queensland between Charleville and Muttaburra, August–October 1929

A tour through the Australian outback is one of the few sequences of Achtung Australien! Achtung Asien! that leans into the perils the Rosses confront on their journey.

Colin Ross’s reports on traveling with his family often seem intent on proving to the folk back home that the world has become safe for travel. Still, he is not above flaunting potential hazards to score a few  thrills. Both in shot composition and Ross’s voice-over, the referenced sequence about an inland trip stresses the forbidding vastness and loneliness of the landscape and the dangers—sandstorms! snakes!—awaiting visitors. (Shortly after this excerpt, Ross’s car is shown stuck in the sand.) The comforting sight of a Shell billboard suggests, however, that even this forlorn Raum ohne Volk has been pervaded by the grids of world trade and traffic.

Joachim Schätz

Colin Ross. Australien - Indien - Neuguinea - Neuseeland [archive title]
Excerpt from: Colin Ross. Achtung Australien! Achtung Asien! Das Doppelgesicht des Ostens. Germany: Ufa/Ullstein; 1930.

reel 1: 35mm | b&w | sound | 409m | 24 fps | 15’

Master: 0001-01-0926_Australien_ROSS_Colin_XY_Omnimago_2016_PR422HQ_2048x1768_PCM_24fps.mov; 0:08:48,22-0:11:36,09

Clip: 0001-01-0926_Australien_ROSS_Colin_XY_Omnimago_2016_H264-12Mbits-KFauto-CABAC_1440x1080_24fps_IsFormatOf_ProRes422HQ_2048x1768_PCM_24fps_00084822-00113609.mp4

Topic: The Ross Family
Case: Oceania-Asia trip 1928-30

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