Plot: Flying Clipper, also known as Mediterranean Holiday, follows the maiden voyage of the titular vessel as it navigates the Mediterranean Sea. A Swedish sailing ship manned by a crew of Merchant Marine cadets and the memorable Captain Skoglund, the Flying Clipper takes an unforgettable, one of a kind trek that has to be seen to be believed. The movie takes us along for the entire ride, which includes stunning visuals that explore all the various locales the sailors experience. The crew launches from Portugal and visits all manner of stops before ending the journey in Spain, including Egypt, Greece, Italy, and Turkey, among other exotic stops. Flying Clipper has a narrative of sorts, given the focus on the ship’s path and ports of call, but is more of a travelogue and of course, some spots seem rather staged for maximum cultural and visual impact. So if you want to join the crew of the experience of a lifetime, one that is unlike any other you’ve seen, Flying Clipper awaits.
Entertainment Value: This movie presents an incredible, tour de force travelogue experience, the first ever German motion picture filmed in 70mm, which allows for visuals that are an absolute feast for the senses. Flying Clipper’s journey takes us on a tour of some of the Mediterranean’s most famous locales, but when seen through the 70mm vision, it is like seeing these sights again for the first time, as the scale and screen presence are so impressive. I also appreciate the variety of not only which places are visited, but what we are shown from these locations and the Formula 1 race in Monaco was a real highlight. I don’t consider myself a motor sports fan in the least, but that was a stunning experience when presented like this, though again, it is just one of numerous such remarkable stops. The sheer visual spectacle of Flying Clipper is enough to steer people to give it a look, but there is also rich historic value, given the natural and cultural content it explores.
The movie has undeniable historical and cultural value, but Flying Clipper isn’t exactly a brisk, kinetic experience. The movie runs over two and a half hours in length, so it is a considerable time investment, though the various stops make it easy to absorb the material in smaller doses, if so inclined. I also think after the first viewing, most will return to specific locales to soak in the visuals and scale, which again makes the length less of a concern. The pace is also on the slow end and the movie is deliberate to say the least, perhaps because this takes less of a narrative driven approach and the overall approach feels sluggish at times. That isn’t to say time is wasted, as Flying Clipper puts so much on the screen to experience, but sometimes the sheer visual impact isn’t enough to balance out a slow stretch of material. Even so, I think the film is a well crafted, undeniable cultural curio, especially for those who love travelogues and visions of the world as it once was. To see these sights in such lush, large scale fashion is a treat and Flying Clipper is well recommended.
The Disc: Flicker Alley released Flying Clipper in a 4k UHD version, with a Blu-ray edition also included in the package. The movie has been restored & scanned in 4k and as you might expect, the 70mm visuals are simply breathtaking at times, as this is a fantastic presentation. The image is crystal clear and the restoration effort has breathed new life into the visuals, putting back the rich colors and inky contrast, bringing these lavish sights back to their intended look. If you’re interested in the restoration, the disc includes a comparison and to call the results jaw dropping would be an understatement, the improvements are remarkable. In terms of audio, you can choose between the original soundtrack or a new Dolby Atmos option. The supplements include some insightful interviews about how the movie was filmed, the 70mm process, how the movie was projected, and the restoration project. I think these interviews add a lot of value to this release, as they shed light on how Flying Clipper achieved such gorgeous visuals, how theaters handled the 70mm material, and the restoration process, all of which were quite interesting topics. You can also check out a gallery of lobby cards and the film’s theatrical trailer. Flicker Alley has also included a beautiful replica of the film’s program booklet, another great inclusion for collectors.
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