How can you say no to a question like this? “Would you be interested in editing a documentary on Tarzan?”
Tarzan® Revisited (M) is a feature on Edgar Rice Burroughs 1912 creation exploring the iconic pop culture hero through the prism of actors, directors, historians, and academics highlighting the character’s significance in the 20th Century through archive.
It was an epic 6 month journey. Structurally there were many threads of possible discussion points Robert de Young (director/producer) and I investigated of which only half ended up in the finished film.
There was a monumental escarpment of archival available and I had to absorb it quickly as it is the backbone of the documentary. There are over 200 official Tarzan movies (watched and logged 60) several television series, 1000s of photographs, 26 novels (read 2), comics that started in 1929 (read the Hal Foster and Burnes Hogarth covering the 30s) radio serials, artwork commissioned from 1912…oh you get the idea. Add the history of colonial Africa, the morays of the United States and western society at the end of the 19th through to the mid 20th Century as well as creator Edgar Rice Burroughs life story it was enough to make a girl’s head spin!
For all of Tarzan’s manliness the dissemination of the romantic adventure through the various burgeoning mediums of literature, film, comics, radio and commercialism to create an international phenomenon was extraordinary.
If you need a Tarzan aficionado for quiz night I’m your Jane (as long as it’s Maureen O’Sullivan’s feisty Jane).