Thursday, October 23, 2008

Behind the Scenes of Master and Commander

Chestertown, MD — The Center for Environment & Society (CES) at Washington College and Sultana Projects present the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World on Thursday, October 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Prince Theatre. On hand for the event will be one of the technical advisors for the film, Chuck Fithian, Curator of Archaeology for the State of Delaware.

Fithian led the archaeological analysis and conservation of the artifact collection from HMSDeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast in 1798. The film-makers relied upon the expertise of Mr. Fithian and used information derived from the study of the materials from the DeBraak to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of the film. Fithian will comment on the movie prior to its screening and answer questions from the audience afterward. He also will bring a small sample of the more than 20,000 artifacts recovered from the wreck.

Master and Commander is a 2003 film directed by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe as Jack Aubrey, with Paul Bettany as Stephen Maturin. The film is constructed from episodes from three novels in the enormously popular Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian.

In 1805, in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars, Captain Aubrey of the Royal Navy frigate, HMSSurprise, is ordered to pursue and destroy the French privateer, Acheron. He chases the enemy frigate around Cape Horn and into the Pacific. Between battle scenes, the film focuses on the customs and hardships of life aboard a Royal Navy ship at the turn of the 19th century. It also deals with the peculiar friendship between Aubrey and the ship's surgeon, Stephen Maturin. A subplot involves Maturin's unofficial role as a naturalist, and his desire to explore the Galapagos Islands to examine its renowned fauna and flora; a goal which is hindered by his ship's official military duties. Aubrey's obsessive chase stresses his ship, his crew, and his friendship with Maturin. Confrontations with the more powerful adversary test Aubrey's cunning and resolve.

The Prince Theatre is located at 210 High Street. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call 410-810-7161.

October 23, 2008

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