Picture the Leviathan

2012 USA / Duration: 22 mins Directed by: Hal Clifford, Jason Houston

James Prosek is much like an artist in the tradition of nineteenth-century naturalists who cataloged the world as they discovered it. The difference is that Prosek paints creatures that are vanishing and hopes that by helping audiences to “know” these threatened creatures, he will improve their chances for survival. And so he quests after some 40 different Atlantic fish species — swordfish off Newfoundland, giant groupers in the Bahamas, a 900-pound black marlin in the Cape Verde Islands — to capture them exactly as they appear alive in the wild. Working at the nexus of art, culture and the environment, Prosek also adds an adventurer’s sensibility to the sad story of collapsing Atlantic fisheries. This short film depicting his bold project was made by Hal Clifford and Jason Houston (Stone River, Mountainfilm 2010 and eel/water/rock/man, Mountainfilm 2011) and was supported, in part, by a 2011 Mountainfilm Commitment Grant.

2012 Official Selection Mountainfilm in Telluride

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