19 SEPTEMBER 1931, Page 26

Current Literature

Shooting with Rifle and Camera (Gollanez, 18s.), by Mr. A. J. Siggins, describes the ingenious and arduous process of filming a hippopotamus herd,- which formed the leading feature of the cinema play of The Pour Feathers. The herd, some fifty strong, was ultimately enclosed in a pen and then let out to rush, like the Gadarene swine, violently down a steep place back into the water. (Incidentally, the expenses of this operation amounted on one occasion to over 12,000 for a single night.) The book is thus full of what the author calls " pepful scenes.- In addition- it affords some- account of life on safari and in camp in East Africa, and contains good chapters on African psychology and nature study, which last the author prefers to pursue with a camera rather than with a rifle. It is -perhaps a little surprising to find Mr. Siggins, who has known Africa for thirty years, stating that Selous did his shooting with a smoothbore, and alluding to " the clicking Hottentots of the Cape." Alas, they no longer click, but speak English or the taal. In them Mr. Siggins sees " picturesque and unique potential film- stars." That is as may be, but there is much in his suggestion that we unduly neglect our Empire foi filni-isurposes. Why is it almost always left to American enterprise ?

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