Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ace Newsreeler Ariel Varges Revisited

Ariel Varges, circa 1935

Among the most prominent, pioneering film cameramen of World War I Ariel Varges (1890-1972) deserves a special notice. As we described in our latest book on the American cinematographers of the Great War, Varges came to Europe in December 1914. By using his close contacts with Sir Thomas Lipton, he got on a ship for the Serbian front and filmed the war in the Balkans. From 1916, he became an official cinematographer for the British army and filmed in Greece and Mesopotamia.

Varges was among William Randolph Hearst's ace newsreel cameramen, both during the Great War and long afterwards. We were fortunate to have written a section on Varges in our book, although a biography on his life and work is long overdue. On the Internet we found additional information on Varges and his family, like the picture shown above, taken in the 1930s when he was filming wars for the Hearst newsreels in China and Ethiopia.

Greek boys carrying the rifles and equipment of newly landed French soldiers, Thessaloniki, February 1916, © IWM Q 31776. Photograph by Ariel Varges

As a result of the centennial of the First World War, the Goethe Institute has uploaded a unique series of war pictures from the collection of the Imperial War Museum, taken by Varges in 1916 when he recorded the activities of the Entente Expeditionary Force at Thessaloniki, Greece, against the Bulgarian army. These pictures which haven't been published before can be viewed here

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