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A team of Swiss, Italian and French cinematographers and naturalists take us to a lush meadow in the south of France and reveal, through microphotography, the unseen (or at least, generally unnoticed) inhabitants at work and play there.
This is nature documentary at its finest. Insects that we all take for granted are displayed close-up, and are revealed to be perfect in their symmetry of form, their coloration, their awesome design. It does give one a renewed sense of appreciation for creation in all its myriad forms: nature is diverse and abundantly versatile.
The film's creators, by supplying a sometimes playful, sometimes dramatic, soundtrack, add to the anthropomorphic qualities of the micro vignettes. For instance, the long, languid scene depicting snails mating is accompanied by a Puccini aria. Though this may sound trite (how many Puccini arias have been overused in recent years?), even loathsome, if one had the opinion of snails as slimy, ugly creatures that I had, it is instead one of the most beautiful, and dare I say, sensuous, scenes I`ve ever witnessed. Instead of noxious looking, the snails are beautiful, their intricately shaded and colored shells gleaming , as they engage in a pas-de-deux that would put Nureyev and Fonteyne to shame.
Also especially memorable is the segment involving a dung beetle, doggedly engaged in rolling a ball of dung up a slope of gravel. As he plods on, one can't help but admire his determination and his fortitude.Read more ›
This film depicts the activities of an outwardly quiet and calm meadow and following a brief narrative, zooms in on a scale that captures insects at their active best over the entire day and hence the title "Microcosmos". The makers of the film let the pictures speak for themselves and provide no narrative.
This is the perfect film for people to show to school level children. Although some have commented that the weakness of the film is the fact that it has no narrative, I personally feel this the strength of the film. So many of the natural history films try and provide so much information about the visuals that the viewer is unable to bask in the beauty of the image. It is often quite easy to interpret the visuals if it is striking and vivid as is the case with this film.
The reason why I believe it is ideal for school children is that it is bound to kindle their curiosity and once this is achieved at least some of them will be inclined to pursue "what is going on" and "why is it going on" questions. Nature videos with narratives may provide valuable information, but their ability to inspire the spirit of enquiry is often suspect. The fact that this film does not plant any preconceptions renders it an invaluable tool in teaching.
This is not to say that university level students or academics or the lay person will not enjoy it. It's educational value may be less for this audience, but it will certainly fascinate anyone interested in natural history.
As a newly-hatched insect fan, I was delighted and stunned by the spectacular photography, the moments of comedy (caterpillar traffic jam, ladybug getting bounced off the leaf), the sheer beauty of the material, and the way the cinematographers were able to catch things from the insect's point of view. I also appreciated the lack of the typical nature-film voiceovers; the producers had the good sense to let the images, music and sound effects carry the film on their own.
Don't miss this one, whether you love or hate insects. It's a revelation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing! Shared it with my preschool class and my grandsons, and they were enthralled! Totally different respect now for amazing insects and other creatures! Fantastic photography!Published 3 months ago by Ellen Carleson
Unbelievable macro cinematography, vivid color.
Sound recording is top-notch.
Insect sounds sometimes overbearing. Read more
This has got to be one of the best films I have ever seen. I'm a huge nature documentary buff and have watched dozens of them. This one takes the cake.Published 13 months ago by db2xs
hello! its a great dvd l love it, the picture the sound the way the recorded looks like another insect was carrying a camera!!Published 15 months ago by the Rocker
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