Microcosmos is a 76 minute documentary that took 15 years of research, two years of equipment design and three years of shooting. It chronicles one symbolic day in a meadow in the French countryside around Aveyron. The journey kicks off with a dizzying aerial shot that zooms in from the clouds to ground zero. Throughout, close-up shots make the insects look like huge, bizarre extra-terrestrials, and single drops of water appear to be gigantic, gooey objects from outer space. Fighting stag beetles and amorous snails, battling dung beetles and hard working ants are just a few of the characters that populate this day-long drama, which also includes a short storm, but ends on a peaceful note.
Review by Louise Keller:
There is humour, passion, conflict and drama as we observe and watch the habits of the minute creatures from this fascinating world. From high above the clouds to a universe below a blade of grass, we discover an awesome world that is so dazzlingly breathtaking and colourful, that it is hard to imagine it is real.
With mind-blowing photography, we clearly see every detail of this micro-cosmos. Dancers could be inspired by the rhythmic cavorting; lovers moved by the extraordinary passion of the Burgundy snails; a drop of rain is a cannon blast; there are circus-like feats with gymnasts, and construction workers busy at work; bees buzzing in a field of red poppies waving in the wind and the overwhelming beauty of the butterfly. Was inspiration for characters like Darth Vader and ET found in nature? This is a painting on the big screen. Art in a cinematic experience you will not forget.
Music is effectively used to enhance the natural sounds - listen for a plaintive solo flute emulate the whistling of the wind. The use of the children Hugo and Louis Coulais' voices in song, impacts the child-like wonder that we share observing this amazing world. And as I watch this overwhelming beauty, the thought crosses my mind how lucky we are to be a part of this extraordinary world. Breathtaking!
Published March 16, 2006
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MICROCOSMOS: DVD (PG)
CAST: Ladybird with seven spots, Swallow-tail butterfly, Climbing caterpillar, Bee gathering pollen from the sage flower, Long-tailed blue caterpillar, Burgundy snails, New-born caterpillar of the Jason butterfly, Argiope Spider, Bombyle (gathering fly), Processionary caterpillars, Red ants, Gathering ants, Polist wasps, Sacred beetle, Pheasant, Water Spiders, Notonects, Argyronet Spider, Young Agrion dragon-flies, Eucera bee in love with the Ophyrs orchid, Stag beetles, Rhinoceros Beetle, Iule, Diablotin & many more.
NARRATION: Kristin Scott Thomas
DIRECTOR: Claude Nuridsany, Marie Perennou
RUNNING TIME: 76 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: none
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Hopscotch
DVD RELEASE: March 2, 2006