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Fifteen years in research, Microcosmos is a 76 minute documentary that took two years of equipment design and three years of shooting. It chronicles one symbolic day in a meadow in the French countryside around Aveyron. 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:
In this remastered special edition of Microcosmos, there are 97 minutes of additional footage to savour. We meet the filmmakers who talk about the making of the film and what was involved in capturing this universe in which we are giants, and how they opened up a window into their world. This is far from a scientific look at insects. It is a personal insight into how they go about their daily lives - from their toilette and their eating and mating habits. It is with wonder that we watch a caterpillar slowly reclining onto a branch into slumber. In the segment entitled The Story of Five Cesars, we meet the filmmakers responsible for winning each of these acclaimed awards: sound (how the project started), music (composed after shooting), editing, producer and cinematography (capturing two snails in a passionate embrace).

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. There is humour, passion, conflict and drama as we observe and watch the habits of the minute creatures from this fascinating world.

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 October 2, 2008

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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

PRODUCER: Jacques Perrin, Christophe Barratier, Yvette Mallet

DIRECTOR: Claude Nuridsany, Marie Perennou

SCRIPT: Claude Nuridsany, Marie Nuridsany, Perennou, Hughes Ryffel and Thierry Machado

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Claude Nuridsany, Marie Nuridsany, Perennou, Hughes Ryffel and Thierry Machado

EDITOR: Marie-Josephe Yoyotte, Florence Ricard

MUSIC: Bruno Coulais






SPECIAL FEATURES: Interview with the filmmakers, The Making of Microcosmos, The Story of Five Cesars


DVD RELEASE: September 4, 2008

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