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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday September 15, 2020 

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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.

"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 Coulaisí 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!"
Louise Keller

"Filled with life and death, war and peace, sex and - to my mind - even a kind of love (see the Burgundy snails), Microcosmos is a moving, funny, dramatic and mind expanding experience. It even has domestic squabbling and acrobatics, birthing and politics. All in the realm of the insect world. By their sheer exotic looks, the insects - on a giant screen - take on a new dimension in our minds, and their secret lives are exposed to us with the most magnanimous filmmaking approach yet seen in wildlife documentaries. This young couple and their team approach the insect world as if it were endowed with passions and drudgery like us. Thatís what makes this so special. They even make watching a drop of water on a leaf evaporate somehow exhilarating. If you go to the movies to be taken on a journey, Microcosmos is for you. What you discover may change your view of our planet forever."
Andrew L. Urban

"Nuridsany and Perennou have achieved quite a feat here: These unusual filmmakers have made their docu into something much more interesting than a standard nature piece by turning the bugs into larger than life characters whose quirks, pastimes and relationships are never less than riveting."
Brendan Kelly, Variety

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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.

DIRECTOR: Claude Nuridsany, Marie Perennou

PRODUCERS: Jacques Perrin, Christophe Barratier, Yvette Mallet

NARRATOR (Eng. Language): Kristin Scott Thomas

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

EDITORS: Marie-Josephe Yoyotte, Florence Ricard

SOUND: Philippe Barbeau, Bernard Leroux

SOUND CREATION: Laurent Quaglio

MUSIC: Bruno Coulais

RUNNING TIME: 76 mins.



See our feature story on Microcosmos

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