Wednesday, July 27, 2005



Dirs: Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perrenou

Totally mesmerzing French documentary about insects in a forest. The cinematographic acheivements here rank with the best I have ever seen. Almost entirely without narration, the moviemakers allow the lives of the insects to speak for themselves. Ants, beetles, bees, snails, spiders, water bugs, etc. all face challenges analagous to human activity, yet so alien to our lives that they trigger a sense of wonder at the world. I will never view a summer rainstorm the same again after seeing the chaos it ravages on the insect kingdom.

The directors choose a series of macrocosmic establishing shots before showing off their breath- taking close up camera and sound work for each scene. Subtle, yet effective narrative is acheived as a result. The level of detail in the shots had me involuntarily exclaiming my appreciation aloud throughout the film. The pace is pleasingly brisk, making me think that there was a lot of film left in the can to keep it at a taught 1:15 (for kids?). Still, many scenes I could have watched for hours.

I did find the score lacking at times. It is classical, and especially since it was original to the film I thought it could better embody the emotion of some of the more beautiful and tender scenes (the struggles and fights were right on).

For fans of nautre films or good camera work, I rank this as a must see.