As HPM will now also have a small section dedicated to Audio/Visual films such as the wonderful qatsi trilogy, Baraka and Chronos, I felt it’s only right to tell everyone about this fantastic film. “Microcosmos” should do for insects what Joe’s Apartment did for cockroaches. Opening to a short narration and a beautiful theme song sung by a young child, the cameras delve into a field and spends the next 80 minutes getting up close and personal with the wildlife within.
The cameras are so microscopic sometimes you’re not actually sure that what you’re seeing is real. The whole worms-eye-view concept is taken to a whole new level with sequences such as the rain come into play. Seeing insects almost drowning in raindrops and being thrown off leaves in slow motion is really something quite spectacular to watch. Time lapse photography is used to watch flowers blossom and leaves absorb water. It’s a real combination of all kinds of techniques.
The sound of the film varies. The majority is taken from animal sounds which are either amplified and or muted. Then there are musical interludes such as the snail sex scene (yes, snail sex!) and a poor ladybird who just doesn’t get any luck.
Where this film grabs you emotionally is the whole scale of what goes on beneath our feet. We see the animals over the course of a day and each of the species involved has its time in the spotlight. That makes it more like an artistic novel and therefore more accessable perhaps than other audio/visual films. Should you do get the chance to watch it, remember this was all done a decade before Planet Earth! Amazing!