Search - Microcosmos on DVD

Actors: Kristin Scott Thomas, Jacques Perrin
Directors: Claude Nuridsany, Marie Pérennou
Genres: Indie & Art House, Special Interests, Educational, Documentary
G     2005     1hr 20min

MICROCOSMOS captures the fun and adventure of a spectacular hidden universe revealed in a breathtaking, close-up view unlike anything you've ever seen! Your family will marvel at a pair of stag beetles dueling like titans....  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Kristin Scott Thomas, Jacques Perrin
Directors: Claude Nuridsany, Marie Pérennou
Creators: Jacques Perrin, Claude Nuridsany, Hugues Ryffel, Marie Pérennou, Thierry Machado, Florence Ricard, Marie-Josèphe Yoyotte, André Lazare, Christophe Barratier, Jean-Marc Henchoz, Michel Fauré, Patrick Lancelot, Philippe Gautier, Yvette Mallet
Genres: Indie & Art House, Special Interests, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Nature & Wildlife, Educational, Documentary
Studio: Miramax
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/03/2005
Original Release Date: 10/09/1996
Theatrical Release Date: 10/09/1996
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 20min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 15
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Bruce Kendall | Southern Pines, NC | 07/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have never been particularly interested in bugs. In fact, I have in most cases viewed them with a mixture of disgust, disinterest or (in the case of flies and mosquitoes, particularly) loathing. After watching this film, I want to become an amateur entomologist. It really is that revelatory and inspiring. A team of Swiss, Italian and French cinematographers and naturalists take us to a lush meadow in the south of France and reveal, through microphotography, the unseen (or at least, generally unnoticed) inhabitants at work and play there.

This is nature documentary at its finest. Insects that we all take for granted are displayed close-up, and are revealed to be perfect in their symmetry of form, their coloration, their awesome design. It does give one a renewed sense of appreciation for creation in all its myriad forms: nature is diverse and abundantly versatile. The film's creators, by supplying a sometimes playful, sometimes dramatic, soundtrack, add to the anthropomorphic qualities of the micro vignettes. For instance, the long, languid scene depicting snails mating is accompanied by a Puccini aria. Though this may sound trite (how many Puccini arias have been overused in recent years?), even loathsome, if one had the opinion of snails as slimy, ugly creatures that I had, it is instead one of the most beautiful, and dare I say, sensuous, scenes I`ve ever witnessed. Instead of noxious looking, the snails are beautiful, their intricately shaded and colored shells gleaming , as they engage in a pas-de-deux that would put Nureyev and Fonteyne to shame. Also especially memorable is the segment involving a dung beetle, doggedly engaged in rolling a ball of dung up a slope of gravel. As he plods on, one can't help but admire his determination and his fortitude. He is a miniature Sisyphus, engaged in an eternal struggle in his uphill battle for survival. The ball of dung (about five times his size) becomes stuck on a sharp shoot sticking up out of the ground. He doesn't know why the ball won't move, yet he doesn't give up. He rolls and prods and shoves until finally he goes over to the side on which the ball is stuck and succeeds in removing it. Nature rewards perseverance. Actually, this could be thought of as one of the themes of the movie. All of these Hymenoptera, Neuropterans, and Heptira, etc., are hard workers, ceaselessly engaged in what they were put on earth to do. Even the most detested of insects, the mosquito, is shown to be a part of the grand design at the conclusion of the film. In one of the marvelous time-lapse birth sequences that are a thread in the movie, a mosquito is shown forming from its larval stage on the surface of a pond. The viewer is not sure exactly what sort of creature it is until it finally flies off and we hear its all-too-familiar buzzing. One way of thinking of this film is that it is the Cirque de Soleil of nature documentaries. The same sort of outside the box creativity went into this production. It's magnificent in every respect and should be seen and appreciated by viewers of all ages."
Absolutely inspiring
Bruce Kendall | 10/04/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If this does not inspire or fascinate people interested in nature, I do not know what will.This film depicts the activities of an outwardly quiet and calm meadow and following a brief narrative, zooms in on a scale that captures insects at their active best over the entire day and hence the title "Microcosmos". The makers of the film let the pictures speak for themselves and provide no narrative.This is the perfect film for people to show to school level children. Although some have commented that the weakness of the film is the fact that it has no narrative, I personally feel this the strength of the film. So many of the natural history films try and provide so much information about the visuals that the viewer is unable to bask in the beauty of the image. It is often quite easy to interpret the visuals if it is striking and vivid as is the case with this film. The reason why I believe it is ideal for school children is that it is bound to kindle their curiosity and once this is achieved at least some of them will be inclined to pursue "what is going on" and "why is it going on" questions. Nature videos with narratives may provide valuable information, but their ability to inspire the spirit of enquiry is often suspect. The fact that this film does not plant any preconceptions renders it an invaluable tool in teaching.This is not to say that university level students or academics or the lay person will not enjoy it. It's educational value may be less for this audience, but it will certainly fascinate anyone interested in natural history."
Great as background for an offbeat kinda party
yippee1999 | New York, NY United States | 02/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I rented this video, because I had heard lots of good things about it. However, it was with the assumption that I was not going to sit in front of the TV for the duration of the film, but rather, that I would play the video while going about my business at home, and check to see what was on the screen from time to time. Much to my surprise, I found myself stopping in front of the TV, unable to pull myself away, especially when I witnessed what looked like a black beetle, as he vigorously strove to move a rock to an obviously desired location (perhaps his "home"?). I was in awe of his determination, as each time the rock would rock backwards, he would start all over again, and kept at it, until he got the rock to where he wanted it. I was also amazed at the way the film was able to depict the beauty of insects, many of which I would consider "yucky" in the real world. I always knew that insects were amazing, and that ants in particular were highly organized, but I don't think I'll ever look at insects quite the same way again!"
The most gorgeous nature film I've ever seen
Chef Leo | Maryland, USA | 08/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I read so much about Microcosmos in Amazon reviews that I just had to get a copy and see it for myself. It's incredible! Count me among those who say, "how did they do that?"
As a newly-hatched insect fan, I was delighted and stunned by the spectacular photography, the moments of comedy (caterpillar traffic jam, ladybug getting bounced off the leaf), the sheer beauty of the material, and the way the cinematographers were able to catch things from the insect's point of view. I also appreciated the lack of the typical nature-film voiceovers; the producers had the good sense to let the images, music and sound effects carry the film on their own.

Don't miss this one, whether you love or hate insects. It's a revelation."