Friday, June 15, 2007

Grab Bag Friday: Microcosmos...bugs, bugs, bugs!

My friend Amy was just telling me about the gross, slimy, white grubs she found in her garden bed this week. With summer in full bloom, and insects everywhere, I couldn't help but come to my blog and recommend that you go out and rent Microcosmos for a fresh perspective on all those bugs that are now in your life.

I first saw Microcosmos on the big screen in the theater, and it is totally amazing. Made by the same team that created Winged Migration, this is an entirely wordless documentary about bugs. I know. It sounds about as fun as watching ants march across your driveway. But I loved this movie so much, I have actually watched it multiple times since I saw it in the theater.

Talk about a piece of art that engages your sense of wonder! Using specially adapted cameras, the filmmakers get up close and personal with the daily life of all kinds of different insects. We get to see, for all intents and purposes, what it's like to be the size of a bug...what happens when it rains, when it's windy, when a larger bug (or a bird) comes onto the scene. We get to see how beautiful (or very strange) some of these bugs truly are. Some of the footage is funny, some is actually poignant. As described on Alternative Movies (where you can apparently download the movie in parts for free...which is kind of cool, but frankly, getting it on Netflix seems a whole lot easier):
Microcosmos offers passionate kisses and kinky sex, swashbuckling duels and mass suicide, water bomb attacks and genocide, undercover operations and natural cooling systems. Nonetheless it's suitable for children, complete with an amazing candy factory and a black Sisyphus.
While I liked Winged Migration, I loved Microcosmos a whole lot more. Even though there are no words, there is somehow more to it. More times when I gasped in horror, or sat entranced, completely hushed by the fall of rain or the simple beauty of a moth spreading its wings.

I will say that if you have a severe aversion to insects, this may not be the movie for you. My husband made me fast forward a lot of the "gross" parts, and got very pale when the camera focused in on some wasp larvae. But I think a mild comfort level with bugs is all that is necessary. Besides, squealing and writhing in disgust is half the fun!

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