A jilted husband takes his revenge by filming his wife and her lover and showing the result at the local cinema. This was one of Starewicz' first animated films, and stars very realistic ... See full summary »
A jilted husband takes his revenge by filming his wife and her lover and showing the result at the local cinema. This was one of Starewicz' first animated films, and stars very realistic animated beetles. Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ladislas Starewicz's curiosity with insects and cinema melds into a short film about a love triangle between Mr. Beetle, an artistic grasshopper, and Mrs. Beetle. The rather simple story of an adulterous beetle couple that both seek stimulation outside their marriage is similar to a Biograph or Vitagraph short of the time. Starewicz's twist on the story is to use embalmed beetles with wires straightening the legs in frame-by-frame animation. The story builds as Mr. Beetle is unknowingly caught on camera with a dragonfly from the local nightclub by a jealous grasshopper. When Mr. Beetle comes home to find his wife in the arms of her artistic friend, he chases her around angrily, but eventually forgives her and takes her out to see a movie. However, Mrs. Beetle soon learns of her husband's infidelities as the movie they watch is the jealous grasshopper's footage of Mr. Beetle and the dragonfly together. Mrs. Beetle thrashes Mr. Beetle with her umbrella, Mr. Beetle jumps through the screen, and they both end up in jail after the projector they wreck catches on fire. The insects are placed in humanized settings such as a house or a nightclub, and are given human characteristics of jealousy, anger, lust, and revenge. The insect characters carry briefcases, drive motorcars, and even wear shoes yet they also twitch their antennae and open and close their mandibles as real insects would. The novelty of the story doesn't wear itself out, even after multiple viewings, but as fluid as the movements are, the film moves slowly. Action happens with intricate detail, but rapidity and a quicker pace of filming is lost in the process. Despite its pace, the film is an excellent example of Starewicz's early puppetry and is highly recommended.
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