In close-ups and extreme close-ups, we watch two small species of marine crustaceans, the slender long-legged stenorhynchus and the clumsy, short-legged hyas. To blend in, both cover ...
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A close-up look at sand urchins and rock urchins. At the seashore, a man digs up a sand urchin. We look closely. He sets it back in the sand, and it burrows out of sight. Its intestines ... See full summary »
Examines the sea horse, the only fish that swims upright. We watch it use its prehensile tail to wrap around plants and other sea horses. A frontal bulge houses organs including an air ... See full summary »
We begin on planet Earth, with a demonstration of measuring distances using triangulation. Then, an imaginary voyage begins from earth to the moon, on to Mars, Saturn, the closest star (... See full summary »
At a marine biology station, a clump of algae reveals polyps, stomachs with limbs, limbs with buds, buds with poison cells. This animal reproduces by buds, which we watch close up in ... See full summary »
An octopus slithers into a narrow crack near the shore; we see its eye up close; blowing water propels it through water. It feeds on a crab. In spring it's time to mate. A male grabs a ... See full summary »
In mud flats along the coast of Brittany we watch acera, small ball-shaped mollusks that are about two inches in diameter. They rest in mud; then, in water, they dance, their skirt-like ... See full summary »
After a comic introduction, we look closely at a shrimp. Eyes on stilts, color patterns, pinchered walking feet, a rostrum. We watch shrimp eat using a strong claw and a fine one; we watch ... See full summary »
In close-ups and extreme close-ups, we watch two small species of marine crustaceans, the slender long-legged stenorhynchus and the clumsy, short-legged hyas. To blend in, both cover themselves with found objects, such as algae and sponges. We watch them move, eat, greet each other, and fight. They have small mandibles and large claws. Near them are spirograph worms, 6 inches long, with a plume of branchiae that fan out like exploding fireworks. We see vibrating cilia, 0.001 mm long, on the branchiae, sending food toward the mouth at the plume's center. Chopin's music and an off-screen narrator suggest we're watching a ballet. Written by
"Hyas and Stenorhynchus, marine crustaceans" is a pretty early 10-minute short film by French documentary pioneer Jean Painlevé. He was not even 30 when he made this one and went on to make films for over half a century afterward. Unfortunately, I personally did not enjoy this one really that much, but that may be just me. I simply did not find the topic here too interesting. This documentary is still in black-and-white (no surprise looking at the year) as usual for Painlevé's older works and gives us an insight into water creatures, crab-like animals I guess. Oh yeah and as always with Painlevé too, make sure you get subtitles if you aren't fluent in French. His narration sure sounds pretty enthusiastic and he makes a joke here and there too to detract from the complicated topic he elaborates on in here. I personally a glad this one only runs for 10 minutes and not 90 or as I did not feel it was a rewarding watch, even if I like Painlevé. His talking definitely elevates the material.
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