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 ...
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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 »
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 »
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 »
A complex creature. Regular underwater photography, magnified close-ups, and film through a microscope present sea urchins. We see their mouth and five teeth close and open. After injecting... 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 ... See full summary »
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 »
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 hood spreading like a dervish's cassock. They spin and spin. The film adds musical accompaniment. We watch them mate and secrete eggs: acera are both male and female, and can form chains with other acera in which they simultaneously mate as a male and as a female. The eggs hatch, and the cycle begins again. Written by
"Acera, or the Witches' Dance" is a French-language documentary film from the 1970s, so this one is already almost 45 years old and still it is one of the last works by the renowned Jean Painlevé. I must say I had no idea what aceras (and apparently doesn't IMDb as the word is not known to spell check program) were and it's still very ominous I have to admit. I guess these creatures are simply not interesting to anybody except biologists and scientists, so maybe they deserve their status. Anyway, this 13-minute movie here is not among the most or least known works by Painlevé and that is fine. It is nothing general audiences need to watch. And I include myself here. Not recommended.
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