6.8/10
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Liquid Crystals (1978)

Cristaux liquides (original title)
A microscopic view of liquid crystals morphing into various shapes.

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Title cards introduce images we watch without narration; they are displays of shape and color. François de Roubaix's electronic music accompanies these images, photographed under a polarizing microscope. Some liquids obey the laws of crystallization; we observe those transformations. Sometimes objects flowing, other times they change as if in a kaleidoscope. Colors give way to sepia, then back to multiple colors. The crystals can look like tiny organisms: small four-part fans share the frame with flowing lines of pink. Multiple patterns appear side by side. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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21 April 2009 (USA)  »

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Liquid Crystals  »

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A somewhat different Painlevé
28 March 2016 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

"Cristaux liquides" or "Liquid Crystalls" is a 7-minute short film by French filmmaking legend Jean Painlevé and as this one is from 1978, it is definitely among his latest works. But it does not look like his other stuff really. No narration from him here is just one example why this looks a lot more like a Stan Brakhage film. Certainly one of Painlevé's most experimental works and maybe that is why it is also among his most known. But unfortunately, I find his animal documentaries usually more interesting, even if this one here isn't bad visually, but not good either compared to other 1970s films. I believe this ons is really only worth checking out for the biggest Painlevé fans. Everybody else can skip it.


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