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Daphnia (1929)

La daphnie (original title)
Titles in French and English help us know what we're seeing. In all waters, daphnia abound. They are crustaceans about 2 ml long, with one eye that turns in all directions. Antennae enable ... See full summary »

Director:

Jean Painlevé
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Storyline

Titles in French and English help us know what we're seeing. In all waters, daphnia abound. They are crustaceans about 2 ml long, with one eye that turns in all directions. Antennae enable daphnia to move: in a close up magnified 150,000 times, we see the muscles of the antennae pulse. We see the eye, the nerve mass, blood globules, and the heart, beating several times per second. The intestine forms a long line. All are females; eggs develop above the intestine. New generations come rapidly. Inside each daphnia are tiny infusoria; we watch them clean the intestine of a dead daphnia. An enemy, the hydra, approaches. A daphnia dies, but many remain. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Documentary | Short

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Details

Country:

France

Release Date:

21 April 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Daphnia See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
The Water Flea
29 August 2018 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

I had never heard of Jean Painlevé before poking around the France section of Filmstruck. Born in 1902, he was the son of the mathematician and French Prime Minister Paul Painlevé. He entered film with Michel Simon and made the first of his films, mostly about undersea life, in the 1920s. Wikipedia claims he directed over 200 films. The IMDb just over 40. Twenty-three were released in dvd by Criterion in 2009 as SCIENCE IS FICTION.

This short subject was released in 1928 or 1929, depending on what source you accept. The title "character" is the water flea, and we get to see her -- they're all females, reproducing parthenogenically (to the music of Canned Heat) -- in magnification up to 150,000 times. That's quite an accomplishment for 1928, or even 1929!

The rest of the movie is devoted to the animals that live on the water flea and the creature that lives on them.


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