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The Seahorse (1934)

L'hippocampe, ou 'Cheval marin' (original title)
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 »

Director:

Jean Painlevé

Writer:

Jean Painlevé
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Storyline

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 ballast. Three fins propel this fish. We see a female place her eggs in a male's pouch where they are fertilized and nurtured until birth in violent contractions. Inside the pouch are nurturing blood vessels. We then follow the growth of an embryo, greatly magnified: we examine its heart beating and its dorsal fin moving. Young sea horses attach themselves to each other. The film ends with images of many sea horses moving on the ocean floor, superimposed on a horse race. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Documentary | Short

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Connections

Featured in Under the Skin (1997) See more »

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Student Review
29 August 2018 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

This is perhaps, Painlevé's masterpiece. He has moved squarely into the talkie era and has the backing of a major studio; his name appears before the title. He is the star and he uses his star power as the dry-witted professor to talk about and show us the seahorse. He is fond of the odd creature. He admires its looks. He compares it to other animals, like chameleons and monkeys and King Charles Spaniels. He talks about its oddities like how the male famously carries the eggs about and gives birth to them. He uses his microphotography and time-differentiated camera to tell the story effectively.

Most importantly, he makes it clear how interesting seahorses are to him, and imparts some of that interest to his audience. That's what all great teachers do: they don't just tell you stuff, they get you interested.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

15 August 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Seahorse See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Visatone Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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