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Acera, or the Witches' Dance (1972)

Acéra ou Le bal des sorcières (original title)
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 »
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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biology | See All (1) »

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Documentary | Short

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

21 April 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Acera, or the Witches' Dance See more »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
Dancing in the Dark
10 September 2018 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

In the mud flats off the coast of Brittany, sea slugs dance as part of their courtship.

Co-directors Geneviève Hamon and Jean Painlevé filmed these creatures with their weird dances that remind me of very early movies like BUTTERFLY DANCE, to modernistic music by Pierre Jansen and André Girard. The film makers use about half the movie to show these surprisingly graceful dances, then get on with the business of reproduction. Acera is a hermaphroditic creature, which means it is simultaneously male and female, resulting in some very complicated grouping.

Although Painlevé had been making movies about sea life since the middle of the 1920s, often with a dark sense of humor, this one is far more of a feast of visual beauty: the grace of the slugs' dance, the motility of their eggs and juvenile form. To study well, you must be interested, and the weird beauty of these creatures' movement is captivating.


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