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With: Kristin Scott Thomas (narrator)
Written by: Claude Nuridsany, Marie Pérennou
Directed by: Claude Nuridsany, Marie Pérennou
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 75
Date: 10/09/1996

Microcosmos (1996)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Big Bugs

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou's amazing documentary Microcosmos (1996) runs just 75 minutes but apparently took three years to film. The filmmakers gently lower their camera to ground level and capture the close-up behaviors of many different kinds of insects, ranging from ants collecting food and snails embracing, to beetles fighting. The cinematography, which sometimes employs time-lapse, as well as creative editing, makes the bugs appear larger than life, with all their beautiful, weird details in full view. The soundtrack features authentic scratching and scuffling noises that complete the immersive experience. The movie is rated G, and it's very much recommended to children who are fascinated with all things squirmy.

Kino Lorber released a wonderful Blu-ray edition in 2017, preserving the movie's film-grain look but still providing an astonishingly detailed, more close-up look at the film. It's very highly recommended, even if you've seen it before on DVD. It includes a 40-minute interview with the filmmakers (from 1996), a 40-minute making-of documentary, and a trailer.

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