- Number of Discs: 3
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 5 hours, 13 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: April 21, 2009
- Originally Released: 1989
- Label: Criterion
- 3-Disc Set
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Multi Disc Set
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono - French
- Subtitles - English
- Additional Release Material:
- The Sounds Of Science, An Original Score - Yo La Tengo, Music Performers
- Yo La Tengo, Music Performers
- Jean Painleve, Director
- Scott MacDonald, Film Historian / Notes On Painleve Films
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Film Comment - 05/01/2009
"Set mostly undersea, the surprising, lyrical films often consist of a long zoom in from a familiar setting to the minutiae of some mind-blowingly strange biological life form."
The director and animator Jean Painleve made art from the stuff of life, delving into the realms of mathematics, medicine, marine biology, and chemistry in search of imagery and ideas he could capture on film. The result of his intellectual exploration was not merely documentary, but poetry: his shorts offer lyrical, whimsical portraits of undulating sea life, human cells, and microscopic plant parts that seem alien in origin. This evocative collection includes 23 of Painleve's shorts accompanied by an all new score from indie-rock band Yo La Tengo, as well as interviews with the filmmaker himself.
Jean Painleve was a film director, critic, theorist, and animator, yet his interests and studies also extended to mathematics, medicine, and zoology. Amazingly, all these disparate strands came together in a groundbreaking, decades-spanning artistic career. Operating under the credo "Science is fiction," Painleve forged his own unique cinematic path, creating countless short films for both the viewing public and the scientific community. Moreover, he was also one of the first filmmakers to take his camera underwater. Surreal, otherworldly documents of marine life, these films transformed sea horses, octopi, and mollusks into delicate dancers in their own floating ballets. This anthology features twenty-three of Painleve's shorts in their original form, as well as Yo La Tengo's ninety-minute original score The Sounds of Science, written in 2001 to accompany eight of the director's films.
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