A Modern Bestiary — March 2019 Issue

20 films from the Science New Wave — labocine.com

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A Modern Bestiary — Labocine March Issue #32

The bestiary was a popular literary format of the middle ages, an illustrated guidebook and vaguely-informed natural history to various creatures one might encounter: ambiguously rendered elephants and hyenas, chimeric manticores and griffins, or even such as the bonnacon, an unverified bull-like animal said to defend itself by firing burning dung at predators. As scientific verification and observation gradually took over from speculation and fabrication, the books fell by the wayside, but its fascination lives on. And in an age of recombinant genetics, interbreeding grizzly and black bears, mermaid shows, and drone-stalking falcons, perhaps surreal inventions have again begun to brush shoulders with the mundane. This issue, in the spirit of the classical bestiary attempts a broad survey of all that may inhabit our world, real, imagined, or created.

Alles was Irgendwie NütztAll (All What is Somehow Useful )

A multitude of animals brought together in a rhythmical sequence of photographs. The images blend together similar to the cross breeding of animals. An accumulation of bygone days, captured in photos, in which the animals are replaceable, but the same employees frequently reappear. Years of studies and experiments on animals are reduced to a few images per second. The outcome of the research derived from the image or remains a mystery. Seeing is comparing; discovering similarities or differences, seeking for an ideal, gratification of curiosity, optimising utilisation. “Alles was Irgendwie NütztAll” is based on the historical glass plate photograph collection “Julius Kühn” of the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.

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Alles was Irgendwie NütztAll (All What is Somehow Useful )

Deer Flower

In the summer of 1992, Dujung, an elementary student, goes to a farm in the suburbs with his parents. While his parents believe the expensive and rare specialty from the farm will strengthen their son’s body, Dujung suffers side effects.

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Deer Flower

Kyoto Fruit Flies: Collection and Variation

A journey with two scientists at Kyoto University : from the botanical gardens to flies with spotted wings to green fluorescent larvae.

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Kyoto Fruit Flies: Collection and Variation

Shaheen

Is it a bird, is it a plane? Shot in the desert of Dubai, Shaheen examines the relationship between bird and human and how humans have used technology to try to recreate wild hunting. Shaheen follows the morning routine of the falcons of the Royal Shaheen group. The falconers Peter and Sarab attempt to use planes and drones to develop further the art of falconry, whilst also struggling to outmaneuver and entertain the falcons in artificial aerial combat. It’s as much falconer and falcon as it is falconer versus falcon. Let the aerial battle commence!

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Shaheen

Polymer

Beware what you throw in the sea! A monstrous creature of our own making stalks a seaside town and returns our plastic litter to us in the most devastating way.

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Polymer

Insect Bite

A tiny bug tries to figure out what it wants to become.

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Insect Bite

Far Beneath the Seashore

This is a short visual-music work inspired by astounding Ernst Haeckel’s drawings. The main plot could seem unexplainable at first glance but yet it is quite simple. Our goal was to express the relationship between the environment and the complexity of morphogenesis of the organic life.

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Far Beneath the Seashore

The Flight of an Ostrich (Schools Interior)

A playful exploration of the group dynamics within a classroom interior, in which a small girl interrupts the stifling tedium with a subtly subversive action.

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The Flight of an Ostrich (Schools Interior)

Hairat

Yussuf Mume Saleh journeys nightly into the outskirts of the walled city of Harar to bond with his beloved hyenas, a ritual he has practiced for over thirty-five years. Shot in Black & White, Hairat is a meditation on this uniquely symbiotic relationship between man and wild beast.

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Hairat

Los Mimos Monarcas (The Monarch Mimes)

After the death of her partner and the rest of the migrating butterflies, the last monarch survivor has one last message to tell humanity.

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Los Mimos Monarcas (The Monarch Mimes)

Insecta

Archival video and narration, original laboratory photography, and rhythmic insect sound compositions construct an increasingly unsettling portrait of humans’ collective relationship with nonhuman lifeforms. Insecta embodies the curiosity and visual delight of the natural sciences, combined with a simultaneous understanding that scientific and documentary methods deserve our critical attention as means of producing and communicating human knowledge.

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Insecta

The Spring

In August 2016, seven female filmmakers traveled to Central Florida to film the women of Weeki Wachee Springs, for whom performing mermaid shows is more than a job — it’s a craft.

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The Spring

Birdlime

Birdlime: a sticky tar which is used to trap wild birds for export or trade. After narrowly escaping being trapped in the exotic bird-trade industry, an unfortunate fowl still ends up caged and corrupted by unfamiliar stimuli.

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Birdlime

Wolves from Above

Wolves From Above is a meditation on a pack of wolves filmed from the air.

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Wolves from Above

Pizzly Bear

In this environmental fairytale, where frogs turn to handsome princes, a “Pizzly Bear” is an actually cross between a Grizzly Bear father and a Polar Bear mother. It addresses how little regard we have for animals other than ourselves.

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Pizzly Bear

Blua

Humanity and animality are enigmatically confronted and entwined. Combining rich high-contrast 16mm images with crisp digital color scenes, BLUA composes an uncanny entry into the relationship between human and animal existence. Unfolding like a tapestry, its montage complicates the relationship between observation and fiction. The frontiers between animal and human, fiction and non fiction are transgressed. Reaching for equal beauty and strangeness, BLUA is an assertion of the uncanny, a cine-poetic philosophical speculation.

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Blua

To Get in Touch With Crows

A TV presenter tries to engage with crows in the local park. After her first rendezvous with a crow she finds herself unexpectedly emotional. Nevertheless she continuous to meet crows in the park. It seems impossible to establish a relationship between her as a human and the crows.

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To Get in Touch With Crows

A Decay of Control

What if your cat was making you crazy, or a parasite was controlling your behavior and emotions? As told by an expert in the field, a self-identified “crazy cat lady,” and the story of the famous cat painter Louis Wain, A Decay of Control is a self-reflexive journey into new research on the parasitic disease, Toxoplasmosis (known to be transmitted by cats), and its potential influence on human behavior and neurological disorders like Schizophrenia. The story of this disease forces us to ask the question: what if we weren’t the ones running our own show?

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A Decay of Control

Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night

‘Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night’ explores the importance of darkness, and the erosion of it, through the study and preservation of firefly habitats in Japan and the United States. Fireflies are reportedly disappearing, as artificial night lights disrupt their ‘languages of light’. ‘Brilliant Darkness Hotaru in the Night’, presented by the Zoological Lighting Institute, features artists and scientists on different continents working to understand firefly flash patterns and how to live among wildlife in urban settings.

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Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night

A Date with an Enfield

“A Date With An Enfield” is a short and personal animation, exploring nostalgia and place in the digital age. Every single frame of the film has been hand drawn, creating a space where love, myth and Google Maps can intertwine.

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A Date with an Enfield

Labocine is an Imagine Science Films initiative to extend our film programming to a broader and more diverse audience. We have over 2,000 film titles from 200 countries for all ages brought to you by artists, scientists, filmmakers and educators.

By experimenting with cinematic form and style, we are committed to provoking scientific intrigue and understanding, always ensuring compelling and well-founded narratives. Periodically, we release Spotlights online. On the first Tuesday of every month, enjoy our issue selections which complement newsworthy science by proposing a surgically curated online festival. From documentary to fiction to lab footage, we hope to always challenge the way you understand, interpret and appreciate scientific ideas and perspectives.

Submissions: If you would like to submit a film or propose a program for Spotlights, write to us at film@labocine.com

Stay tuned and email us for more information at info@labocine.com.

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