Aquatic Planet — April 2019 Issue

30 films from the science new wave

Seventy-one percent of the Earth’s surface is water. Seventy-five percent of the human body is water. Water structures cities, nations, borders, where we can live, where we can’t live, and our very survival in its most basic terms. In its various forms water is one of our most universal metaphors: for life, for change, and, conversely, for timelessness. The story of our changing climate is one of water: storms, droughts, ice, and shorelines. Water dictates the terms of the search for life, or habitable environments, beyond the Earth. It even encompasses last unexplored parts of our planet, in the depths of the ocean. The stories that may be told through and about water are an endless reservoir, a sea. Those that we present this month are but a drop in the bucket, but as varied as the geometries of snowflakes.

Dry Season

Willits, an eclectic town two hours north of San Francisco, faces an uncertain future during California’s worst drought in 500 years. With just a 100-day supply of water left, cooperation, conservation, and finger pointing all compete in a community made up of ranchers, back-to-the-landers, and marijuana growers.

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Dry Season

Guardian of the Mangroves

Fatouh, the guardian of the Mangroves, has not been seen for some time. Some say he left after disputes with local tribes while others claim that it was due to increasing destruction and pollution of these ecosystems in the Arabian Gulf.

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Guardian of the Mangroves

Laznia (Baths)

Two old swimmers meet at the public baths for their ritual swimming session. This time they are diving deeper than usual. “Baths” is a short film about the dynamics of life based on a dualistic philosophy, constantly oscillating between two extremes: fantasy and reality, life and death, body and consciousness, past and future. It explores the classical subject of the of a person to his own space and time.

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Laznia (Baths)

The Lost Mariner

The Lost Mariner is an animated interpretation of Dr. Oliver Sacks’ case study found in his book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. It uses photographs to visualize the rare memory condition of patient Jimmie G.

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The Lost Mariner

Turbulent

Turbulent is an experimental short film about microscopic randomness of nature, and vibration of sound and matter. It is inspired by the work of Dr. Hans Jenny, a physician who is considered the father of cymatics, the study of wave phenomena.

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Turbulent

Into the Cosmic Flower Garden

Fluorescence footage of the many color morphs of the Phymanthus crucifer anemone

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Into the Cosmic Flower Garden

Towards the Colonies

When a young girl is found off the Venezuelan coast, a medical examiner will try to determine the cause of death before the body is repatriated.

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Towards the Colonies

The Chemical House

The chemical house: A watchful eye of the protection of our planet focussing on the study of the rivers.

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The Chemical House

Microcosmos

A busy drop of water showing some of the stunning diversity of the microbial world. Here there are many different types of ciliates, bacteria, flagellates and microscopic animals, all coexisting in a few microliters of water.

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Microcosmos

Owsia (Darkened Water)

The aqueduct of Yazd has supplied the city with water for hundred of years. Now it rots away due to bureaucracy and corruption.

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Owsia (Darkened Water)

Dish Life

“It’s like having thousands of pets!” Dish Life compares the task of raising stem cells in the lab to the challenge of looking after a gang of unruly kids. In conversation with real-life children, scientists show how tricky it is to work with these ‘super cells’.

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Dish Life

My Haggan Dream

On the island of Saipan, a young girl’s mysterious dream about a haggan, or green sea turtle, leads her to investigate the sea turtles that live around her home. Join her adventure to find turtles, which leads to a wonderful birthday wish.

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My Haggan Dream

Pink

This animation is a slice of a woman’s life and routine who lives with a monster in her chest…

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Pink

Eighth Continent

In Lesvos island an old abandoned dump lies on a mountain with two big craters. The craters are overflown by thousands of life jackets from the refugee waves. A worker is the only inhabitant in this place that resembles an alien planet or a new continent.

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Eighth Continent

Every Tear

In the 17th century, Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek, a draper from Delft, begins to make glass lenses, in order to better study the quality of his textile. He melts, drips and grinds small beads of glass. His tiny lenses are so bright and have such magnifying power that the draper seems to have entered a new dimension. Is he the first to see little moving ‘animals’ in a drop of water? How to describe something that nobody ever saw before?

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Every Tear

The Magnificent Life Underwater

In this animated parody of a classic undersea adventure show, an authoritative narrator reveals the wonders and mysteries of the sea — although the banal habits of these homely aquatic creatures are oddly familiar.

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The Magnificent Life Underwater

Ligne Noire (Black Line)

A woman fishing in turbid waters, a suffering nature, the broken chant of the muezzin, all linked by a thin black line.

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Ligne Noire (Black Line)

The Body Heals

A nonfiction dispatch from a plastic surgery slumber party in South Beach.

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The Body Heals

Guests from the Riverside

Hirofumi Nakamoto collects various aquatic organisms, releases them in his house and films the scene. This is the latest work of the ‘Living Creatures Sci- Fi’ Series, which has been continuing since 2011.

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Guests from the Riverside

We Don’t Know Clouds

First in a news series from Science on what we don’t know. It’s a mystery what happens when cloud droplets and aerosols interact.

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We Don’t Know Clouds

As sea levels rise, Bangladeshi islanders must decide between keeping the water out — or letting it in

In flood-prone Bangladesh, resilience can mean letting water have its way.

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As sea levels rise, Bangladeshi islanders must decide between keeping the water out — or letting it in

Aftermath: a row along Cuba in the wake of a hurricane

Be it denial or alarm, the issue of climate change has cemented itself in our 21st century vocabulary. Beneath the deluge of popular media and attention-grabbing headlines, there are many living quiet and purposeful lives as the world around them changes drastically. In ‘Aftermath’, a Cuban fisherman rows along the coast he calls home following Hurricane Irma, reflecting on youth, learning, and change.

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Aftermath: a row along Cuba in the wake of a hurricane

Drought

Drought is a stop motion animation short film. It is a universal story based in an abstract setting. Drought is a take on humanity, picking at our core values. The players are put in a concrete space, they are powerless over the influences of ever present forces, they are bound to act in unconsciously dictated patterns. One of the players refuses to act according to the norms and thus undergoes a metamorphosis. The scenery changes surreally. But does the man become different after changing his surroundings?

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Drought

Noyade Intedite (No Drowning)

All is well in the world, until two dreamers, a peep-show stripper and a dream-stealing diver, meet.

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Noyade Intedite (No Drowning)

Fabula Rasa (Parades)

Faced with the injustices of this world, Margot has lost all hope in the future. Giving up on politics, she decides to entrust her fate to the Dardu, a legendary carp that supposedly predicts the future. But the lake’s rules have changed: fishing is now forbidden.

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Fabula Rasa (Parades)

The Fisherman

In a diverse eco-system of mollusc like creatures, a late devoted scientist of these life forms has passed his life’s work on to his daughter, along with his most prized discovery. ‘The Fisherman’ is set in a neo-tokyo cityscape where electricity is a source of life for a diverse eco-system of mollusc like creatures. A late devoted scientist of these life forms has passed his life’s work on to his daughter, along with one part of his most prized catch. The other part, a mystical electric fish, has eluded him his entire life. An opportune discovery of this rare creature by a human inhabitant instigates an unusual mating ceremony, spawning a surge of life that traverses the gap between this life and the next.

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The Fisherman

Mama Qota

Mama Qota is a seventeen minute documentary interviewing Aymaran men (native Peruvians) in their own language (subtitles in English). These community representatives (the women wouldn’t speak on camera) illuminate our understanding of how this culture relates to the lakes in thier home land as an extension of thier own bodies, and as a spiritual source as well as ending ground. Marina Morikawa is a modern day environmental scientist who has been miraculously successful cleaning the pollution of these water bodies using natural methods. He is also interviewed, revealing a similar understanding of how we are mirrors of our Earth.

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Mama Qota

A Delicate Balance

By looking closely at the common icicle physicist Stephen Morris reveals how science can be a powerful lens through which to view the mystery & beauty of everyday phenomena. Photographer Don Komarechka captures the amazing patterns of ice-bubbles.

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A Delicate Balance

A Very Wet Night at the Museum

As Hector, a night guard at the Museum of Natural History rushes for work, he forgets to turn off the bathtub faucet and accidentally floods New York City. His daughter Melissa comes to rescue as museum exhibits come to life. The blue whale and the giant squid push the museum towards the open ocean. Melissa dives to receive an evolution lecture from a Coelacanth fish. In the morning the museum is safely returned to its usual place, Hector closes the faucet and cleans up the mess to Melissa’s amusement.

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A Very Wet Night at the Museum

Quantum Theater of the Aquatic

“Quantum Theatre of the Aquatic” is a short film composed of a poetic theatre of small shorts that explore the quantum nature of water, and an interplay between perspectives in art and science. Visual effects and illusions interact in ways that mimic superposition states in quantum mechanics. Quantum phenomena referred to include wave/particle duality, the observer/measurement effect (#I), many worlds theory (#I), split screen interference (#2), quantum motion and fractal effects (#3), and the uncertainty principle (#4).

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Quantum Theater of the Aquatic

Slurb

The animated, carnivalesque tailgate party of Slurb loops and stutters like a vinyl record stuck in a groove. Slurb — a word that collapses “slum” and “suburb” — encapsulates a dreamy ode to the rise of slime, a watery future in which jellyfish have dominion.

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Slurb

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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