Microcosmos (1996)


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Movie Info

This fascinating documentary offers a unique look into the daily dramas played out amongst the tiny residents of a French country meadow. It is shot without dialogue and begins with an aerial view of the meadow and then drops wildly down amongst the herbs and soil of the meadow where the stage is set. Using specially designed cameras and lighting equipment, the filmmakers Claude Nuridsany (who also did the extraordinary filming) and Marie Perennou spent three years creating this single day. Utilizing astounding close ups, they give the viewer a bug's eye view where water drops are the size of planets, and grass blades become alien skyscrapers. At this level, the bugs themselves take on an unearthly appearance, as if they were the giants, not us. Among the things depicted are a caterpillar's transformation into a butter fly, a dirigible sized bee in flight, and the gentle, passionate lovemaking of snails. In the cycle of life and death, a spider makes a gruesome meal of two grasshoppers, and a determined dung beetle futilely attempts to roll a large prize up a steep slope. A tremendous thunderstorm temporarily disrupts the meadow and then as the day turns to evening, the nocturnal insects slowly emerge for the night shift. The film is suitable for families and features an eclectic soundtrack with numbers ranging from opera to New Age music to high-light the action.

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Critic Reviews for Microcosmos

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (6)

A movie with a quirky vision.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4
USA Today
Top Critic

The movie is rated G, and it's very much recommended to children who are fascinated with all things squirmy.

Apr 29, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Breathtaking docu zooms in on insect life in vivid color.

Feb 11, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

...inverts our understanding of the cosmos.

Aug 15, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Both informative and entertaining, French docu doesn't presume any previous knowledge of or interest in the subject, finding the right tone (serio and also slyly humorous) to introduce in detail a previously unrecorded but fascinating universe.

Aug 16, 2007 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Should give the viewer a buzz.

Jun 4, 2005 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Microcosmos

A very straight forward, beautiful piece about the world of the insect, and how big their world is, though we view it as so very small. Directors Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennou got up close and personal with the world of the ant colony, ladybug, dung beetle, and dragonfly. Only briefly narrated and accompanied by a great soundtrack of smooth classical music, this film only tries to show how insects view the world and the processes of said world. It drags at times, but it is truly engrossing if you see the world with a philosophical view or just want to know more about the world around you. It's short, sweet, and educational if you don't know much about insects or anything nature related.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

As exhilarating as anything ever seen on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and it's all taking place right in your own back yard.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Very entertaining look at the insect world. Call it March of the Praying Mantises. Little conversation. Just observation. It works nonetheless.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


11/29/06: Weird bug movie. Ms Roberts showed it randomly in class one day. What can I say?

meril lupin
meril lupin

Super Reviewer

Microcosmos Quotes

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