Thursday, 21 March 2013

Edwardian Nature Films

After a few days away visiting friends, I'm back home suffering from a very bad bug (hopefully the last one of winter!). I haven't moved much from my bed over the past few days but I did manage to watch an interesting programme on the pioneer wildlife filmmaker, Percy Smith. I thought I'd share a few of his beautiful, strange and charming films. The documentary explained how Smith made the films in his house, devising brilliantly inventive filming techniques, without electric lighting. As well as screening before feature films as instructive, educational documentaries, Smith's films were also shown at avant-garde events, alongside works like Battleship Potemkin. Looking at the timelapse and animation sequences in these two very early Smith films, it's easy to see why:

The Birth of a Flower (1910)

To Demonstrate how Spiders Fly (1909)

There's also two very nice ones from the 1930s - this rather beautiful film about the growth of pea shoots and an amusing one called 'Romance in a Pond'  - which I can't seem to embed into the post! Hope you enjoy them!

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