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Microcosmos (1996) — France

           It's hard to believe this nature documentary is fifteen years old. The tiny cameras and microphones embedded into the French countryside reveal a glorious and complex world of insects — lady bugs, beetles, bees, spiders, snails, ants, moths, mosquitos, caterpillars, etc., all filmed up close and personal at very high magnification. Rain drops splashing onto a leaf look like massive bombs. A speck of dirt looks like a giant boulder. There's not a word of narration in the film, only some faint, background operatic music, which lends a nice French aesthetic to the world of science. What we do hear are the sounds made by the insects. Time lapse photography sometimes speeds up or slows down life at this level: a flower opening in the morning and closing at night, or a lady bug spring-boarded off of a leaf by a single rain drop. This film is only seventy-five minutes, and would make for fantastic family viewing; we watched it on Netflix streaming.

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