In our race towards modernity, amidst all the technological innovation and the rapid growth of our cities, silence is now quickly passing into legend. Beginning with an ode to John Cage‘s seminal silent composition 4’33“, the sights and sounds of this film delicately interweave with silence to create a contemplative and cinematic experience that works its way through frantic minds and into the quiet spaces of hearts. As much a work of devotion as it is a documentary, IN PURSUIT OF SILENCE is a meditative exploration of our relationship with silence, with sound, and the impact of noise on our lives. (rottentomatoes)
“The etymological roots of the word silence
are somewhat contested. There are two words
in particular that people go back to. There’s the Gothic term ana-silan, and then</i> desinere. One of them has to do with
the wind dying down and the other has to do with
a kind of stopping of motion. They’re both to do with an
interruption, not just of sound, but the roots of silence
are also to do with the interruption of our own… The imposition of our own egos
on the world.” GEORGE PROCHNIK
“…when something does get labeled alien, an entire industry will spring up dedicated to its destruction.”
Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins celebrates the humble and sometimes hated plants we call weeds. He discovers that there is no such thing as a weed, botanically speaking, and that in fact what we call a weed has changed again and again over the last three hundred years. Chris uncovers the story of our changing relationship with weeds – in reality, the story of the battle between wilderness and civilisation. He finds out how weeds have been seen as beautiful and useful in the past, and sees how their secrets are being unlocked today in order to transform our crops.
Finally, Chris asks whether, in our quest to eliminate Japanese Knotweed or Rhododendron Ponticum, we are really engaged in an arms race we can never win. We remove weeds from our fields and gardens at our peril.
“What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.”
Professor Richard Fortey delves into the fascinating and normally-hidden kingdom of fungi. From their spectacular birth, through their secretive underground life to their final explosive death, Richard reveals a remarkable world that few of us understand or even realise exists – yet all life on Earth depends on it. In a specially-built mushroom lab, with the help of mycologist Dr Patrick Hickey and some state-of-the-art technology, Richard brings to life the secret world of mushrooms as never seen before and reveals the spectacular abilities of fungi to break down waste and sustain new plant life, keeping our planet alive. Beyond the lab, Richard travels across Britain and beyond to show us the biggest, fastest and most deadly organisms on the planet – all of them fungi. He reveals their almost magical powers that have world-changing potential – opening up new frontiers in science, medicine and technology. (docuwiki)
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timespace coordinates: 20th century Snowy, Sleep-Walking Winnipeg
My Winnipeg is a 2007 film directed and written by Guy Maddin with dialogue by George Toles. Described by Maddin as a “docu-fantasia,” that melds “personal history, civic tragedy, and mystical hypothesizing,” the film is a surrealist mockumentary about Winnipeg, Maddin’s home town. A New York Times article described the film’s unconventional take on the documentary style by noting that it “skates along an icy edge between dreams and lucidity, fact and fiction, cinema and psychotherapy.”
Maddin also released a book titled My Winnipeg (Coach House Books, 2009). Maddin’s book contains the film’s narration as a main text surrounded by annotations, including outtakes, marginal notes and digressions, production stills, family photos, and miscellaneous material. The book contains a “Winnipeg Map” by artist Marcel Dzama featuring such fictional attractions as “The Giant Squid of the Red [River],” various poster designs for the film, and short articles about working with Maddin by Andy Smetanka, Darcy Fehr, and Caelum Vatnsdal. Maddin also includes an angry e-mail from an ex-girlfriend, collages and notebooks pages, and an X-ray of the dog Spanky from the film. The book also includes an interview with Maddin’s mother Herdis, conducted by Ann Savage, and an interview with Maddin conducted by Michael Ondaatje. Maddin’s publisher offers the book with or without a DVD of the film, distributed by Seville Pictures.
Nature Documentary hosted by Geoffrey Bateman, published by Arte in 2016 – English narration. (docuwiki)
The underground world is so unfamiliar to us that you only have to dig down a few yards to reveal a totally unknown realm, just beneath our feet. Today, only a fraction of the rich biodiversity that inhabits the soil has been studied. Scientists estimate that the ground is probably home to 70% of the living organisms yet to be discovered.
The Skin Of The Earth
We know less than 10% of the organisms that populate the underground world and that, each in their own way, take an active part in creating the soil. We are just beginning to discover that plants form partnerships and create complex unions. Welcome to this subtle, surprising and secret world.
Hidden in the Depths
Take a journey alongside scientists into an underground maze with huge surprises in store. They lead us into monumental cavities, shaped by water and by time. They reveal to us mineral jewels of staggering beauty, and shed light on certain species of fauna that defy the imagination.
In 1908 amateur naturalist Percy Smith stunned cinema goers with his surreal film The Acrobatic Fly. Featuring a bluebottle juggling a series of objects, the film became front page news. Now wildlife cameraman Charlie Hamilton-James attempts to recreate this fascinating film.
Along the way, Hamilton-James (helped by Sir David Attenborough who saw Smith’s films as a boy) tells the story of Percy’s remarkable career and reveals the genius behind this forgotten pioneer of British film. (docuwiki)
Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith (2016)
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