The name itself is quite an oxymoron mostly because there is nothing micro about this grand, high quality movie. There are no actors and special effect as nature takes front stage and manages to impress, captivate and astound the viewer. There is very little talking involved as Kristin Scott Thomas narrates quickly in the beginning and lets the music takes over to the beat of the Earth itself.
From the beginning I was transported back to the meadows of Poland where I spent many happy warm childhood days on my grandparent's farm in the summer. The red poppies, filed flowers, birds and animals were both familiar and foreign at the same time. The incredibly detailed close-ups and ultra sharp picture quality made every grass strand sway and dance in the wind, each water droplet glisten, each feather, tentacle and grain of sand was in high display as if in a museum for everyone to admire.
The day in the life of a bug on a French meadow, in the ponds and sandy plateaus was incredible to watch. The struggles for survival and their daily grind was shown in a rather beautiful light with pleasurable disposition. I felt an intimate connection with Mother Nature as I got a glimpse of uninterrupted life of the many beautiful and complex creatures that cover out planet and form such a huge part of the eco system. Their life and death goes unnoticed yet their vital role is really wonderfully portrayed in Microcosmos with careful and painstakingly filmed moments which reveal so much in depth information that it can be mind boggling at times. These tiny titans live and fight, love and reproduce even when some of those insects only have a twenty four hour life span they still make the most of it. I love the snails; ants, salamanders; even the scary spiders and beetles, ladybugs, millipedes and dozens of other mini masters of our planet roam around and live almost unnoticed right under our noses.
Brilliantly vibrant aerial, landscape, underground, macro, slow-motion and time lapse photography reveal the activity of those flora and fauna of wee scale in rural France. Hirsute bees collect nectar; a scarab beetle laboriously transports its dung ball across rocky, unforgiving terrain; dragonflies and snails passionately copulate; a cluster of caterpillars feed upon a leaf; ants collect particles to supplement their store of food; a rainstorm delivers tumult to water bugs, ladybugs and dispassionate … more
This movie has some really brilliant photography. You can see a whole variety of insects closer than you ever thought - or wanted to. The music goes very well with what the insects are doing, and it is easy to imagine a story behind each insect. However, this movie would have been a bit better if there had been a bit more narration explaining what the insects were doing, or at least subtitles with the name of the insects pictured. Overall though, this is really a great work.
Using revolutionary cameras, the directors of this French film (with minimal English-language narration) have made an amazing chronicle of the insect world. There are at least a dozen fascinating, memorable images, and the carnage is held to a minimum. Some favorites include a caterpillar traffic jam, a frog's bout with a rain storm, and a bird that turns into Godzilla for a bunch of ants. Then there's the snail mating scene that must be seen to be believed. Great for families. --Doug Thomas
Chiefly without narration, with English and Spanish soundtracks; credits in French. Closed-captioned.
Originally produced as a motion picture in 1996.
Special Jury prize, 1996 Cannes Film Festival.
French Title: Peuple de l'herbe. Tagline: "It's Jurassic Park in your own backyard"