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Science Is Fiction (The Criterion Collection)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jô Shishido, Chieko Matsubara, Tamio Kawachi, Yûji Odaka, Minako Katsuki
  • Directors: Geneviève Hamon, Jean Painlevé, Takumi Furukawa
  • Writers: Charles Perrault, Haruhiko Ôyabu, Hisataka Kai
  • Producers: Bernard Maggi, Hideo Sasai
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: April 21 2009
  • Run Time: 313 minutes
  • ASIN: B001PYD0LG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,469 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Jean Painlevé was a film director, critic, theorist, and animator, yet his interests and studies also extended to mathematics, medicine, and zoology. Amazingly, all these disparate strands came together in a groundbreaking, decades-spanning artistic career. Operating under the credo Science is fiction, Painlevé forged his own unique cinematic path, creating countless short films for both the viewing public and the scientific community. Moreover, he was also one of the first filmmakers to take his camera underwater. Surreal, otherworldly documents of marine life, these films transformed sea horses, octopi, and mollusks into delicate dancers in their own floating ballets.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Art and Science! April 23 2009
By Megan Patton - Published on
Seeing as this is a Criterion release, I thought I would just talk a few specs...

Great transfers!
Booklet on the light side, one good essay.
Sound great!
Pretty packaging in a sturdy 3-disc* plastic binder.
*1 DVD on left with book, 2 DVD on right.

No one has posted a list of the films included yet...


Included in this set are:

-Hyas and Stenorhynchus (BLACK & WHITE)
-Sea Urchins (COLOR)
-Liquid Crystals (COLOR)
-The Sea Horse (BLACK & WHITE)
-The Love Life of the Octopus (COLOR)
-Shrimp Stories (COLOR)
-Acera (COLOR)
-The Vampire (BLACK & WHITE)
-Freshwater Assassins (BLACK & WHITE)
-Sea Ballerinas (COLOR)
-Diatoms (COLOR)
-Pigeons in the Square (COLOR)

-Eight Films with Original Score by Yo La Tengo (BLACK & WHITE) (COLOR)

-The Octopus (BLACK & WHITE)
-Sea Urchin (BLACK & WHITE)
-Daphnia (BLACK & WHITE)

-The Stickleback's Egg (BLACK & WHITE)
-Experimental Treatment of a Hemorrhage In a Dog (BLACK & WHITE)

-The Fourth Dimension (BLACK & WHITE)
-The Struggle for Survival (BLACK & WHITE)
-Voyage to the Sky (BLACK & WHITE)
-Similarities Between Length and Speed (BLACK & WHITE)

-Bluebeard (COLOR)

-8 Part French Television Series (BLACK & WHITE)(COLOR)
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
By Hank Napkin - Published on
Verified Purchase
For those of us generally fatigued by the apparent cultural and commercial compulsion to identify genre; to separate the ideas of "art" and "science" and "life" into discrete, highly defined clots, there is the work of Jean Painleve. In addition to pioneering entirely new techniques in revealing many things previously unseen, Painleve's images are startling in their content and composition, transcending the purely documentary by the application of an aesthetic sense as refined as the nature it observes. Droll, playful and informative on multiple levels, these films are so immersive as to be literally saturated. With color. With image. With detail. With ideas. With associations. With knowledge. Criterion has done us all a service by placing this work within easy reach, ready to continually remind us of how compelling just being can be.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
AU NATUREL July 7 2009
By Cesar Barron - Published on
If you're a nature or wildlife enthusiast this collection is a must-have for you. With so many of Painleve's short films, this DVD collection provides endless hours of pleasure. I especially enjoyed the Sounds of Science section, which is eight of Painleve's short films with an ambient rock soundtrack by band Yo La Tengo. The music seems to enhance the hypnotic quality of the images presented in the documentaries. Although some of the narration and title cards border on the ludicrous, Painleve nontheless offers unforgettable and mesmerizing images and you're left wondering about the amazing techniques used to capture them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Hidden Gem... Jan. 27 2015
By Shannon Alexandra - Published on
Verified Purchase
These films are a hidden gem! The science is fantastic, the filmography remarkable for the day, and the commentary ranges from intriguing facts to hilarious narration. Jean Painlevé created a sort of "Planet Earth" long before the BBCs documentaries were even a twinkle in someone's eye.
The Look of the scientist, The Hearth of the dreamer ... Nov. 3 2012
By Mysticfunnies - Published on
Verified Purchase
This DVD by Jean Painlevé is an absolut needed release.
A fantastic dream through knowledge and poetry. Some insignifants things becomes arts and essentials.