Jean Painlevé & Jean Vigo shorts

Andy gave us some Jean Painlevé action from a different DVD than the one I’ve got. Love the “FIN” made up of stop-motion creatures at the end of most shorts. Love the octopus crawling through the mud, the way sea urchins walk with thin suckers that stick out past their spines, the umbrella dances of the acera, the camoflaged crabs, and everything about the sea horse. These are crowd-pleasers. Nice to hear the original music, which is actually really neat, especially the early electronic sounds.

Also saw something called Predatory Mushrooms by one of Painleve’s influences, Jean Comandon – microscopic mushrooms create three-cell nooses to ensnare and eat tiny worms. Sounds icky, but it looks bizarre and wonderful. Could’ve used some music (GBV’s “Mushroom Art”). And the 1898 The Separation of Siamese Twins by Dr. Doyen. It’s not the doctor sawing these two people apart that is most disturbing, it’s their inhumanly spindly legs. Also could’ve used music, maybe something by Ministry.

Always happy to watch Jean Vigo’s À propos de Nice again. I only said one sentence about it last time, which is not fair. Seems to be a humorous portrait of a rich, beach-side tourist town with thrilling associative editing and the occasional staged scene (guy gets super-sunburned, woman in beach chair changes clothing repeatedly). Watched on 16mm. For music I suggest some Luna, or a jaunty classical piece.

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