Science Is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painlevé Science Is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painlevé

Science Is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painlevé

Jean Painlevé

 
Science Is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painlevé (Criterion DVD)

DVD

3 Discs

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

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  • France
  • 315 minutes
  • Color, Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • French
  •  
  • Spine #468

The mesmerizing, utterly unclassifiable science films of Jean Painlevé (1902-89) have to be seen to be believed: delightful, surrealist-influenced dream works that are also serious science. The French filmmaker-scientist-inventor had a decades-spanning career in which he created hundreds of short films on subjects ranging from astronomy to pigeons to, most famously, such marine-life marvels as the sea horse and the sea urchin. This definitive three-disc collection brings together the best of these, and also includes the French television series Jean Painlevé Through His Films, rock band Yo La Tengo’s eight-film score The Sounds of Science, and an essay by film scholar Scott MacDonald.

Cast

Credits

DirectorJean Painlevé
"The Sounds of Science" score byYo La Tengo

Disc Features

THREE-DISC SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:

  • New, restored digital transfers of all twenty-three films:

Disc One
POPULAR FILMS

  • HYAS AND STENORHYNCHUS (HYAS ET STENORINQUES)
    1927 * 10 minutes * Black & White
  • SEA URCHIINS (OURSINS)
    1954 * 11 minutes * Color
  • HOW SOME JELLYFISH ARE BORN_ (COMMENT NAISSENT DES MÉDUSES)
    1960 * 14 minutes * Black & White
  • LIQUID CRYSTALS (CRISTAUX LIQUIDES)
    1978 * 6 minutes * Color
  • THE SEA HORSE (L’HIPPOCAMPE)
    1933 * 14 minutes * Black & White
  • THE LOVE LIFE OF THE OCTOPUS (LES AMOURS DE LA PIEUVRE)
    1967 * 14 minutes * Color
  • SHRIMP STORIES (HISTOIRES DE CREVETTES)
    1964 * 10 minutes * Color
  • ACERA, OR THE WITCHES’ DANCE (ACERA OU LE BAL DES SORCIÈRES)
    1972 * 13 minutes * Color
  • THE VAMPIRE (LE VAMPIRE)
    1945 * 9 minutes * Black & White
  • FRESHWATER ASSASSINS (LES ASSASSINS D’EAU DOUCE)
    1947 * 24 minutes * Black & White
  • SEA BALLERINAS (LES DANSEUSES DE LA MER)
    1956 * 13 minutes * Color
  • DIATOMS (DIATOMÉES)
    1968 * 17 minutes * Color
  • PIGEONS IN THE SQUARE (LES PIGEONS DU SQUARE)
    1982 * 27 minutes * Color

THE SOUNDS OF SCIENCE

  • Eight films with original score by Yo La Tengo
  • Interview with Yo La Tengo

Disc Two
EARLY POPULAR SILENT FILMS

  • THE OCTOPUS (LA PIEUVRE)
    1927 * 13 minutes * Black & White
  • SEA URCHIINS (LES OURSINS)
    1928 * 10 minutes * Black & White
  • DAPHNIA (LA DAPHNIE)
    1928 * 9 minutes * Black & White

SILENT RESEARCH FILMS

  • THE STICKLEBACK’S EGG_ (L’OEUF D’ÉPINOCHE)
    1925 * 26 minutes * Black & White
  • EXPERIMENTAL TREATMENT OF A HEMORRHAGE IN A DOG (TRAITEMENT ÉXPERIMENTAL D’UNE HÉMORRAGIE CHEZ LE CHIEN)
    1930 * 4 minutes * Black & White

FILMS FOR LE PALAIS DE LA DÉCOUVERTE

  • THE FOURTH DIMENSION (LA QUATRIÈME DIMENSION)
    1936 * 10 minutes * Black & White
  • THE STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL (IMAGES MATHÉMATIQUES DE LA LUTTE POUR LA VIE)
    1937 * 14 minutes * Black & White
  • VOYAGE TO THE SKY (VOYAGE DANS LE CIEL)
    1937 * 11 minutes * Black & White
  • SIMILARITIES BETWEEN LENGTH AND SPEED (SIMILITUDES DES LONGEURS ET DES VITESSES)
    1937 * 10 minutes * Black & White

ANIMATION

  • BLUEBEARD (BARBE-BLEU)
    1938 * 13 minutes * Gasparcolor
  • New and improved English subtitle translations
  • More than two hours of interviews with the filmmaker, drawn from the eight-part television series Jean Painlevé Through His Films, directed by Denis Derrien and Hélène Hazera
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Scott MacDonald

    New cover by Rodrigo Corral

Film Essays

Jean Painlevé: Going Beneath the Surface

By Scott MacDonald April 20, 2009

Probably no substantial dimension of film history has been so thoroughly ignored by American film critics, historians, and theorists as the nature film (or “wildlife film”): those works of . . . Read more »

Clippings

WEIRD SCIENCE

June 04, 2009

Apparently, a group called the Secret Science Club threw a pretty happening Painlevé party in Brooklyn a few weeks ago. Seems we weren’t on the guest list (well, it is after all “secret”), so it . . . Read more »


Press Notes

PRESS NOTES: COME AND SEA

April 28, 2009

“The wonders never cease in this superb anthology,” exclaims the New York Times’s Dave Kehr in his review of the new Criterion three-disc set Science Is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painlevé. And . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Jean Painlevé: Going Beneath the Surface

By Scott MacDonald April 20, 2009

Probably no substantial dimension of film history has been so thoroughly ignored by American film critics, historians, and theorists as the nature film (or “wildlife film”): those works of . . . Read more »


Web Exclusives

Jean Painlevé’s “Ten Commandments”

April 16, 2009

Next week, we release a definitive, three-disc set of the short documentaries of Jean Painlevé (1902–89), the pioneering French scientist-educator-filmmaker (and sometime Dadaist) whose . . . Read more »