Many molluscs are hermaphrodite. With Acera, hermaphrodites which copulate in a chain pattern, the lead animal plays the part of the female, the last one that of the male, and all those in between will play a double role: female with the one behind, and male with the one in front. During copulation a thread of several thousands of eggs emerges from the neck. These eggs develop favourably during summer, but degenerate at large when laid towards the end of the season. Normally, the cilia make the egg turn around in the shell, where it develops into a larva. But when the eggs degenerate, the cilia grow all over the place, and create monsters. Following hatching, the larvae rise to the surface and are devoured as plancton. Or else they fall to the bottom, where their creeping foot enables them to move around. The developing shell cannot house the entire body of the adult animal: it will be used as ballast in dances which are probably linked to the search of a mate. (For the dances, I removed the lobe for aesthetic reasons.) —JP
Jean Painlevé (20 November 1902 – 2 July 1989) was a film director, actor, translator, animator, critic and theorist. He was the son of mathematician and twice prime-minister of France, Paul Painlevé.
Painlevé first came to the cinema as an actor, alongside Michel Simon, and also as assistant director in the René Sti unfinished film L’inconnue des six jours (The Unknown Woman of Six Days), 1926. (Later, he would appear as “chief ant handler” in Luis Buñuel’s Un Chien Andalou, 1928). Soon, he was shooting his own films, starting with L’œuf d’épinoche : de la fécondation à l’éclosion, 1927.
Painlevé sometimes scored the music and background sounds for his films, such as in Les Oursins, where the collage of noise is a homage to Edgar Varese.
In order to shoot scenes underwater, Painlevé encased his camera in a custom designed waterproof box, fitted with a glass plate which allowed the camera’s lens to reach through. Understandably… read more