E-mail us: amdb@ucalgary.ca


Backyard Zoo

Date produced: 1945

Filmmaker(s):

Francis M. Spoonogle

Description:

"To film an insect well, when it is crawling, creeping or flying, is a real feat. Francis M. Spoonogle does this with great success. In his film, Backyard Zoo, he has taken completely undirectable creatures and has managed to capture them on film with such intimacy as to give one the feeling that he might be living for a while in the insect world. Unsuspected beauty is revealed in the coloring of caterpillars with normally unseen fur collars. So sharply has he focused on insect life in this beautiful 8mm. film that the "feathers," making up the coating of a butterfly's wings, are almost discernible." Movie Makers, Dec. 1945, 495-496.


Bella Matadora, La [The Beautiful Killer]

Date produced: 1979

Filmmaker(s):

Ángel Bernal

Miguel Ángel Quintana

Description:

La mantis religiosa o “Santa Teresa” es un pequeño insecto que abunda en nuestros campos. En su extraña apariencia encierra instintos caníbales, lo que hace que la hembra, con mucha frecuencia, devore al macho durante o después de su apareamiento. La película recoge los distintos aspectos de la vida de la mantis religiosa. (Bienal de cine científico español, 1983)

The praying mantis or "Saint Theresa" is a small insect abundant in our fields. In its strange appearance, lie cannibal instincts, often provoking the female mantis to devour the male mantis during or after mating. The film depicts the different aspects of the praying mantis' life. (Bienal de cine científico español, 1983)


Birth of a Caterpillar, The

Date produced: 1950

Filmmaker(s):

Jay T. Fox

Description:

"Citheronia Regalis, the Royal Walnut Moth, or Hickory Horned Devil are some of the ringing appellations admiring entomologists have given the colorful caterpillar on which Jay T. Fox has chosen to turn his microcinematographic attention. The result, The Birth of a Caterpillar, is an excellent example of scientific filming. In it, Mr. Fox records the egg, embryonic and finally emerging stages of his subject with sound scientific knowledge, exceptional technical ability and obvious patience." Movie Makers, Dec. 1950, 468.


Butterfly with Four Birthdays, The

Date produced: 1965

Filmmaker(s):

Sidney N. Laverents

Description:

"The Butterfly with Four Birthdays is a well done documentary on the life cycle of the Anise Swallowtail (Papilio Zelicaon). The Zelicaon, often mistaken for the Monarch, lives in the Western United States and lays her eggs on the anise plant, also known as sweet fennel. From the egg comes the baby caterpillar, thirdly the pupa or chrysalis stage, and finally, on its fourth birthday, the butterfly. This film also received the MPD Nature Film Award" PSA Journal, Sept. 1965, 50.


Butterfly, The

Date produced: 1933

Filmmaker(s):

George L. Rohdenburg


Dad and I Took a Walk

Date produced: 1942

Filmmaker(s):

William W. Vincent

Description:

"The recipe for a film like Dad and I Took a Walk sounds simple enough. You take equal parts of Father and Son, add a cupful of scenery, season with judicious pinches of natural science — and cook till done. The secret, apparently, lies with the "cook till done" section; so much depends on the cook. But W. W. Vincent, jr., is a good chef, to judge by the results from his cinematic oven. In clean cut, tripod steady Kodachrome, he and his son are seen roaming the pleasant Wisconsin landscape, with nicely timed pauses to point out, one to the other, a nesting robin, a praying mantis or a bright snake asleep in the warming sun. As the two men discuss their finds, spoken titles are double exposed against appropriate backgrounds or the pages of a bird manual are inserted naturally in full frame closeups. Dad and I Took a Walk is an attractive blend of personal filmdom's most popular subjects — field, family and fauna." Movie Makers, Dec. 1942, 508.


Essence of Life

Date produced: 1955

Filmmaker(s):

G. Clifford Carl

Description:

"The dependence of all living things on water. The physical properties of water; water as a habitat for such creatures as insects, birds, beavers, frogs; use and abuse of water resources by man." (BC Archives)


Eterna Procesión, En [In Eternal Procession]

Date produced: 1971

Filmmaker(s):

Miguel Ángel Quintana

Ángel Bernal

Description:

El documental muestra el ciclo vital de la oruga procesionaria del pino (Thaumetopoea Pityocampa), abundante en bosques de pinos de Europa del Sur y América del Sur y considerada como el insecto defoliador más importante de los pinares españoles.

The documentary shows the life cycle of the pine processionary caterpillar (Thaumetopoea Pityocampa), abundant in Southern European and South American forests, considered as the most important defoliating insect of the Spanish pine forests.


Eye to Eye

Date produced: 1954

Filmmaker(s):

Tullio Pellegrini

Description:

"Eye to Eye, by Tullio Pellegrini, is an instructive and hilarious romp through the insect world, as seen via extension tubes and as scenarized with a sharply satiric sense of humor. Mr. Pellegrini has managed to poke just the right amount of fun at both insects and insect hunters (particularly movie makers) to tickle the most crusty rib in the audience. Among the more madcap moments are a parody of Dragnet, in which a spider lures his hapless victims to their deaths, and a sequence of "Bug-o-Phony" sound, in which (audio-wise) caterpillars make like locomotives and ladybugs like taxicabs" PSA Journal, Jan 1955, 48.


Garden Closeups

Date produced: 1932

Filmmaker(s):

W. T. McCarthy

Description:

"Garden Closeups, by W. T. McCarthy, ACL, demonstrates its right to be placed among the ten best films because of the painstaking care and time expended in its preparation and because of the exceptional results achieved. The film covers a subject which is almost entirely in miniature, but which, in its motion picture interpretation, reveals a whole new world which only the eye of a discriminating filmer and a nature lover could catch. Here are excellent closeups of the common varieties of garden flower, pictured so skillfully that the technique used is forgotten and the actual, living flower seems revealed on the screen, sometimes swaying gently in the breeze, sometimes rifled by a gigantic bumblebee pictured in alarming closeup. Another sequence will show the honeycombed intricacies of a wasp's nest, a time condensation technique showing its gradual cessation of activity as the winter comes on. An outstanding achievement in closeup technique showed the praying mantis in the very unprayerful act of devouring its victim. The film was made almost entirely with the aid of a telephoto lens with special extension, which enabled the patient cameraman to capture his flower and insect subjects from a moderate distance. Focus and exposure alike show the result of painstaking care in Garden Closeups." Movie Makers, Dec. 1932, 560.


Total Pages: 4