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Minute Bodies: The Intimate World Of F. Percy Smith

A film by Stuart A. Staples
Score by tindersticks

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This meditative, immersive film by tindersticks' Stuart A. Staples is a tribute to the astonishing work and achievements of naturalist, inventor and pioneering British filmmaker F. Percy Smith (1880-1945).

Based in a studio in north London in the early years of the 20th century, Percy Smith developed the use of time-lapse, animation and micro-photographic techniques to capture nature's secrets in action. He worked in a number of public roles, including the Royal Navy and British Instructional Films, Smith was prolific and driven, often directing several films simultaneously, apparently on a mission to explore and capture nature's hidden terrains.

Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith is an interpretative work that combines Smith's original film footage - preserved within the BFI National Archive - with a new contemporary score by tindersticks with Thomas Belhom and Christine Ott. It creates a hypnotic, alien yet familiar dreamscape that connects us to the sense of wonder Smith must have felt as he peered through his own lenses and saw these micro-worlds for the first time.

"A beautiful hypnotic melange." —Patrick Barkham, The Guardian

"Seeps under the audience's skins and into their veins." Pamela Hutchinson, Sight & Sound

"The result is a bewitching, hypnotic look at a remarkable world, but it's also a reminder of what Smith achieved and a celebration of his work." —The Creators Project

2016 BFI London Film Festival
2017 International Film Festival Rotterdam
2017 Goteburg Film Festival
2017 Thessaloniki Film Festival
2017 CPH:DOX
2017 AUDI Dublin International Film Festival 

55 minutes / B&W
Copyright: 2016

For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Ecology, Documentary Films, Experimental Film, Plant Biology, Film History

Watch the trailer:

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