Week 4 Case Study: Music and Biology

I found this week’s lecture really interesting that combined the behavior of the animal with the music. Jean Painlevé who was a French biological cinematographer and naturalist filmmaker. He had more than 200 film works and most of those art works were about aquatic. He was not only a filmmaker but had knowledge of science.

painleveThis is the underwater boxed camera that Jean Painlevé used to shooting the film underwater.

The Love Life of the Octopus was one of his works which we had watched in Thursday’s lecture. The $T2eC16R,!yEE9s5jFRm!BR)9UyRHYg~~48_35most interested part I found in this video started from 5:10 that the background music might produced by an instrument with non-smooth surface such as the on in the picture on the right which we could use a stick to make the music. And it was also interested that Jean Painlevé captured the moment that the octopus eating a crab. It was really important at that time that Jean Painlevé made these videos. He not only introduce the animals that people at that time did not know very well but he also combined it with the music to make it as an art piece. His video could still be found on YouTube now. The video he took were all natural without modifying that could provide people of the real knowledge of the life of these animals.

L’Hippocampe was also interesting too. Both of these two videos were introducing the life of the aquatic and the most of the video was talking about the “love life,” which let the audience understand the life of these animals under water which people would not usually familiar with. With the music and the voice over could make the audience understand the thing that Jean Painlevé wanted to introduce to us and also could make the audience more interested in it. With the music, people could focus on the video more because the video was not only the image. Compared to other old black and white film in the past, the film nowadays are usually more colorful and with the background music which could grab the audiences’ attention. Therefore, Jean Painlevé’s video attracted me a lot and it was really amazing that he tried to match all the sound with the image which would take him lots of time and work from shooting the video to editing it.

Tzu-Hsien (Anna) Yang


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