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Compound Eyes

Compound Eyes

In this series of short works, local Super-8 filmmaker and Exploratorium Cinema Artist-in-Residence Paul Clipson gets up close and personal with a dynamic cast of dragonflies, spiders, ants, butterflies, and slugs. These lyrical and concentrated studies—filmed in the Golden Gate Park Botanical Gardens, at the California Academy of Sciences and in other parts of San Francisco—reveal the world as more complicated, ugly, and beautiful than we ever imagined. Compound Eyes premiered during the September 2011 After Dark: Extended Cinemas with live accompaniment of a newly commissioned soundtrack by Berlin-based musician Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. The film was also screened in the Mind Cinema from September 6–October 2, 2011.

  1. Compound Eyes (color/b&w, 7 minutes): A macro-menagerie of natural lifeforms are introduced in a forest’s tapestry of earth, water and air. Spiders, slugs, flies, bees, and ants navigate their lives in darkness and light.
  2. Odonata (color, 5 minutes): The expectations of damselflies, skyscrapers and all of the indeterminate space between them.
  3. Diptera and Lepidoptera (color, 5 minutes): Flies and butterflies pollinate in a series of beautiful landing maneuvers.
  4. Araneae (color/b&w, 5 minutes): The fear dream of a spider, a web, and a factory.
  5. Caridea and Ichthyes (color, 6 minutes): Fish and crustaceans appear to swim within an ether of natural and unnatural energies.