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September 01, 2003

Winged Migration

I have not, historically, had much regard for birds. Sure they can fly, but it comes at a price: brains the size of chick peas and a tendency to shit everywhere indiscriminately.

Winged Migration follows a variety of migratory bird species on their annual treks from warm climes to cold and back again. The gimmick here is that the filmmakers used a grab bag of cinematographic trickery -- including, but not limited to, remote-control cameras disguised as birds -- to give the film a "you are there" immediacy lacking in your typical nature documentary.

It works: The film is certainly gorgeous to look at, and it vividly conveys the sense of flying right along with these birds. There isn't much of an emotional arc here, though; the film strives for something resembling narrative, but ends up just being an hour and a half of flying vignettes. Some of the scenes feel like contrived setups, and some of the music is just awful. But the cinmeatography definitely makes this film worth seeking out on the big screen.

<=> | September 1, 2003


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