Science on Screen


Directed by Stuart A. Staples

United Kingdom, 2018, 55min, DCP

Science on Screen

There are no current or future screenings planned for this film.

Join us for a discussion after the film with Alex Wild, Curator of Entomology at UT.

“Wondrous! With a pop music mentality, Staples adds many hues to the sense of the sublime inherent in Percy Smith’s awe-inducing work.” —Tanner Tafelski, Hyperallergic

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. (Icarus Films)

Science on Screen® is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.



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