Nuridsany and Pérennou’s Microcosmos: The People of the Grass (1996) as an Invitation to Become-insect

Keywords: Documentary, Macroscopic Cinematography, Engramme, Spiritual Automaton, Environmental Crisis


This article problematises assertions concerning the existence of a minor tradition of French wildlife documentary begun in the 1920s by Jean Painlevé and more recently contributed to through Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou’s Microcosmos: The People of the Grass (1996). What is advanced, instead, is the importance of regarding these directors’ respective films as constituting two different minor traditions. In this regard, the impasses to which the often-surrealist features of Painlevé’s films were a response, are discussed in relation to Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of minor literature and Deleuze’s idea of modern political cinema, or minor cinema. Thereafter, focus shifts on to discussion of the different context out of which Microcosmos emerged, along with the relevance of its unique cinematography for current environmental concerns—particularly because of its capacity to precipitate what Deleuze refers to as a spiritual automaton that stands to catalyse a more ecologically-orientated people to come.


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Author Biography

Adrian Konik, Nelson Mandela University

Nelson Mandela University

School of Language, Media and Culture

Department of Journalism, Media and Philosophy