05 August, 2008

He gave us eyes to see them

So here's the thing.

I always meant to watch that BBC "Planet Earth" documentary series that aired a couple of years ago, but I just never remembered that it was on. (I'll probably watch it once I get an HDTV, because watching the show on Blu-Ray should be astonishing.)

In the meantime, I had a bit of a taste of the show with the documentary film Earth (see the trailer here), which was made up of footage from the series edited into a film. The film charts a year in the life of the planet, starting up at the Arctic Circle and travelling down to the South Pole, observing the different animals that inhabit it. It's rather fascinating to watch, if only because it really binds different areas of the planet together - often nature films and documentaries may present locations so different from each other that they seem like completely unrelated worlds. But by presenting the gradual changes in environment, it does a good job in actually presenting the planet as a unified whole, not just a variety of alien environments. And, while the film very deliberately focused its attention on three specific animal species - the (non-tropical-island species of) polar bear, the African elephant, and the humpback whale, they do a really good job in offering glimpses at the wide variety of wildlife on the planet.

I don't really know that I have much to say about the film. It's a fascinating film, and beautiful to watch on the big screen, but the need to cover the entire planet in only 90-odd minutes means it does feel like they've only just started talking about one location when they're suddenly off somewhere else. Still, it's worth seeing, and there are definitely some things I've never seen before (even if only because I never saw the TV series).

No comments: