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The Cinephiliacs


Apr 30, 2020

As a constant Instagram user, I find it hard not to love the numerous videos of mammals and other species in behavior whose response always comes down to "they're just like us!" But what about that history of cinema that shows us how animals are not like us, and perhaps encourages us to think outside our own worldview. In Zoological Surrealism, University of Toronto professor James Leo Cahill explores the wondrously strange history of filmmaker Jean Painlevé, best known for his documentary The Seahorse, and explores the numerous scientific films and how he and his collaborators essentially embraced a different worldview by merging art and science. In this long ranging history, James takes us through his first fascinations with cinema and animals as well as through the numerous unique theories he develops through tracing a transhistorical understanding of Painlevé. Finally, the two embrace every emotion through examining Pom Poko, a curious anime from Studio Ghibli that traces the last years of a dying species and celebrates the way we feel loss....a film quite appropriate for our current moment.

0:00–7:10 Opening
7:54-13:05 MUBI Sponsorship
13:50–1:32:30 Deep Focus — James Leo Cahill
1:34:35–1:37:35 OVID.TV Sponsorship Section
1:38:21–1:54:08 Double Exposure — Pom Poko (Isao Takahata)
1:54:56–1:56:51 Close