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I've just been watching a series of short films exhibited online by the artist-moving-image agency Lux in honor of the 200th year of Darwin's birth. They've put up four videos that consider, in their words, "Darwin's complex legacy".

while-darwin-sleepsI've just been watching a series of short films exhibited online by the artist-moving-image agency Lux in honor of the 200th year of Darwin's birth. They've put up four videos that consider, in their words, "Darwin's complex legacy".

There are a couple of real gems there; go have a look. In particular:

Paul Bush's While Darwin Sleeps 2004 (illustrated) is a four-minute film that animates 3,000 dead long-dead insect specimens, cunningly using their very diversity to bring them alive again.

And Ben River's wonderfully slow and measured Origin of the Species 2008 is a portrait of an unnamed auto-didact hermit, fascinated by the big questions of life and nature. In occasional moments of voice-over reflects on them from the solitude of his woodland hut. Among the gems of wisdom he dispenses is this one, which I particularly love:

"Man's brain. It evolved real quick. And it's trouble. It's just trouble."

Go to the Lux collection of Darwin-related films.

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