American Museum of Natural History's Unseen is a Must See
By Jan Aaron
The Natural Geographic film “Mysteries of the Unseen World” lives up to its title: Directed by Louis Schwartzberg, it offers an incredible, intimate experience in its depiction of nature scenes that are too tiny, slow or too fast for our normal eyes. Some American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) films are for kids. This film is for everyone. And everyone is sure to come away shaking their heads in disbelief at what they’ve seen. The filmmaker uses many different techniques to capture a variety of sights like a lizard a scooting across water and lightening descending from in the sky and ascending from the ground. If we possessed x-ray vision like some comic book characters, we would view life like this, and also see the various rays – gamma rays, microwaves, and radio waves.
Mr. Schwartzberg’s expert time-lapse photography shows us through various techniques some unpleasant sights like lizards spreading slime and the idyllic like plants creeping toward the sky. We see close-ups the tiny structures supporting a butterfly wing. And (ugh), the tiny organisms that thrive on our bodies, making you feel you need a shower. Narrated by Forest Whitaker, the film uses some computer animations toward the end, which breaks the mood. But the film is still an outstanding look at our unseen world. (until June 29, 2-D and 3-D showings). While at the museum, be sure to see the new exhibit “Petorsaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs,” a truly awesome experience, with terrific interactive opportunities. #