Reviews

Winged Migration

3

As a wise, silver-haired sage once intoned, ""Pointy birds, oh pointy pointy"." Well, actor-turned-director Jacques Perrin's latest naturama has pointy birds, flighty birds, fighty birds, dainty birds and oh-so-many-morey birds. Like his excellent bug-epic Microcosmos, this three-years-in-the-making account of avian migration contains no Attenborough-esque explanations, instead opting to let its beautiful visuals do all the work while hinting at dialogue-free mini-plots concerning its beady-eyed subjects.

Well, most of the time. It's thrilling to follow a flock of geese in flight (Perrin used balloons, mini-planes and gliders to pull off some of his spectacular shots); amusing to see penguins fall arse over beak; and upsetting to watch a bird with a broken wing be hunted down and killed by a pack of crabs. But Perrin's taste in music sucks. Childlike soprano chirpings pierce the eardrums while Clannad-style warblings scrape a cheese-grater across the brain.

On Microcosmos, this was just about bearable. Here, it ain't. Then there's his predilection for inserting the occasional nose-wrinklingly pretentious voiceover, plus a feather-brained decision to include the odd visual effect, which, in contrast to nature's own work, looks rather crass.

But Winged Migration will still impress, whether you're dive-bombing with gannets or watching a ballet of preening storks. If you can turn the sound down in your head, that is.

Film Details

  • U
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: September 5th 2003

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