Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Some Life

I had been hoping to watch some of the DVDs from Attenborough's Life series during fasting month, but things just didn't work out. So now I'm putting that right. Two episodes in two days constitutes a good start, and has left me wondering how I left off watching for so long.

As usual watching this kind of documentary (Life on Earth - The Blue Planet - Planet Earth) raises the fascinating question - for me, at least - of how to classify the experience. If this isn't art I don't know what is. Visually exquisite, sonically powerful.

Today I was struck by the perfection of Sir David's commentary. Direct, unfussy, insightful. And moving. The pictures speak for themselves in terms of the wonder and grandeur (even in minute particulars) of the natural world but he invests it with, paradoxically, a sense of humanity. The sequence of the octopus mother inevitably dying (from lack of food) after tending her brood in the first episode, The Challenges of Life, achieved an archetypal power through its very reticence.

And eight more episodes to go!

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