Rolling Stone raved that Winged Migration, the critically acclaimed, awe-inspiring documentary, is A movie miracle! It soars! You feel privileged! Witness as five film crews follow a rich variety ofbird migrations through 40 countries and each of the seven continents. With teams totalling more than 450 people, 17 pilots and 14 cinematographers used planes, gliders, helicopters and balloons to fly alongside, above, below and in front of their subjects. The result is a film of staggering beautythat Entertainment Weekly hailed as Mesmerizing! and the Los Angeles Times applauded as Breathtaking! As lofty as it is exhilarating! Open your eyes to the wonders of the natural world as you flyalong with the world's most gorgeous birds through areas.
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For earthbound humans, Winged Migration is as close as any of us will get to sharing the sky with our fine feathered friends. It's as if French director Jacques Perrin and his international crew of dedicated filmmakers had been given a full-access pass by Mother Nature herself, with the complete "cooperation" of countless species of migrating birds, all answering to eons of migratory instinct. The film is utterly simple in purpose, with minimal narration and on-screen titles to identify the wondrous varieties of flying wildlife, but its visceral effect is humbling, awesome and magnificently profound. Technically, Perrin surpasses the achievement of his earlier film Microcosmos (which did for insects what this film does for birds), and apart from a few digital skyscapes for poetic effect, this astonishing film uses no special effects whatsoever, with soaring, seemingly miraculous camera work that blesses the viewer with, quite literally, a bird's-eye view. A brief but important hunting scene may upset sensitive viewers and children, but doesn't stop Winged Migration from being essential all-ages viewing. --Jeff ShannonAdditional Features:
The 52-minute making-of documentary on Winged Migration recounts the dangers both birds and crew faced during shooting, and reveals that the crew was able to get close to the birds by using "imprinting" to make them think the crew were their parents. Once you get used to producer-director Jacques Perrin's French accent on the commentary track, you'll hear how he was afraid he'd have to remove the scene in which the World Trade Center is visible, how he doesn't consider the film a documentary as much as "a homage to these beautiful birds," and how there was a happy ending to the film's most disturbing scene. Because the DVD's sound and picture are excellent, the film can serve as a Baraka-like ambient experience if desired. --David Horiuchi
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