Blu-ray Movie Review – The Creeping Garden

The Creeping Garden
Directed by Tim Grabham & Jasper Sharp
Courtesy of Arrow Academy & MVD Distribution
Original Year of Release: 2014
Release Date: March 28, 2017

I’ve seen some interesting, fascinating, and downright freaky stuff in my 40+ years on this planet, but I am continuously impressed with the amount of new material that pops up to fit that bill on a daily basis these days. It seems like many of these noteworthy tidbits are in the realm of science, and probably rightfully so: we create new ways to study the world around us at about the same rate that we learn things about it.

THE CREEPING GARDEN is a captivating look at a little-known aspect of the world beneath us: slime molds. If you have never heard of slime molds, you are not alone; this uncommon branch of mycology (the study of fungi) is a newly emerging field, and as such, information about it has been slow to reach the general public. THE CREEPING GARDEN offers a unique and entertaining glimpse into this fascinating world.

If you are not familiar with THE CREEPING GARDEN, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Arrow Academy & MVD Distribution:

A REAL-LIFE SCIENCE-FICTION MOVIE EXPLORING A WORLD CREEPING RIGHT BENEATH OUR FEET, WHERE TIME AND SPACE ARE MAGNIFIED AND INTELLIGENCE REDEFINED.

The Creeping Garden is an award-winning feature-length creative documentary exploring the extraordinary world of the plasmodial slime mould as revealed through the eyes of the fringe scientists, mycologists and artists who work with them.

Long overlooked by biologists, in recent years this curious organism has become the focus of much research in such areas as biological-inspired design, emergence theory, unconventional computing and robot engineering, much of which borders on the world of science fiction. The film transports us from the laboratory into its natural habitat, depicting these otherworldly lifeforms using startling time-lapse macro-cinematography to reveal hidden facets of the world around us.

Co-directed by the artist film-maker Tim Grabham (KanZeOn) and author and film critic Jasper Sharp, with an original soundtrack composed by celebrated musician and producer Jim O Rourke (Sonic Youth, Grizzly Man), The Creeping Garden is a unique exploration into a hitherto untapped subject matter, immersing the viewer within the worlds of the observers and the observed.

This documentary is one of the most visually appealing works I’ve seen in a long time. The imagery it presents is bizarre and abstract but beautiful and mysterious at the same time. If you watch this film, and I suggest you do, be prepared for a chromatic feast.

THE CREEPING GARDEN is shot well and, as mentioned, offers high definition, vivid visuals to accentuate the information it presents. I can see why some viewers have called this a true-life science fiction film because it offers a spectacle much like a Kubrick film.

The subject matter is approached cautiously, so as to inform as well as entertain. This is one of the big reasons I enjoyed the film so much; I didn’t feel at all like it was talking down to me, and I didn’t too difficult of a time understanding what was being explained. I’m not sure how well I could relay what I learned, but I feel more knowledgeable about slime molds and the like than before.

THE CREEPING GARDEN is a beautiful and entrancing film, and I recommend it. The striking imagery is accompanied nicely with a new-age style soundtrack, which is available on a separate disk in this set. Also included are some interesting special features that include:

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
* High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
* Original 2.0 audio (uncompressed on the Blu-ray)
* Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
* Audio commentary by directors Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp
* Biocomputer Music, a short film by Grabham on the first biocomputer music system, allowing a two-way musical dialogue between man and slime mould
* Return to the Fungarium, a featurette revealing further treasures of the fungarium at Kew Gardens
* Feeding Habits of Physarum, a featurette on the feeding preferences and dislikes of slime moulds
* Three cinema iloobia short films: Milk (2009), Rotten (2012) and Paramusical Ensemble (2015)
* Angela Mele’s animated slime moulds
* Gallery
* US theatrical trailer
* Reversible sleeve featuring two pieces of original artwork
* THE CREEPING GARDEN SOUNDTRACK [Limited Edition Exclusive]
* Bonus CD containing the rearranged soundtrack to The Creeping Garden by legendary producer and musician Jim O’Rourke
PLUS… FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet containing writing on the film by Jasper Sharp

THE CREEPING GARDEN is available now.

MSB

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