Monday, November 7, 2016

Attenborough, Wes Anderson, and Biology Class

Three years ago, I was sitting in my university biology class.  It was 9am, I had just come from my 7:45 french class.  So I was still sleepy as can be.  My biology class didn't do anything to keep me awake either.  We sat in the dark and looked at power pointed lectures given by my ornithology specializing professor who was known as Birdman.

The semestre progressed and we worked our way up life's levels of complexity.  I had just seen Wes Anderson's Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, just in time for our chapter on marine biology.  We talked about everything from zooplankton and sea squirts to cuttlefish and the giant squid.

For some reason, my professor decided not to teach this segment and instead elected to show us a David Attenborough film.  I have no idea which film it was.  All I remember is that it had a '60s/'70s vibe.  David was rather young still.  For some reason it took two weeks of class to get through this movie, although I didn't mind.  I really enjoyed the movie and, lets be honest, no lecture.

The film had beautiful visuals of reefs and fish.  It followed every type of swimming life imaginable.  The two scenes I remember most clearly are:
1. David Attenborough squatting on a rock in start beige shorts getting hit by a giant wave.
2. The mating dance of Cuttlefish.

Early morning memory is very weird in what it selects to preserve over three years.  I talk about my memory like it's some separate entity.  Anyway, Wes' movie and this D.A. documentary imprinted themselves on me.

Often times during those weeks, I would doze off whilst leaning head on hand.  It was a strange thing, but at times I felt like I was in the documentary.  As if I was one of the rays or cleaning shrimp.  I floated around in the surreal sea surrounded by sharks and sand dollars.  I passed in and out of my subconscious dream state, but never leaving the oceans.  And whether I was in or out, David Attenborough narrated.  I usually woke up when my prof would pause the film to point something out.

Still, the glow of blues and greens washed over my fellow merstudents and I.  The classroom was like a scientific fish tank.

Why do I tell you all this?  Because I watched a VSauce video today, where Michael interviews none other than Sir David Attenborough about Planet Earth II.

One of my film ideas, this one, that I advertised open crewing/casting for, is at its foundational level inspired by this biology class documentary and Life Aquatic.  I say foundational because without these influences, my love for the sea and marine life wouldn't be nearly as strong.  That love is why I want to make a nautical themed film.

After biology I went to political science.  I would barely make it through, even when I'd brought coffee with me to get me through.  Wow, that was when I seriously started drinking coffee, I now realize.  What a formative time of my life!  Man.

Anyway, please comment, share via internet or message in a bottle, etc.

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