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Minute Bodies: The Intimate World Of F. Percy Smith

This meditative, immersive film by tindersticks' Stuart A. Staples is a tribute to the astonishing work and achievements of naturalist, inventor and pioneering British filmmaker F. Percy Smith (1880-1945).

Based in a studio in north London in the early years of the 20th century, Percy Smith developed the use of time-lapse, animation and micro-photographic techniques to capture nature's secrets in action. He worked in a number of public roles, including the Royal Navy and British Instructional Films, Smith was prolific and driven, often directing several films simultaneously, apparently on a mission to explore and capture nature's hidden terrains.

Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith is an interpretative work that combines Smith's original film footage - preserved within the BFI National Archive - with a new contemporary score by tindersticks with Thomas Belhom and Christine Ott. It creates a hypnotic, alien yet familiar dreamscape that connects us to the sense of wonder Smith must have felt as he peered through his own lenses and saw these micro-worlds for the first time.

"A beautiful hypnotic melange..." —Patrick Barkham, The Guardian

"Seeps under the audience's skins and into their veins" —Pamela Hutchinson, Sight & Sound

"The result is a bewitching, hypnotic look at a remarkable world, but it's also a reminder of what Smith achieved and a celebration of his work." —The Creators Project


Main credits

Smith, Frank Percy (on-screen participant)
Smith, Frank Percy (photographer)
Staples, Stuart A. (film producer)
Staples, Stuart A. (film director)
Staples, Stuart A. (screenwriter)
Staples, Stuart A. (editor of moving image work)
Reeve, David (film producer)
Reeve, David (editor of moving image work)
Belhom, Thomas (composer (expression))
Ott, Christine (composer (expression))

Other credits

Photography and animated sequences by F. Percy Smith; editing by David Reeve and Stuart A. Staples.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Documentary Films
Experimental Film
Plant Biology


; "Minute Bodies"; Docuseek2; "Minute Bodies"; Docuseek2; tindersticks; cinematography; nature; naturalist; F. Percy Smith;

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