The Cinephiliacs: Zoological Surrealism

Podcast interview with James Leo Cahill, author of Zoological Surrealism

An archive-based, in-depth analysis of the surreal nature and science movies of the pioneering French filmmaker Jean PainlevéIn Zoological Surrealism, University of Toronto professor James Leo Cahill explores the wondrously strange history of filmmaker Jean Painlevé, best known for his documentary The Seahorse, and explores the numerous scientific films and how he and his collaborators essentially embraced a different worldview by merging art and science. In this long ranging history, James takes us through his first fascinations with cinema and animals as well as through the numerous unique theories he develops through tracing a transhistorical understanding of Painlevé. Finally, the two embrace every emotion through examining Pom Poko, a curious anime from Studio Ghibli that traces the last years of a dying species and celebrates the way we feel loss....a film quite appropriate for our current moment.


Listen to the interview.