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Explore a Planet Made of Fungus, Stanley Kubrick-Style

Philip Klawitter's new short film 'Micro Infinito' takes Stanley Kubrick and Alfonso Cuarón's space cinematography to the microscopic realm.

by Beckett Mufson
16 April 2015, 2:30pm

Images courtesy the artist

A slow zoom over an alien planet fades into an infinite sea of stars in Chilean filmmaker and multimedia artist Philip Klawitter's new short, Micro Infinito. The film was shot using the same cinematic tricks Stanley Kubrick used to build the world of 2001: A Space Odyssey—but with a biological twist: Klawitter's alien planet is actually a dolly timelapse of cultivated fungus, shot frame by frame to create the illusion of a rotating celestial body, and his stars are bubbles floating through a glass of water. "The mold adds an incredible amount of complexity to any surface," he explains to The Creators Project. "The idea behind growing the mold was to generate, almost like a procedural generation, micro structures, beyond what my hand would be able to manipulate. They did all the work for me." That's how he can get a shot that looks like it's from Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity—another of his big influences—without millions of dollars' worth of computer images.

Micro Infinito is the second in an ongoing series of experiments with scale, design, and fungus, versions of which have been shown in the Santiago Media Arts and been nominated for Beca FAMA by Foundation AMA. Klawitter is now working with a group of microbiologists to delve even deeper into the randomly-generated worlds that he creates, and is building a brand new set for the next installment of the film. Check out Micro Infinito below:

Visit the Micro Infinito website for more information, and Philip Klawitter's Vimeo channel for more timelapses and videos.

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