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Creeping Garden, The – Arrow Academy USA (BluRay / DVD / CD Combo) 
Written by: on March 15th, 2017

Theatrical Release Date: UK, 2014
Directors: Tim Grabham, Jasper Sharp
Cast: Mark Pagnell, Heather Barnett, Bryn Dentinger, Tim Boon, Andrew Adamatsky, Klaus-Peter Zauner, Jeff Jones, Ella Gale, Eduardo Reck Miranda

BluRay released: March 13th, 2017 (UK), March 28th, 2017 (USA)
Approximate running times: 84 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: NR
Sound: LPCM Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Arrow Academy USA
Region Coding: Region Free / Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $39.95 (USA) / £24.99 (UK)

“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.” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor

Content wise, this documentary does a great job presenting its subject. The narrative structure is a well-constructed and the film’s visuals do a superb job reinforcing the information which is begin verbally relayed by the various participants. Another strength of this documentary is the pitch perfect fusion of the visuals and composer Jim O’Rourke’s Avant Garde score.

Documentaries by their nature are usually geared for a specific audience and though this film most definitely falls into what one would call niche cinema. The end result is a fascinating glimpse into a world that most viewers should thoroughly enjoy.

The BluRay:

The Creeping Garden comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. This transfer does a great job retaining the intended look of the source and there are no issues with compression.

This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM audio mix in Stereo and included with this release is removable English SDH subtitles. The audio sounds clear and balanced throughout.

Extras for this release include, an image gallery, the U.S. theatrical trailer for the film (35 seconds), Angela Mele’s animated slime moulds (2 minutes 48 seconds), Return to the Fungarium, is a featurette revealing further treasures of the fungarium at Kew Gardens (3 minutes 3 seconds), Feeding Habits of Physarum, is a featurette on the feeding preferences and dislikes of slime moulds (2 minutes 19 seconds, with optional English subtitles), Biocomputer Music, is a short film by Grabham on the first biocomputer music system, allowing a two-way musical dialogue between man and slime mould (6 minutes 6 seconds), three cinema iloobia short films: Milk (1 minute 1 second), Rotten (1 minute 16 seconds) and Paramusical Ensemble (9 minutes 43 seconds) and an audio commentary with directors Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp.

Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, the origins of the film, why the film took several years to make, composer Jim O’Rourke and the score, slime moulds, technical obstacles they faced while making this film and what they were trying to achieve with this film.

Rounding out the extras is a CD featuring the rearranged soundtrack to The Creeping Garden by legendary producer and musician Jim O’Rourke, reversible cover art and a booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled Articulating the Organism: The Genesis of The Creeping Garden Documentary written by Jasper Sharp, a gallery of selected myxomycetes specimens in the collection of the South London Botanical Institute and information about the transfer.

Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall The Creeping Garden gets a solid release from Arrow Academy.

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