Garden Party

In creating "Moth & Moon," local experimental filmmaker Paul Clipson turned his camera on the symphony of life played out by the small, sometimes off-putting residents of Golden Gate Park — the insects and the arachnids. His startlingly rich, hypnotic images, shot in super close-up in Super 8mm, are saturated in color and detail, with backgrounds reduced to hazy atmospheres. Clipson's take has less to do with the hi-def nature porn of the Discovery Channel than surrealist films, owing to the lingering shots of the various proboscises, mouthparts, and compound eyes of his subjects. Watching the industrious bugs going about their wildly inconceivable lives among the flowers, you can't help but reflect on a certain young man who woke one morning from uneasy dreams to find himself transformed into a gigantic insect. Ever the local filmmaker, Clipson shot all his footage in the Botanical Gardens, bringing a new perspective to those celebrated acres.

Today, his delicate, mesmerizing footage gets a further emotional wallop at March Music and Movies: Micro-Insect Cinema, thanks to live accompaniment by sound artist and frequent collaborator Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, founder of Tarentel, whose blissed-out tones add another layer of wonder to the unknowable critters.
Sat., March 15, 2 p.m., 2008

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