Poetic pioneer of science films, Painlevé explored a twilight realm of vampire bats, seahorses, octopi and liquid crystals.
In collaboration with his life-partner Geneviève Hamon, Painlevé made more than 200 science and nature films and was an early champion of the genre. Possessing a remarkable eye for life’s eerie curiosities, Painlevé’s art pivots on the premise that science is fiction. He created a landscape of bug-eyed wonderment marked by a playful sense of nature’s poetry and scandalized the scientific world with a cinema designed to entertain as well as edify. In the process he won over the circle of surrealists and avant-gardists and counted amongst his friends Antonin Artaud, Sergei Eisenstein, Jean Vigo and Luis Buñuel.