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  • Short Summary

    Microscopic look at gnat and mosquito larvae.

  • Description

    A Pro Patria presentation produced by British Instructional Films Ltd. Secrets of Nature - Phantoms.

    Shot of a pond then a close up of what looks like a leaf on the water's surface. It is a cluster of gnat eggs. Underwater shot of the eggs hatching downwards into the water. Spiral of eggs in a disc of jelly - this is the home of the gnat's cousin, the "Phantom gnat". Phantom gnats have a much harder job hatching than other gnats as they have to work their way through the jelly. The small creatures in extreme C/U under microscope. The creatures are transparent so internal organs are visible. They balance themselves in the water with the aid of three bubbles inside them. They move around under the microscope. C/U of the Phantom's tail. We see it moving around contrasted with its "cousin" - the real gnat. Extreme C/Us of heads of creatures. Larvae take in air from the surface of the pond. Gnat blows bubbles when it is deprived of air. "The gnat is more heavily moustached than even Old Bill" jokes the narrator. Underwater shot of creatures feeding. The action of its moustache is compared to a vacuum cleaner "It beats, as it sweeps, as it cleans..." C/U of heads of gnats compared to heads of "Phantoms." Food travelling through parts of the transparent body is shown. The "False Phantom" is featured. Shots of gnat larvae hatching. The Phantom sheds its skin. The Phantom hatches as it emerges from the water - looks like a grasshopper. Another Phantom hatches then stands on the water. Real gnats hatch - seen from various angles. A bizarre shot of a model of a gnat stinging an unidentified object. (Looks like a modified "Bertie the bee" seen in various "Secrets of Nature" films.) Posh, jokey commentary throughout and jaunty music.

    Note: according to Secrets of Nature filmography there were two films called "Phantoms", one about Gnats (1926) and the other about Gnats and Mosquitoes (1930). I would predict that a soundtrack was added to the earlier silent film and it was re-released in 1930 with sound.
    Small section of the neg has been removed due to decomposition (approx 20 ft). Use print if possible.

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  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:00:02:00 / 01:08:39:00

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