Synopsis by Mark Deming
Filmmaker David Lebrun casts his eye on the evolution of art, science, and the world around us in this fusion of documentary and experimental forms. Ernst Haeckel was a 19th Century biologist with a keen interest in art; he found a way to merge these two disciplines when he published the book Art Forms in Nature, in which he offered detailed sketches of nearly 4,000 different single-celled organisms. As Lebrun tells the story of Haeckel and his work, he meditates upon the vision shared by the artists and scientist and other great minds of the age, and uses Haeckel's images as a jumping off point for his own visual explorations. Proteus received its world premier at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
vision [mystical], art, imagination, organisms, science, undersea, metamorphosis, myth, biology, materialism, natural-history, poetry, religion, unconscious