Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

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Friday, June 18, 2010


With so many species vanishing and others yet undiscovered I just watched a marvelous French movie about an elderly butterfly collector and a neglected eight-year-old girl who stows away in his car when he goes into the mountains to seek a rare and possibly extinct species of butterfly.

The movie is out on DVD but the SBS (Oz) version I saw had far better subtitling. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Butterfly_(2002_film

The Butterfly (2002) Le Papillon {France} [Galmuchet].torrent

The movie has its precious moments. Collector Julien and little Elsa watch a deer and her fawn with wonder only
to see the mother gunned down by poachers. Soon after Elsa catches a butterfly for Julien. He puts it in a
jar to die on cyanide and Elsa snarls at him: "Poacher!" Startled at first, the old man has to agree. At one stage the little girl asks: "How did Captain Hook die?" and her answer: "He scratched his balls!" My 6 y.o. grand-daughter thought that was hilarious.

At one level the story shows us details of what butterfly collection is all about- and the pressures that are
causing widespread species extinction. At another it is about human relations - a young mother who has failed to relate to her daughter, an old man who deeply misses his dead son, an unhappy girl who is striving to grow up as fast as she can.

At yet another level the story takes a swipe at those in our society who see sleaze behind every child-adult
relationship. The old man does not have the heart to leave the child in the care of the gendarmerie, and when they are in the wilderness the girl changes the PIN on his mobile and then "loses" the sim chip.

The wilderness scenery is beautiful - alpine meadows with a grey haze of modern pollution in the background.
At the end we watch a butterfly emerging. There are softly erotic glimpses of what the child is growing into and at the end we see all too well that this is also about the transformation of a "feral" urban child into womanhood. Especially touching is the song that old Julien and young Elsa sing together at the end:


Here is my own translation of that song and the included conversation:

E Why do chickens lay eggs?
Because eggs become chickens

E Who do people embrace?
To make the pigeons go "Coo! coo!"

E Who do the flowers fade?
It is the way things are

E Why is there a Devil and a God?
To keep the gossips talking.

E Why does wood burn?
It keeps us warm

E Why does the tide go out?
So we can enjoy the beach

E Why is the weeping willow gone?
To make room for another tree

E Why does the sun go away?
So we can enjoy the sunset

E Why is there a Devil and a God?
To keep the gossips talking.

E Why does the wolf eat the lamb?
Because he has to eat

E What about the hare and the tortoise?
The fastest does not always win

E Why do angels have wings?
It helps us believe in Santa

E Why is there a Devil and a God?
To keep the gossips talking.

Did you like our little journey?

E Yes, very much!

We've seen nice things, ay.

E I would like to have seen grasshoppers...

Grasshoppers!? Why grasshoppers?!

E And! Dragonflies too!

Ok, next time!

E Good! - can I ask you something?

What now?

E Another verse but this time YOU sing.

No way!

E Please!

No! No! No!

E Come on, it's the last verse!

It's a bit much!

E (Chuckle)

Why do our hearts go pitter-patter?
E Because the rain drip drops

Why does time pass so fast?
E Because the wind blows it away!

Why do you hold my hand?
E Because I am happy with you

Why is there a Devil and a God?
E To keep the gossips talking.


Retrieverman said...

When I hear papillon:

First I think of this:http://www.breederretriever.com/photopost/data/570/papillon_1.jpg

Then I think of this:

Christian said...

Reminds me off the film based on Georges Broussard from 2004: