9. The Cameraman’s Revenge – Władysław Starewicz


SUMMARY: A married couple, both cheating on each other, fall victim to the voyeuristic activities of a jealous cameraman. The drama is played out by insects.

WHY IT’S HERE: Of the many insect films made by Russian animator Władysław Starewicz, ‘The Cameraman’s Revenge’ is the most famous and critically acclaimed. It’s distinctly adult story of adulterous spouses is given an absurdist edge by the fact that the husband and wife are beetles and the jealous cameraman who exposes them is a grasshopper. Starewicz’s film can be a little hard to follow if you don’t know the story in advance (although there are various versions with helpful title cards, as well as at least one that fudges the story completely and makes it about siblings, blunting the film’s edge in the process). The insects can be hard to tell apart but they are beautifully animated in skin-crawlingly realistic fashion. The audience may laugh at the insects’ antics but, ultimately it is human behaviour that is being lampooned with the insects as a surrogate.


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