Amazing Kids! Magazine

Perry’s Preview Movie Review and Director Interview – Mysteries of the Unseen World

By Perry S. Chen, Amazing Movie Reviews Columnist


Have you ever wondered how much or how little we can see with our own eyes? Well, there are countless phenomena in everyday life that we can’t perceive simply because they are too small, too fast, too slow, or simply invisible! Mysteries of the Unseen World delves into the world of the unseen: invisible light, blooming flowers, and everything down to a single atom of carbon. This movie is all about things that people don’t pay attention or can’t see.

One of the things I really enjoyed and appreciated about this movie was the incorporation of various technologies in the film. With tools like time-lapse and high-speed photography we can begin to see things that we never knew existed. This film shows us that what we see is only a small piece of what is really out there. This is truly a film that will make you say “wow” when you see a side of the world that you never knew before with your very own eyes. For example, you can see individual atoms with a special “scanning tunneling microscope.” In the future, we can use nanotechnology to potentially repair our DNA and clogged arteries.  I give Mysteries of the Unseen World 4 starfish, it’s “Perrific!”

The west coast premiere of Mysteries of the Unseen World took place at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center’s Heikoff Dome Theater. There at the special event, there were cookies, crab cakes in cheese, slices of ham appetizers, and salmon with crispy fried bread. I had the great opportunity to interview the director of this film: Louie Schwartzberg. Louie is a photographer and filmmaker who has spent the last 30 years filming continuously around the clock and won numerous awards. He has spent his career uncovering the mysteries of the nature, the Universe, and the human soul. He is also renowned for his “slice of life” photography; depicting everyday life and experiences. He was also a TEDx speaker in San Francisco, just like me! Watch my interview with him:

Louie believes that “beauty connects us emotionally.”

“The physics of the Universe is everywhere,” he explains, “So it’s easy to see how everything is connected.” Louie told me that he becomes inspired whenever he sees the results of his film, and that he never gets tired of filming as long as he has inspiration. Schwartzberg was primarily self-taught in his art, and only learned the most basic skills in class. “Once you learn the basic skills, you can branch out and develop your own skills, your own voice, and your own style.”

When I asked Louie about how he got interested in filmmaking he replied, “It was easier than turning in written reports because I am a more visual person. I had a gift for it.” “With films you can reach the broadest audience.” he added. “When you shoot at different frame speeds, you realize that you can manipulate time, and when you can manipulate time you realize that the way we look at the world is only one narrow point of view. When you can stretch time or compress time it inspires you to share this new reality.” After I interviewed Louie, I realized that he truly has the gift to see beauty and wonder in everyday life: a skill few possessed in this day and age.  Seeing Mysteries of the Unseen World will inspire you to pay closer attention to the amazing natural world around you.  Louie’s next film is about mushrooms, called Fantastic Fungi, which I look forward to watching.

Watch Louie’s TEDx SF presentation “Gratitude,” which has been seen by over 2 million people: