TV Cream

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Cosmic Zoom/Powers of Ten

And all we got Professor bleeding Popper…AND SO we come to this, made by the redoubtable [cref 896 NFBC], and re-done by IBM-affiliated heads a few years later, it nevertheless instantly caught the eye of anyone watching. BLUE PETER showed it once, PICTURE BOX several dozen times. Immensely memorable all the same. Produced by Charles and Ray Eames, it was originally an animated film which started with a (real-life action) shot of a boy rowing over a lake. The picture freezes, and the camera “zooms” (you see?) in on the boy’s hand, sitting on which is a mosquito. We go past the mosquito and under the skin, right through the blood vessels and into the atomic structure. Then we slow down and come back out the other way. But the reverse-zoom doesn’t end with the lake, it goes on further, showing the whole of Canada, the globe, the Earth as a planet within the solar system until we see the Milky Way. Then we stop again and zoom back in until we’re back at the boy on the lake. Then it melts back into live action and the boy carries on rowing, blissfully unaware of the mind-altering hallucinogenic experience the rest of us have just undergone. Indeed.



  1. B B Beyer

    November 11, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    I’m afraid you’ve got it back to front, as it were…the film actually starts with the reverse-zooming right out of our galaxy in fact into a cluster of galaxies, then zooms back into the boy, and on into the mosquito’s proboscis. I do remember seeing this a kid, but had forgotten all about it until just now!
    And here it is:

    • TV Cream

      November 13, 2009 at 9:45 am

      Hmm, you’re right. We plead Robitussin-induced delirium.

  2. Lee James Turnock

    May 25, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Ideal for projecting onto a big screen while a Pink Floyd tribute band does ‘On the Run’ or (if they’re feeling brave) ‘Echoes’.

  3. Adrian

    February 15, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    It was pretty impressive considering the lack of CGI animation in those days..

  4. Richardpd

    February 15, 2023 at 10:30 pm

    I remember seeing this once or twice.

    There was a similar film which kept zooming into famous paintings to emerge into another one for 10 minutes.

  5. Droogie

    February 16, 2023 at 12:11 am

    Cosmic Zoom had nothing to do with Ray and Charles Eames! They made Power Of Ten . Where the hell were TV Cream getting their info back in 2009? I assume IMDB was around?

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