If you aren't listening to WNYC's fantastic Radiolab
, you're missing out on some of the finest science journalism and curiosity-curation of our time. (The folks at the MacArthur Foundation seem to concur, having just awarded Radiolab producer Jad Abumrad
] the wildly prestigious "genius" grant
.) In an homage to a fascinating recent Radiolab
episode about loops
, which features an almost-aside about how when a whale dies, its body can sustain an entire microcosm of an ecosystem for up to seven years in a poetic death-life loop, director-animator duo Sharon Shattuk and Flora Lichtman, better known as Sweet Fern Productions
, collaborated with Radiolab
's own Lynn Levy on Whale Fall
-- an equally poetic and absolutely stunning paper-cutout stop-motion animation about the afterlife of a whale.
More than a mere feat of visual storytelling or a nod to nature's meticulously orchestrated interdependences, the film is also a lyrical reflection on impermanence and our existence as nodes in something larger, richer, and more complex than our individual lives and egos.