Facets Cinémathèque

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November 27–December 3, 2015

Chicago Theatrical

The Creeping Garden

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Film still: The Creeping Garden Film still: The Creeping Garden
"An improbably delightful documentary... The Creeping Garden is much more entertaining than one could reasonably expect"
"Stylish and quirky... An out-of-left-field nerdy delight"
  —Hollywood Reporter
"[The filmmakers] tease out the depths of their subject with a sly skill, turning a curiosity of nature into a true revelation"
  —New York Times
"[Directors] Grabham and Sharp explore slime molds with a dry wit, showcasing this byproduct of decay in sterile laboratories and shooting the creeping goo (like the Blob in miniature) with a Lynchian beauty"
  —Village Voice
"Absorbing and fascinating"
  —Screen International

Who says you need a work of fiction to take you to the far reaches of space to explore the unusual, beautiful and strange? Enter the world of the slime mould, a microbial life form that exists in thousands of species all around us but is seldom acknowledged or studied. In 1973, a blob-like substance that appeared to be a cross between a fungus and an animal surfaced in Texas, causing some to speculate whether it was a form of alien life. But in fact we were being introduced to plasmodial slime mould: a rare and resilient organism bolstered by a primitive intelligence that treks slowly around forests. They have preferences in terms of diet, where to live, as they form networks and act like a very slow computer. It is also possible to connect them to a device that translates their movement into sounds.

Reminiscent of a science-fiction thriller, The Creeping Garden features stunning macroscopic time-lapse footage that takes us through petri dishes, fungariums and mazes. Additionally, a cadre of scientists, artists and designers collaborate with the mould to make musical compositions, project future population shifts and re-imagine the textures of our world. This amazing experimental film with an esoteric soundtrack by Sonic Youth's Jim O'Rourke is a provocative inquest into a brave new world of unorthodox science, philosophical science fiction, and psychedelic pop art.

Directed by Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp, UK, 2014, 82 mins.


  • Fri., Nov. 27 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Nov. 28 at 3. 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Nov. 29 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Nov., 30–Dec. 3 at 7 & 9 pm
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$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation