Oceans, a film by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, 2010. (Photo: Roberto Rinaldi / Pathé)
Photo: Roberto Rinaldi / Pathé Films

Oceans, the movie


  Between Two Journeys

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

The new feature film by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud will be released this Wednesday, January 27, 2010. I was able to see Oceans in December, well before the official release, and meet the film's team.

I love it when my professional obligations meet my personal passions!

Oceans, a hymn to the sea

Diving friends and lovers of the sea, go see Oceans. The images, made by the greatest underwater filmmakers, are to die for.

New sophisticated shooting techniques (Thetys girostabilized head, underwater torpedoes and mini-helicopter, equipped with camera) immerse you as ever in the heart of the oceans. We become fish among the fish ...

It is not really a documentary, but rather a "hymn to the sea", as my colleague Yvon Lechevestrier rightly writes in the paper I co-signed with him this Monday, January 25, 2010, in Ouest-France. Here is the PDF page, titled Perrin and Cluzaud play the hymn to the sea (or click on the image below to view the article in full size):

Perrin and Cluzaud play the hymn to the sea (article from 25/01/2010 published in Ouest-France for the release of the film Océans)
Perrin and Cluzaud play the hymn to the sea (article of 25/01/2010 published in Ouest-France for the release of the film Oceans)

The madness of Sardine Run

The time given to the film (four years of filming) allowed, during the expeditions, to seize rare and fabulous moments. The sequence of the famous Sardine RunThe annual migration of millions of sardines off the eastern coast of South Africa (a giant feast that attracts birds, dolphins and sharks) is truly mind-boggling.

You have never seen birds passing under your flippers? Here is a video excerpt of my interview with François Sarano for Ouest-France. Professional diver and doctor in oceanography, former member of the Cousteau team, co-founder of the association Longitude 181, he worked as a script guide for Oceans. I love the way he tells the story of the Sardine Run :

And I add below, editing this article in January 2017, nearly seven years after the above interview, this excerpt from People of the oceansThe same spectacular scene of the birds diving under the surface, excerpt broadcast by France 2 via Twitter :

I stay each time taped in front of these fascinating images ...

The trombinoscope of species

It is difficult for me, as a diver and particularly sensitive to the wonders of the underwater world, to be impartial. I loved the movie Oceans !

But another colleague of the newspaper, less fan of fish than me, found the time a little long in company of the whales. And he regretted the lack of "documentary" explanations. He would have liked to know which species were shown, where on the planet the scenes were shot, etc.

I, of course, did not have too much trouble with the identification of most of the fish and other representatives of the underwater fauna. And I must admit that I was quite proud to have personally met and photographed a certain number of them, from the mola mola, at nudibranch

All the "documentary" information (species, location) was in fact to be discovered after or before the screening, on the website ofOceans, set up during the release, very well done (the site now returns on the Pathé page of the DVD). There are lots of videos to see, animals, the making-of ... Again, fascinating.

For the real marine biology buffs (and I know some!), there was even a trombinoscope of the species shown in the film.

Oceans Trombinoscope

Optimistic look

For my part, I really appreciate this bias of Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, the co-directors: they offer us a real cinema film, not a large format documentary.

→ See the movie Oceans on AlloCiné

Of course, it is an "ecological" film, in the air of time. But ecology is not a fashionable phenomenon. And Perrin did not wait for the environmental vogue to pay tribute to the beauty of nature (we remember the Migrating people and of Microcosmos, for the best known films).

And above all, unlike other environmentalists who are highly publicized and sometimes preachy, the two Jacques remain optimistic. They avoid hammering a message or making us feel guilty. "The sea is sick, but there are lots of opportunities for it to be saved." concludes Jacques Perrin at the end of our interview for Ouest-France.

There is a real elegance in their vision as directors, and an immense requirement in their production choices. And as far as raising awareness about the protection of the oceans is concerned, the film is accompanied by an educational operation for children and their teachers. Another intelligent choice, I think.

In short, with this film, they decided to amaze us, letting the oceans speak for themselves... Mission accomplished!

To finish, I give you the trailer below, just to wait, until Wednesday. You will tell me your impressions.


  Between Two Journeys

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  1. Hello,
    I follow the blog regularly so Bravo for this paper on Oceans with the links. As divers, we can't wait to see it, on the big screen! According to the extracts we will only be amazed.
    I also like to identify and compare with our experience, all relative of course...
    We must remain optimistic for the future of the sea. I remember dives in the Mediterranean (Gabinière) where we only saw a grouper; when we see how many there are now...
    See you soon

  2. Hello, well I had this chance in October 😉 and I confirm for all lovers of the sea and diving, run in the rooms, the images are splendid!!! My favorite image is the encounter with the great white, impressive!!! You will understand...

    Run in the rooms and dream!
    Good canvas!


    Ps : Corinne, the Andaman, it is really apart and authentic. Beautiful islands, lovely people, magnificent sites and a place that has remained isolated, but for how much longer...

  3. @Denis B: Yes, François Sarano and Jacques Perrin also cited various examples for which the situation of the underwater fauna and flora is improving... I am very happy that my article makes people want to see the film! For my part, I was really amazed. As a result, I have a huge desire to go back to diving, right now...

    @Manta: Yeah, I know, tough job... 😆 (Actually, considering the amount of work we have otherwise, I'm happy to be able to do more "magazine" stories from time to time, especially when it's a topic I care about).

    @Rod: Ah... yes. The great white, another fantastic sequence !!! As for the Andaman, I'll have to go there for sure... If only I could have my time at my leisure!!!

  4. Don't we get seasick from drinking the cup? 🙂 How much time spent with your head under water? 😆 ❓ Heard the 2 compères on France Inter, which was promoting it, this very morning. He was doing it on Gainbourg itou. Which I liked. Anyway, I'm going to trust Vincent Josse and put on my swimsuit 😉

  5. Hello
    Superb article thank you for sharing this with us
    Me too I had the chance to meet a part of the team on the diving show with divers.com .. what a great adventure.
    See you soon

  6. I have just dived into the universe of Oceans and I thought that Corinne must have blogged about the film since she had seen it before the premiere.
    I let myself be carried by sumptuous images under water, on the surface of the sea. A delight. However, I do not dive, but not at all, I am not a fan of documentary either. I know a little bit about the marine environment and the species. There are some great faces! And one remains dumbfounded in front of the shooting of some scenes, one wonders where the cameraman was. In the mouth of the fish opposite?
    It's true that sometimes I would have appreciated to know the places. Obviously, for Guilvinec no problem... it lacks a little human life, but that's the choice of the directors. I would have liked a little more battles between species, scenes of predators rushing on their preys. The subject remains moralistic, but it should not be surprising since it spoils everything. To be seen for these sublime sequences of fish ballets, the crab war, the polar landscapes, the ships in the storm, the majestic sunsets...

  7. @Richard: All you need is a good sea legs... Put on a neoprene suit instead. The swimsuit is for the beach.

    @Helene from Mauritius: I think that when we are a diver, we appreciate even more, yes!

    @ Krol55: Yes, the film's adventure is just as exciting as the film itself...

    @Nono: Interesting to have your opinion as a non diver. For some spectacular underwater sequences, they replaced the cameraman by an underwater torpedo with an onboard camera... So much so that you really have the impression of being in the school of fish.

  8. Hello
    I just saw in your right column that you have a link to Pierre Poilloux's Photos ? Do you know him ??? He's a friend of mine... I was surprised to see the link here... not for the quality of the photos which are superb, Pierre has in particular a gift for photographing people, but I didn't know that his site was distributed 🙂

  9. @ Krol55: No, I don't know "in real life". Pierre Poilloux, but we liked hanging out in the same corners in Asia (Togian, Derawan ...), and we discussed a lot through this blog, and also via the forum Tashi Delek. His photos are fantastic, I love it.

    I had written a post about his sub photos of manta rays:
    »Dreams of mantas

    Another one where I refer to his gallery "Derawan" :
    »Borneo: projects and dilemmas

    And yet another on the 2009 calendar of Tashi Delek, where I put the general link back to his gallery:
    A family of globe-trotters

    And considering my upcoming projects, I might just make a new link to one of his other albums, again... 🙄

  10. Beautiful film that gives serious desire to put the palms! It's itching here, argh!

    The scene with the birds diving is impressive, like so many others!

    In any case, Jacques Perrin must be an optimist of nature given the situation ...

  11. I don't dive, 😥 brew like an anvil 😳 , but had a great time watching this new look at aquatic fauna 🙂 . No need for 3D or hollywodian avatars. Nature offers all the relief ( but even more the colors no?) and all the shapes possible and not even imaginable.
    It is amusing to note that the fish or crustacean closest to the human, in appearance, reminds, with its humps, Elephant Man: "I am not a mooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnsssssstreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu !!!!!!!!! """"" 😆

  12. Hello
    that's it, I finally went to see Oceans, I am as amazed by the quality of the images and the unusual scenes of this film.
    But I remain on my hunger, 1h30 is too short! when Jacques Perrin announces to have 500h of film, it remains to hope that the DVD will be full of bonuses, still, still images, there are so many things which are not approached in this film, as soon as the exhibition comes out at the Cité de la Mer in Cherbourg, it's sure I'll go there!

  13. @Richard: Even in Avatar, they were inspired by some real underwater creatures for their imaginary creatures ...

    @Laurence: Go see the official website, whose link I give above. There are already a lot of "bonuses" to watch online.