It’s believed the machine was built 120 years ago in Paris by Blaise Bontems, a well-known maker of bird automata and was recently refurbished by Michael Start over at The House of Automata.
Singing bird boxes were extremely popular in Europe starting from the 18th century, first as a toy for a privileged few and then later as a more affordable item. Watch this video from The British Clockmaker Ray Bates to see how the bird fit in with the box’s innerworkings:
And below, HD video of a singing bird box made by Jaquet-Droz & Leschot, Switzerland circa 1785:
Watch how this team of kite flyers controls 30 kites in different formations for more than 12 minutes of high winds. You can also see more kites from the festival in this video (in French), including octopus, whale, and dragon designs. Then check out more wind videos and a few kite videos in the archives.
Premier Automne, a short film by French studio Je Regarde, is beautiful and emotional journey that explores nature’s balance: life, death, and the seasons.
Abel and his skeleton puppies live in an eternal winter. Apolline and her summer puppies frolic in the green. Keepers of their own seasons, they first encounter each other with curiosity before they both realize how different their worlds are, and how their worlds respond to each other.
This story sparked a lot of discussion in our house, and the simple last scene has become an instant favorite. If you want to see how the animation was made, there is also a Premier Automne: Making Of video that shows some beautiful detail.