Rodents of Unusual Size

by on October 29, 2017 at 7:31 am in Film | Permalink

The first love of the very talented team at Tilapia Films that produces many of our videos at MRUniversity isn’t economics (I know, hard to believe) but making documentaries. Their latest, Rodents of Unusual Size, has a world premier Nov. 15 in New York at DocNYC. It’s bound to be great, check it out! Tickets here.

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1 dearieme October 29, 2017 at 8:45 am

Not bloody likely. It’s got “music”.

2 rayward October 29, 2017 at 9:05 am

In the movie The Princess Bride, the hero Wesley is attacked by fearsome Rodents Of Unusual Size (ROUS) in the fire swamp. I have referred to the movie in prior comments, in particular the Battle of Wits between the evil Vizzini and the Man in Black. Vizzini: “Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?” Man in Black: “Yes, morons.”

3 rayward October 29, 2017 at 9:12 am

The Battle of Wits is an exercise in logic; thus, the reference to Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates, and the connection to this blog.

4 The Other Jim October 29, 2017 at 9:21 am

Speaking of MRU have you and Tyler ever thought about producing an AMSR video?

5 Art Deco October 29, 2017 at 9:37 am
6 Art Deco October 29, 2017 at 10:03 am

I like the Avengers because it glorifies the Cuckold lifestyle.

7 Dick the Butcher October 29, 2017 at 10:38 am

First thing that came to mind: Congress.

8 clockwork_prior October 29, 2017 at 11:02 am

At times, this place has a touch of true uniqueness when it comes to how it connects things. Here is a description of the movie – ‘The fragile wetlands of Louisiana are under relentless attack by legions of 20 pound semi-aquatic invasive rodents known as the nutria, which have greatly accelerated coastal erosion and made the bayou much more vulnerable to hurricanes. Keeping the giant swamp rats at bay are a group of colorful and off-beat residents, who are in the midst of defending their land, culture, and way-of-life. Invasive species, environmental issues, and a unique group of people are colliding at the edge of the world in an attempt to restore and protect coastal Louisiana before it disappears.’

9 Dick the Butcher October 29, 2017 at 11:09 am

Do nutria taste good? We’re going to the Lake Charles, LA area in November – new granddaughter.

10 Mark Thorson October 29, 2017 at 11:39 am

If I remember correctly, the nutria were introduced by a restauranteur who had a scheme to raise nutria for food because he thought they were good eating. When that went bust, he just released them into the wild.

11 A Truth Seeker October 29, 2017 at 12:13 pm


12 JWatts October 30, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Indeed, congratulations.

13 Pshrnk October 29, 2017 at 11:26 am
14 peri October 29, 2017 at 11:27 am

I thought, in cloud cuckoo land, there were no invasive species? Only interesting adaptations and super-species that deserve to win and loser niche species that deserve to die out? And all those interesting hybrids like the nutriatallow tree.

15 TMC October 29, 2017 at 1:46 pm

+1 lol undocumented species.

Why can’t we all just get along?

16 Mark Thorson October 29, 2017 at 1:36 pm

By the way, Tilapia is a fish widely grown in fish farming operations. I’ve had it and it’s okay. A somewhat coarse texture to the flesh, but not in a bad way. I would prefer it over catfish. I hardly ever see it offered for sale, but I don’t usually seek out fish. I was surprised when I saw escolar at the Chinese food store where I often shop. If you read up on escolar, it’s kind of a scary fish to eat because of its adverse digestive characteristic, but some people seem to love it.

17 mkt42 October 30, 2017 at 2:51 am

“I hardly ever see it offered for sale, but I don’t usually seek out fish.”

Tilapia’s been pretty commonly available in stores and restaurants on the west coast for years. and both have a variety of frozen and fresh choices for sale.

It’s easy to farm hence inexpensive. But like much white fish, it’s taste though inoffensive is boring.

I had not heard of escolar however. According to wikipedia a substantial amount of tuna that we buy is actually mis-labeled escolar.

18 Mark Thorson October 30, 2017 at 7:56 am

That could be a rude surprise.

19 Kevin Erdmann October 29, 2017 at 2:01 pm

That is a great poster.

20 RustySynapses October 29, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Hardly seems fair to the Capybara – now THAT’s a ROUS. (When my kids were little I used to take them regularly to a zoo that had an outdoor exhibit of them. They are huge – the largest rodent. They are also a lot better looking than a nutria. I can’t speak for the taste. 😉 )

21 mkt42 October 30, 2017 at 2:38 am

Right, from the title I was expecting it to be about capybara, which are not only the largest rodent in the world but seemingly make friends with every other animal:

I still remember seeing a nature documentary in the 1960s showing a capybara entering a river and being attacked and stripped of flesh in a couple of minutes by piranha. There were close-up shots both above and below the water so years later I realized that it had to be a staged scene (meaning artificially set up, the capybara’s death was presumably all too real).

22 Mark Thorson October 30, 2017 at 8:02 am

I wonder how many capybaras had to be fed to the piranhas to get the shots they wanted. Like sexual harassment, I suppose the norms for treatment of animals were different back then.

23 JWatts October 30, 2017 at 4:51 pm

No Animals were harmed in the making of this film.

24 mkt42 October 30, 2017 at 8:19 pm

Also the norms presumably vary by country. In the late 1980s I went with a friend to see a documentary about the lifestyle of modern nomads in Mongolia. They still rely a lot on their livestock — and also hunting. So there were numerous shots of animals and birds getting shot … IIRC the movie aspired to visual artistry so it was a collage of such shots. It also seemed clear, from the steadiness of the camera and the stationarity of the animals, that the animals had been tied down so their shooting could be more conveniently and accurately filmed.

My friend was an animal lover and insisted that we walk out of the film, so we did. If it had been me alone I wouldn’t have walked out, OTOH it did seem like a rather lousy documentary, short on information and long on … highly repetitive clips of captured animals getting shot.

I don’t remember who made the film but my recollection is that it was a local or at least an Asian filmmaker, i.e. another one of the reasons we were interested in seeing it was that it was not yet another Attenborough or Cousteau or National Geographic documentary.

But maybe those Attenborough, Cousteau, and Natl Geo docs are popular for a reason: they’re better films. And kill fewer animals — or are better at hiding it.

I did a nighttime safari in Africa. They had a powerful spotlight to illuminate the various animals, but if the spotlight caught an herbivore they would quickly shift the spotlight off of the animal. They said that if they left the animal in the spotlight, it would be like Batman’s bat-signal to all nearby carnivores who would be able to easily zero in on the hapless target.

But it made me think of the nighttime scenes in the nature documentaries that I’ve seen, and how often they featured illuminated packs of gazelles, zebras, wildebeests, etc.

25 CB October 29, 2017 at 10:19 pm

Nutria taste ok when slow cooked with a spicy cajun marinade. Nutria pelts also make good warm fur coats. The marketing problem is that they are BIG UGLY SWAMP RATS.

26 Michael Stack October 30, 2017 at 10:06 am

Rodents of Unusual Size? I don’t believe they exist.

27 B.B. October 30, 2017 at 11:31 am

Any word about the Giant Rat of Sumatra?

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