THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY: Our Friend The Mole Cricket

Hi, everybody!

When we interviewed Peter Strickland, director for The Duke of Burgundy, he revealed that his favorite insect was the mole cricket and his favorite insect sound is the mole cricket’s call. And it became clear to me that the heart of The Duke Of Burgundy is not European Erotic Cinema or even the complex negotiations of human relationships. It’s mole crickets.

Things to know about mole crickets:

Mole crickets are in the same order (Orthoptera) as crickets, grasshoppers and leafhoppers of various kinds, but their family (Gryllotalpidae) have developed specialized–and kinda adorable if you look at them a long time–claws for digging. Their rear legs are adapted for helping them push through the ground.

They are nocturnal, omnivorous and hibernate deep beneath the ground in the winter.

Mole crickets might not be strong jumpers, but they can fly, making them a terrestrial, aerial and subterranean triple threat.

As adults, mole crickets are classified as “big-ass”–growing up to an inch and a half or 3-5 cm.

“I am at the heart of cinema itself.”

According to Peter Strickland, golfers and golf course grounds keepers despise mole crickets. My own internet research bears this out.

Male mole crickets create swank dens for female mole crickets to lay their eggs in. The dens act as a resonating chamber for the male’s call.

via Listen To This Noise as is the video below.

And mole crickets make this sound:

Learn more about mole crickets–and love–and loving mole crickets tonight with The Duke Of Burgundy. And make sure to pick up one of Strickland’s recordings of mole cricket song if you get the chance!

THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY screening times:

Saturday, Sept 6th 10:00 PM TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX 1
Monday, Sept 8th 3:15 PM SCOTIABANK 12

This post originally appeared on the Toronto International Film Festival’s Vanguard Program Blog.

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