Space Station out of this world
By Lee Anne Gillan: At the Movies
The Daily News
Space Station **** Narrated by Tom Cruise. Directed and filmed in space by the astronauts of the International Space Station. Produced and directed by Toni Myers. In 3-D at Imax, Empire Bayers Lake.
See the latest 3-D Imax film, Space Station, for sheer, mind-boggling spectacle. A room full of open-mouthed, gasping Nova Scotians wearing bug goggles is a sight not to be missed. And the movieís pretty amazing, too.
During the building of the International Space Station ó a joint construction project of 16 countries taking place 360 kilometres above the Earth ó astronauts were supplied with special Imax cameras to record their daily life, and the Lego-like process of assembling the station.
Produced by Lockheed Martin and Imax, with the full co-operation of NASA, thereís no analysis here, and only a perfunctory, glossy version of the dangers and mistakes that haunt space travel. The project is boosterism, a giant ad for the space program, and as such, itís pretty darn successful.
Films like this are what 3-D glasses and huge screens were invented for. The view outside the station, is, of course, mind-blowing and expansive, but the view inside is just as fascinating. The space station is, essentially, your dadís garage. There are mysterious tools, strange containers and water bags strapped and stuffed into every available space.
The international flavour of the project isnít quite reflected in the mostly American point of view of the film, and Tom Cruiseís rather heavy-handed narration doesnít help, but there is something about seeing the Earth as it really is, without man-made borders or affiliations of any kind that makes the point of the film in a way that mere sound-bites about international co-operation canít.
Space Station is full of astonishing, you-are-there moments ó a slow, weightless climb up the side of the station, or debris and rocks flung in our face as a shuttle leaves Earth ó but its simple moments are just as magical: like watching a shaving astronaut nonchalantly leave his razor hanging in mid-air as he lathers his face, or as another gets a haircut/ vacuum so the hair doesnít float off into nooks and crannies. Itís fascinating observing the bobbing, floating dance crewmates perform as they move past each other in cramped quarters.
Thereís an inexplicable feeling of freedom that comes with watching these men and women literally and figuratively float free of the world as we know it.
How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?
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