Station Orbits Into The IMAX
Station 3D, the latest 3D movie at the giant-screen Imax theaters
nationwide, offers 47 minutes of mainly awesome images. The film
is presented by Lockheed Martin Corporation in cooperation with
NASA and directed by Toni Myers. Narrated by Tom Cruise, it focuses
on space exploration as an international exercise in cooperation
requiring the participation of astronauts from America, Russia,
Japan and around the world with a common objective: the construction
of the International Space station scheduled for completion in
The message of all-inclusive cooperation also is relevant to the
classroom. In one scene, an astronaut says: “There are no nationalities
in space.” A good lesson for students, too.
Most awe-inspiring, however, is the way the Imax 3-D process takes
the viewer right along into the astronaut’s life. Astronauts themselves,
trained to get professional results, filmed these scenes inside
the space station. They show astronauts floating weightlessly,
sleeping in pod-like bags tethered to the ship, slurping liquids
out of midair, and making notes on floating clipboards. They wear
shorts and t-shirts with bare feet. Much of the movie was filmed
with a camera attached to the cargo bays of the US Space Shuttle
which gives a grand view of the earth below and the galaxy, too.
There are also resident extraterrestrials — children’s toys as
cheerful reminders of home, hanging out with the rest of the team.
Not all of Space Station 3D was filmed in space. Some sequences
take viewers to a virtual reality lab where the astronauts train,
into a classroom where kids talk via ham radio with the astronauts
in space, and to a spaceport in the desert of Kazakhstan, where
amazingly the blast off seems to break the 3D glasses.
According to a CNN poll, 86 percent of the respondents said they’d
buy a ticket for a space flight if money were no object. The closest
most of us will get at a reasonable price is Space Station
3D at the Imax.# (Not rated; Loews Cineplex, Lincoln Square
& Imax Theater, 66th & Broadway; (212) 50-LOEWS)
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