When you attend an IMAX feature, you expect at least a couple of things. The first is an awesome collection of images that comes off the giant screen with, at times, a dizzying intensity. The second, often enough, is a lecture.
Now, astounding visuals are why we go to the IMAX. And many of the images included in the film “The Living Sea” (which opens today) are truly amazing.
Lectures, on the other hand, are what keep some of us away. Whether the film is another simplistic study of a historical event or another explanation of, say, wildebeest migration, IMAX technology doesn’t always overcome the material some IMAX filmmakers choose to explore.
Which is why “The Living Sea” is so enjoyable. Director Greg MacGillivray has made a film that intentionally addresses the delicate nature of Earth’s environment without preaching about it.Which it does.
Narrated by Meryl Streep, whose smooth voice is underscored by the songs of pop/jazz musician Sting, “The Living Sea” blends facts with that thrilling big-screen feel.
Thus we learn about wave action, as we either crash through the surf off Cape Disappointment, Ore., in a Coast Guard rescue boat, or as we ride the wild surf off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii.
We learn about the resurgence of the humpback whale, thanks to hunting restrictions, as we swim with the huge mammals.
And we dive with researchers as they talk about the jellyfish that live in Palau’s Jellyfish Lake, a habitat unique to this island chain located some 400 miles east of the Philippines.
“The Living Sea” doesn’t rank with the very best of IMAX efforts, such as “The Blue Planet.” But it may offer the next best thing: painless education.
xxxx “The Living Sea” Location: IMAX Theatre Credits: Directed by Greg MacGillivray and narrated by Meryl Streep to the music of Sting Running time: 43 minutes Rating: Not rated