A Beautiful Planet
Time Out says
This Imax film, narrated by Jennifer Lawrence, comes from a team well-seasoned in making films shot in space: its writer-director-producer-editor Toni Myers was behind films including ‘Hubble 3D’ and ‘Space Station 3D’. But it’s the first such film to be shot with digital cameras, and Myers and her team, as usual, delegated much of the actual filming to a small team of astronauts aboard the International Space Station over a 15-month period. Partly, ‘A Beautiful Planet’ is a portrait of life aboard the ISS, with scenes of astronauts making coffee in zero gravity or, more seriously, doing some external repair work – although this element is fairly superficial if always interesting. Partly, it offers a new perspective of Earth from space – the night scenes (previously impossible to capture on real film) are staggering: we glide over our planet, crossing continents, with cities clearly lit up alongside the inky void of rural areas. And, partly, it’s a campaigning film: it urges us to consider ‘spaceship Earth’ and equate the community and solidarity of a space station with what’s needed to stop our planet from going to the dogs environmentally (images from space of depleted, burning Brazilian rainforests are especially depressing). You can’t help but be wowed by the imagery here, made all the more impressive by the large format and 3D. It’s thoughtful escapism for adults; it’s essential viewing for kids.