Roughly 108 billion people have ever lived on Earth. A little over 500 of those have achieved spaceflight. Unless Elon Musk and Richard Branson get their act together, the chances of any of us getting up anywhere near there are very slim.
A Beautiful Planet 3D represents a couple of things. First is an opportunity to experience some of what the astronauts who live and work in the International Space Station have as their routine, such as exercising, personal grooming, maintenance, or spacewalks. The second is more simple – looking back on the surface of the planet from a vantage point none of us will ever see.
If there’s any negatives about the film, it’s that it doesn’t trust itself as much as it could. The moral – seeing the Earth as a spaceship, carrying all of humanity through space, so we better look after it – would be better served not being so explicitly pushed in the voiceover (provided by Jennifer Lawrence). Retired astronaut, Marsha Ivins, introduced the film and said only 15% of the footage they shot was included. This unused footage would have been welcomed, especially if it meant shifting the script from didactic to more philosophical.
While an early spinning astronaut POV shot almost had me losing the complimentary Honeycomb Choc-Top I had just consumed, the 3D was lovely, particularly on that enormous IMAX screen. The tone was solemn in most places, even meditative, but also had its lighter moments. The news that Italy had designed the only espresso machine to work in space was both a delight, as well as no surprise in hindsight.
Terrence Malick’s, The Voyage of Time is still some time away, but for now you can get a glorious fix of all the incredible visuals you need here.
Image: Still from A Beautiful Planet 3D (supplied)
Review: Div Collins