Tag Archives: Nature

Aronofsky’s “Postcard from Earth” a Must-See Nature Film at Vegas Sphere

A new movie built for a special venue is engineered to blow your mind and, despite its gargantuan magnitude, possesses small spellbinding ways to change the way audiences view our world. There hasn’t been an immersive movie before quite like Darren Aronofsky’s Postcard from Earth (A-), developed as an installation for The Sphere in Las Vegas and building on a grand tradition that makes CinemaScope, Cinerama, IMAX and even Disney’s Soarin’ look like tiny canvasses. The sheer technological audacity of 18K resolution images by new Big Sky cameras, a flood of 500,000 gigabytes of data on a 160,000 foot domed video screen 35 stories high featuring 270 degrees of viewing experience, climate control, 4D haptic capabilities for the venue’s seating, and scents to create an immersive environment makes for a cinematic wonder to behold.  Aronofsky’s blend of a sci-fi framing device and majestic imagery of nature and civilizations chronicles the story of life on Earth with both dreamlike plaintiveness and pulse-pounding urgency. On a distant planet, astronauts Byron (Brandon Santana) and Fang (Zaya Ribeiro) land in a state of stasis to be reminded of the earth where they one lived. What follows is a nearly hourlong narrated journey of spectacular footage across seven continents to witness glorious plains and prairies, wondrous oceans and canyons, breathtaking cathedrals and cityscapes and humans and animals in daily rituals paying homage to earth’s glory or harming it. The director wields both a telescope and a microscope to showcase parades of elephants, the panorama of hikers atop the highest mountaintops or revelers celebrating high holy days as well as the smallest creatures in their own habitats. The music is triumphant. 4D effects conjure thunder, wind and rocket propulsion directly to the seats of audience members, as faint scents of nature briefly waft through the auditorium. It’s a picturesque love letter to Mother Earth on a screen four football fields large, with so much epic visual splendor at times, you’ll want to crane your neck to see even more. The “save the planet” message is clear and not nearly as preachy as it could have been given the filmmaker’s proclivity for characters obsessed with creation myths. The film is a must-see; and, in its poetic and transfixing beauty, has the capacity to bring people together in newfound respect for our precious resources and glorious planet home.

Sundance Documentary ”Every Little Thing” Shows Hummingbirds Learning to Fly Again


A surprising film debuted at Sundance 2024, and you could say it’s got buzz. And whistles, beeps and chirps. Sally Aitken’s documentary Every Little Thing (B) is a gentle, non-ironic glimpse at the life’s work  of a West coast woman named Terry Masear, who operates a hummingbird rescue mission out of her L.A. home. This consummate and patient healer’s own wounded background undergirds the true tale, but the recovering birds are really center cage in this realm, each with cute names and back stories as they begin their fragile resurgence. Aitken gently follows some amazing animals in startling close-up as they learn their flights of fancy again. Like March of the Penguins, it’s a canny diorama exploring the sociological machinations of a bird order. This engaging journey is quietly observant, inspiring and entertaining.