'Salt' and 'Depth' screen at Bell Museum Thursday

​A change of scenery would be good right about now. Not to beat a dead horse with yet another weather conversation, but this cold, snowy stuff is for the birds. Perhaps an evening watching sweeping documentaries with photos and time lapses of landscapes far, far away from here would be a welcome distraction?

This Thursday the monthly film night at the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum of Natural History is screening Salt and Depth. One flick takes place in the Australian salt flats, the other in the deep waters of the Adriatic. 

The screening will feature two powerful short documentaries on two contrasting ecological systems. The first, Salt, was born out of annual camping trips by photographer Murray Fredericks to the salt flats of southern Australia. Fredericks uses the desolate terrain to his advantage. The photos, personal diary entries, and time-lapse sequences are moving and beautiful in their simplicity, in spite of empty and seemingly dismal space of the flats. 

​The second documentary Depth is centered on the ecological system found at the greatest depths of the Adriatic Sea. The deep-sea divers featured in the film explore this separate underwater world, taking in magnificence and absolute danger that lies in the deep waters off the coast of Croatia.

The double screening begins at 7 p.m. this Thursday. Tickets are $5 for students and members, $8 for non-members. The screening is part of the Bell Museum and Take-Up Productions series called Ecological Landscapes This Winter, which features a handful of films that examine spots on the Earth where people and nature intersect.