Film Highlight: Omnifest

From 'Amazon'
courtesy of Science Museum of Minnesota

Science Museum of Minnesota, Friday through April 6

The annual Omnifest comes to the Science Museum, featuring six of the most popular recent giant-screen films running in rotation every day. Everest chronicles the grim mountaineering disaster that met the 1996 Himalayan expedition season—which was the well-known subject of Jon Krakauer's gripping bestseller Into Thin Air. Filmmaker David Breashears, aided by a handful of hearty peers and paid Sherpas, hauled a 42-pound camera up to an altitude where people suffer dehydration, muscle decay, and aphasia as a matter of course—not to mention the 500-foot film rolls that needed to be loaded bare-handed in sub-zero temperatures. Yet the IMAX medium is perhaps the only one that can convey the astonishing scale of the mountain and the danger of its terrain, and in that sense Everest is truly a marvel.

In Roar: Lions of the Kalahari a finely aged lion answers the calls of a young competitor. Initially, his roar alone is enough to keep the intruder miles away; however, it's clear that this threat is one that the king—who we learn has ruled his desert watering hole for nearly three years—takes very seriously. Thrusting a simple nature-channel docudrama onto the big screen, the filmmakers have created a fully absorbing experience. Punishing heat waves warble through the theater, elephants stomp playfully across the huge screen, and the requisite aerial shots demonstrate the amazing stretch of territory that the aged lion rules simply through posturing and intimidation.

Other films in the series are The Alps, Amazon, Indonesia: Dance of Life, and Cowboys: Ride Around the World. Reservations are recommended. Visit for show times and more information.

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