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Marbles IMAX wraps week of space films

August 29, 2018
Saturn shines in NC sky

The Marbles IMAX theater in Raleigh wraps up a week of space-focused movies on Thursday four films that share the beauty of space and make us think a bit about our place in it.

This independent film created by Greensboro’s Stephen van Vuuren and narrated by LeVar Burton was created from more than 7.5 million space photographs. “In Saturn’s Rings” celebrates the beauty of our solar system and beyond in a journey from the Big Bang through the rings of Saturn. Music includes Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” by The Greensboro Symphony Orchestra.

The film was created by van Vuuren and a small army of image processing volunteers from real photos from Hubble, Cassini and other NASA space telescopes painstakingly animated entirely in Adobe After Effects over 12 years.

An early, incomplete cut was previewed on Marbles’ screen several years ago, but this is the first showing of the completed 40-minute film.

Disclaimer: I was among the educational advisors on “In Saturn’s Rings.”

To honor its 50th anniversary, Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction epic “2001: A Space Odyssey” was released for a one-week limited engagement for the first time in IMAX. Nominated for four academy awards including best director, best screenplay and best art direction, it won for best visual effects. In 1991, the Library of Congress added it to the National Film Registry for preservation.

“2001” is widely considered one of the most influential films of all times, opening the door not just for popcorn sci-fi films like “Star Wars” and “Close Encounters” but also for more cerebral sci-fi such as “Blade Runner,” “Moon” and “Inception.”

If you miss it on Marbles’ big IMAX screen, it is also playing at the AMC Southpoint 17 Durham and the Regal Crossroads Stadium 20 in Cary where reserved seating is available.

Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, “Hubble 3D” emerges audiences in the mission to repair the troubled Hubble Space Telescope. It follows astronauts as they prepare the launch of the Space Shuttle and finally out the hatch and into a space walk to accomplish some of the most difficult tasks ever attempted in space.

Narrated by Miranda Richardson, audiences can watch stars being born in clouds of gas and dust, tour the surface of Mars and experience views of the Sun like you’ve never seen before.

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