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Cinema seven Film-maker Michael Aptcd has been following the lives a mixed group of Britons since 1964. Vie Gazette's Mark Lepage reviews 42 Up, the sixth in a scries of seven-year snapshots. Paged SECTION Dining Out C6 What's On C9-C11 ENTERTAINMENT DEPARTMENT: (514) 987-2560 FRIDAY, MAY 5, 2000 ROMAN GLORY Gladiator is an epic tale that takes us back to ancient days of Hollywood OUT and ABOUT Cirque is latest to get Imax touch 'if t. OF y.r 4 SIS toHf I i -iff i ft is- JOHN MCKAY Canadian Press "Like standing on the shoreline of a dream." The line uttered by narrator Sir Ian McKellen in the new Imax 3-D film Journey of Man says it all Take the dream-like fantasy of Cirque du Soleil, relocate it to oceans, deserts, mountains and forests, and film it in the four -storey-high Imax process. The result is a woozy but somehow symbiotic blend of surreal showmanship and ultra-real big-screen technology Journey of Man, which opens this weekend at the Imax theatre in the Old Port, was perhaps the only way to capture the artistry of the world-famous Quebec troupe's in-person show as a silver-screen experience.
"It's a very positive, hopeful film that talks about potential, that we can do whatever we want to do," explains director Keith Melton. "What Cirque does is superhuman, it's phenomenal." A self-confessed glutton for punishment, Melton took on the many frustrations of the physical limits of Imax film-making to deliver something unique and memorable. Audience members, fitted out in new space-age Imax infra-red 3-D goggles, can marvel at sequences that must have been an ordeal to film: from birdlike acrobats doing a bungee-cord dance in California's Redwood forest to synchronized swimmers performing an underwater ballet in the blue waters of the Bahamas. Cirque swimmers who normally perform in a heated tank in Las Vegas had to deal with chilly saltwater, with weights inserted in their skintight outfits to keep them from surfacing. The massive Imax camera can hold only three minutes of film at a time.
So they had to repeatedly raise the camera, in its huge waterproof bubble, reload and return it to the water. Turnaround time for each shot one hour To make things worse, Melton had to film performers on their days off and in locales as far-flung as the Nevada desert and Berlin's Brandenberg Gate. "It was a very tight window. We had two or three days and that was it There was no 'Oh well, let's do some pickups I didn't have that opportunity." Melton's next Imax 3-D project is already complete. Ultimate Gs: Zack's Dream to Fly, opening in August, is the story of a young boy who dreams of being an aerobatic pilot over the Grand Canyon.
And it sounds like Melton will be pushing those quease-factor limitations of the large-format screen. Journey of Man, filmed in Imax 3-D, opens today at the Imax theatre in the Old Port COURTESY OF UNIVERSAL AND DREAMWORKS PICTURES Russell Crowe Is Roman general Maxim us, who ends up a prisoner and a gladiator seeking revenge and death. JOHN GRIFFIN Gazette Film Critic REVIEW GLADIATOR (314 stars) Playing at the Angrignon, Cavendish, Centre Laval, Cinema des Sources, Cote des Neiges, Famous Greenfield, Kirkland, Lacordaire, Paramount, Saint-Eustache, Spheretech and Versailles cinemas. Parents' guide: serious, limb-severing violence. barians in the snow-covered forests of Ger mania.
As he hacks his foes to pieces shades of Henry comradeship and Saving Private Ryan editing here-he dreams only of returning to his Spanish home, his vineyards and the love of his son and wife. But ailing, aging Emperor Marcus Aurelius (sorrowful Richard Harris) has other plans for his favoured warrior. He wants him to assume the mantle of power and return Rome to democratic rule. Meanwhile, somewhere back of the frontlines, Marcus Aurelius's foppish, sociopathic son, Com-modus (Joaquin Phoenix, in full decadent mode), learns of this betrayal, kills his father, orders the murder of Maximus and his family, and scampers back to Rome to hit on older sister, Lucilla (regal Connie Neilsen), and consolidate his rule with 150 days of gladiatorial butchery in a downtown arena. Maximus escapes and races home to find his family dead, his farm destroyed.
Before he can articulate his black rage, he is captured and sold into slavery in North Africa, where he becomes a superstar gladiator under the savvy tutelage of trainer Proximo (the late Oliver Reed, in a fitting, larger-than-life farewell turn). They are soon called to Rome Commodus has run out of local slaves and criminals to feed to the charioteers, gladiators and tigers. Please see GLADIATOR, PageC5 Ridley Scott's spectacular Gladiator is a story for the 21st century. The first swords'n'sandals Roman movie in four decades cries out for old-guard descriptions that proclaim it a monumental story of bravery, passion and revenge. They will herald its awesome scope, its visual grandeur and heartpounding action, while noting its meticulous detail, its foundation in history, and lavish costumes, sets and locations worthy of a $100 million-plus epic.
They will hoist it on their hoary shoulders to stand proudly with Ben-Hur, Spartacus, Fall of the Roman Empire and all the great toga movies in the forum of Hollywood lore. And in the first flush after the film, they will be right. Because Gladiator is the kind of cinema we don't see any more. It has narrative arc, clearly delineated characters, a real culture to re-create and energy drawn from the elemental force of man against man in mortal combat; it's like opening a picture book and going back to our Technicolor childhood. None of this would have been remotely feasible, of course, without the latest advances in computer graphic imaging.
Ancient Rome wasn't built in a day, you know. And 33,000 real spectators cost a whole lot more than the computer-generated horde Scott created to support 2,000 real fans in the enormous, digitally replicated Colosseum that houses many chair gripping scenes in this 150-minute breast plate extravaganza. So convincing is the technology that, despite its huge cost. Gladiator will make a chariot full of cash and reign as the box-office item to beat this summer. It begins, as all serious military movies must, with a battle.
The year is 180 AD and the (fictional) Roman general Maximus (a truly heroic Russell Crowe) is leading his men to one last rout of the bar BEST BETS VIDEO MOVIES CLASSICAL Hate 12-tone music? Even hardliners sometimes make an exception for Al-ban Berg's lyrical Violin Concerto. Frank Peter Zimmermann, a young German, performs it with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Monday and Tuesday at Place des Arts. Charles Du-toit conducts Strauss's early Macbeth and mature Symphonia Domestica. Tickets cost $16 to $42 and the concerts start at 8 p.m. Call (514) 842 2112.
Classical-music listings. Page CIO. TELEVISION Mary Louise Parker and Peter Gallagher star in Hallmark Hall of Fame romance movie airs Sunday Tonight's TV highlights, Page schedule. Page CI 1. THEATRE The winds of Africa are blowing into Montreal with two unrelated productions.
Black Theatre Workshop's The CrossroadsLe Carrefour, a tale of love and exile, is at the Monument National, 1182 St Laurent Blvd. Tickets cost $15 to $25. Call (514) 871 -2224 or (514) 790-1245. Le Costume, directed by Peter Brook, is at Maison Theatre, 245 Ontario St E. Call (514) 844 2172.
Theatre listings, PageCA Director Philip Haas follows up his hit Angels and Insects with a stunning look at life in pre-World Warn Florence in Up at the Villa. Kristin Scott Thomas (pictured) and Sean Perm play mI 1 A i unlikely lovers in this tale of deception and romance Review, PageC3; movie chart, PageCZ The title is somewhat misleading. American Beauty (available Tuesday), this year's Oscar-winning picture, is a dark and disturbing satire about the American Dream in a collision course with much family dysfunctionality So much for bliss in the 'burbs with the bungalow and white picket fence Kevin Spacey also an Oscar-winnei; conveys the appropriate angst of a fellow coming apart at the seams. More new videos, PageCS. POP British alt pop band Supergrass is currently riding the high of its third, self titled album.
The band's fun, gritty rock combines the melodic guitars of groups like Oasis and Green Day with the harmonies of the Beach Boys. Opening is Montreal '60s-soul pop throwbacks the Datsons (pictured), who await the launch of their second CD by summertime Supergrass and the Datsons perform Sunday at the Spectrum, 318 Ste Catherine St W. Tickets cost $17.50. Call (514) 79M245 for reservations. Morvilub listings.
Page CIO. DANCE Looking for well-distilled dance? After months of having their works-in-progress shadowed and probed by juries in the interest of clarity three little-known choreographers get their chance to inaugurate Montreal Danse's Big Bang series this week and next Shows are up close and personal at Tangente, 840 Cherrier St, at 830 p.m. tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday to May 13 and at 7:30 p.m on Sunday and May 14. For a polished production like this tickets are a steal at $13 and $15. Call (514) 5251500 or (514) 790-1245.
Dance listings. Page C9. MORE There are many other events coming up around town, too. The Of Special Interest section on Page C9 has more suggestions..
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