Soldierfish and other species hover over coral in a scene from “The Last Reef,” an IMAX movie opening Jan. 18 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. The film features familiar dolphins, sharks and rays but also lesser-known species in exploring how reefs thrive through interconnected communities of marine life. Get show times at www.maritimeaquarium.org or call (203) 852-0700. (photo: Giant Screen Films)
NORWALK, CT - Celebrate one of the ocean’s most important – but endangered – habitats in “The Last Reef,” a new IMAX® film opening Jan. 18 that will bring a beautiful kaleidoscope of fish, coral and other animals to the giant screen of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
This passionate film, which emphasizes our connection with – and responsibilities to – the complex ocean world, will play at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily through June 20 in Connecticut’s largest IMAX theater, with a screen that’s six stories high.
IMAX is the world’s largest film format. Outstanding image clarity and the enormous screen size, combined with The Maritime Aquarium’s 12,000-watt surround-sound audio system, result in an immersive thrill that’s so unique it’s been trademarked: “IMAX is Believing®.”
“This is a gorgeous film that all ages will appreciate, for its animal images and also for its urgent message about how human activities are damaging reefs around the globe,” said Jack Schneider, the Aquarium’s curator of animals.
Dolphin are among the visitors to reefs shown in “The Last Reef,” an IMAX movie opening Jan. 18 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. The film, which emphasizes our connection with – and responsibilities to – the complex ocean world, will play daily through June 20 in Connecticut’s largest IMAX theater, with a screen that’s six stories high. Get times, tickets or more details at www.maritimeaquarium.org or (203) 852-0700. (photo: Giant Screen Films)
“The Last Reef” offers a simple introduction to coral reefs, including their need for sunlight, how they form (by corals converting calcium out of the sea water), and how they provide sustenance and shelter for an incredible diversity of other marine life. The film’s stunning imagery immerses audiences in reef communities – among familiar dolphins, sharks and rays but also lesser-known species, such as crocodile fish, colorful nudibranchs and delicate flatworms.
“Coral reefs support one-quarter of all the world’s marine species,” the film explains, suggesting that reef systems are like cities beneath the sea. Maritime Aquarium audiences will recognize scenes from New York City as the film compares thriving reefs to bustling Manhattan.
Whale sharks, jellyfish, moray eels, clownfish and other diverse animals swim across the giant screen as “The Last Reef” visits reefs and atolls in Palau, the Bahamas and French Polynesia.
The beauty, however, is disappearing.
“Reefs are vanishing five times faster than rain forests,” the film explains. “Every second, we pump 761 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in our unquenchable thirst for energy. One-third of it dissolves into the ocean.”
This glut of carbon makes the ocean more acidic and unsuitable for corals, which bleach white and die.
“Losing reefs would have a disastrous effect on the food chain and the rest of the marine environment,” audiences are told, as the film urges us to reduce our emissions and to seek greener sources of energy.
Happily, “The Last Reef” shows that reefs are resilient, citing the example of Bikini Atoll, where reefs have regrown following their destruction from nuclear testing in the 1940s. And the film demonstrates how reefs can spring up in new locations – upon ships sunk intentionally to “seed” new reefs and also among the haunting underwater human sculptures of British artist Jason deCaires Taylor.
“The Last Reef” is 40 minutes long. It recently received the prizes for Best Music and Best Sound in the 2012 Giant Screen Cinema Association Awards.
Also showing in The Maritime Aquarium’s IMAX Theater from Jan. 18-June 20 are “Sharks” at 1 & 3 p.m. and “Born to Be Wild” at noon & 4 p.m.
Tickets for an IMAX movie are $9.50 for adults, $8.50 for seniors 65+ and $7 for children age 2-12. Maritime Aquarium members receive $2 discounts. To include a visit into The Maritime Aquarium with an IMAX film, tickets are $20.95 for adults, $19.70 for seniors and $15.50 for children.
Learn more – and reserve your tickets – at www.maritimeaquarium.org. Or call (203) 852-0700.