Anybody here never heard of IMAX? I assume not. Nevertheless, here we go.

A ground-breaking concept developed in Canada, which once looked like it might not survive the demands of its high production costs, has become more or less a household name (depending on big your house is) and remains a thrilling wraparound experience whenever the images being screened are fascinating enough to keep your retina busy and your brain well fed. The ambition and dedicated interests of producers Graeme Ferguson, Robert Kerr, and Roman Kroiter have turned the IMAX Corporation into a special feature inside the cinema world. Generally, to date, the subjects revolve around man, nature, milieu, education, and relaxation, but feature films are also shown with the use of special lenses and given an extra dimension by the addition of a digital sound system. With "Fantasia 2000" the moment has arrived that feature-length films will finally begin being made in IMAX. The length of this film is approximately 4 miles from end to end. (See also TGH review "Fantasia 2000")

IMAX film (= 10 x 35mm frame and 3 x 70mm frame) is laid out horizontally and projected through one lens to 500 times its size onto the screen, which itself is (in Rotterdam, Holland, for example) 23 meters wide and 17 meters high (you Statesiders can do your own calculations) or the equivalent of something like a 6 story apartment building. The IMAX projector has been called the Rolls Royce among projectors. Add a 6 channel sound system with 15 loudspeakers and off you go. Talk about being sucked into the movie.

If you haven't experienced this yet, it's about time you did. Film as far as the eye can see.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett