Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 16, 2021

Underground cinema: IMAX to screen ‘Ancient Caves 3D’ April 23-25

From serving as mythical gateways to the underworld to providing refuge for paleolithic humans, humanity has a long and storied relationship with caves.

Much of the legend and mystery surrounding caves stems from how few people have experienced these underground marvels for themselves. “Ancient Caves 3D,” a new IMAX offering from MacGillivray Freeman Films, seeks to change that by taking audiences beneath the earth’s surface to visit a subterranean frontier.

The filmmakers follow the efforts of Dr. Gina Moseley, a paleoclimatologist seeking clues to the current trajectory of Earth’s climate in geologic “fingerprints” contained in stalactites preserved, untouched, hundreds of feet beneath the surface.

Formed by the ceaseless dripping of mineral-rich water over thousands – if not millions – of years, these rock formations offer a rare record of the climatic changes of Earth’s distant past.

Toting bulky equipment, filmmakers followed researchers on an often-perilous quest into dry and submerged caves hundreds of feet below ground in locations such as Devil’s Hole near Las Vegas, the Bahamas’ Crystal Caves and far-flung sites in Iceland, France and other exotic locales.

The Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater will screen “Ancient Caves 3D” Friday, April 23 through Sunday, April 25 at 1:15 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. daily. The venue will also screen the film at 6:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Audiences will watch researchers wander through cavernous underground galleries lined with stone pillars, dive into abyssal pools and squeeze through claustrophobic cracks and crevasses.

The specter of danger is more than cinematic smoke-and-mirrors. At one point during filming, a support diver had to be rescued after becoming trapped with a limited air supply far from the exit of one submerged cave.

The cameras were still rolling during the rescue, which made its way into the final film.

“Audiences can expect to see things they’ve never seen before,” says director Jonathan Bird, an Emmy Award winner and underwater documentarian with almost a million followers on his YouTube channel, BlueWorldTV.

“[We show them] deep underwater caves with formations that look like something straight out of a sci-fi film, and even a cave nicknamed the Fangorn Forest and made famous by J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings.’

“We really take audiences to places most will never see in their lifetimes.”

Purchase tickets to “Ancient Caves 3D” at tnaqua.org/imax/ancient-caves-3d.

Source: Tennessee Aquarium