The New IMAX Movie Is a Very Big Deal

Terrence Malick releases a movie that took over half his life to make—and Indy is one of the few places to see it.
I’ll be the first to admit that I take our IMAX Theatres for granted. Why not pay a couple extra bucks now and then for what amounts to luxury movie-going? The stadium seats, the massive ultra-crisp screen, the rumbling bass, the pristine, hushed room—I’ll take those amenities over cineplex recliners, which I’m always tempted to wipe down during the previews.

The IMAX lineup, too, deserves attention—especially right now. The Indiana State Museum’s cinema is one of 14 IMAX Theatres worldwide to debut, tonight, Voyage of Time by Terrence Malick. The closest showing is in Toronto. It runs for only six weeks, versus the typical three-month engagement.

The Oscar-nominated director (The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life) spent 40 years making this opus and re-engineering it with IMAX’s supreme technology. The documentary seeks to document the path of life, from the planet’s molecular origin through early man. Of course, it skips a lot in 45 minutes. But what’s included is visually mesmerizing, nature as its most naked and primal, alternately merciless and soothing. The film starts with a good 10 minutes showing dust swirling prismatically in space. Eventually the earth forms, and orchestral crescendos unfurl as water thunders into a canyon, lava burbles in lingering closeups, and the seas come to life. Finally, a loinclothed human sees his reflection in water and stares in pure wonder. It’s truly beautiful.

Brad Pitt’s in it, too. He’s the narrator, although he didn’t have much to do. Pitt chimes in occasionally with a short Malickian nonsequiter. Death—when did it first appear? … Consciousness—was it always there? … Restless. … Protomammals. … The long wait.

A young girl twirls on a lawn in soft focus. Out of nothing, you.

Voyage of Time is movie day in science class reimagined as high poetry. Your kids won’t get it. You’ll promise to go to the IMAX more often. Matter. … Man. … Harry Potter marathon.

Tickets $10 adults, $7 children 12 and under. 650 W. Washington St., 317-233-4629, for tickets