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OLD MAN AND THE SEA

SYNOPSIS:
Based on the classic novel by Ernest Hemmingway, The Old Man and the Sea is the animated story of an aging fisherman who faces the fury of nature one last time after a long period without success. His initial triumph in hooking a gigantic marlin leads him to struggle with the raging sea, hungry sharks, and his own weary body in an effort to get the giant fish to shore. The film screens with a shorter docudrama based on the life of Hemmingway from his childhood through his wartime experiences and fascination with bullfighting to his death in 1961.

"Japanese animators have been responsible for some of the most innovative animation we have witnessed in the past few decades. Imax films have provided some of the most breathtaking moments we have witnessed on the screen in recent times. And Ernest Hemmingway, love him or hate him, gave us a riveting study of humanity in his Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Old Man and the Sea. Combine all three and surely we have a recipe for success? No. As others have found in the past, The Old Man and The Sea, is one of the more difficult novels to translate to the screen as it so importantly centres around the thoughts of the old man, Santiago. Both the 1958 screen version starring Spencer Tracy and the 1990 television effort featuring Anthony Quinn proved decidedly disappointing. Perhaps the creators of this Imax version figured that such a contemplative piece could be best told using animation. And maybe they were right. But not this animation. If you can picture those bad landscape paintings most often seen on our grandparents’ walls and in garage sales for 50 cents, you’ll have some idea of what the film looks like. Yes those bad paintings are made to move beautifully, but it just doesn’t fit the essential tenacious struggle of the story. The accompanying docu drama about Hemmingway’s life is badly scripted and acted and serves to give us little idea of what has become the legend of the writer. It does have the occasional shot which reminds us of how breathtaking Imax films can be. But not this presentation."
Lee Gough

"In this special IMAX tribute to Hemingway, his life becomes an intoxicating series of vignettes, beautifully brought to the screen in 3D by director Erik Canuel. From a technical viewpoint, this 20-minute docudrama is a dazzling piece of cinema, the 2D enhancing one's believability into what was transpiring before us. There are memorable moments, such as a re-enactment of Hemingway's World War I exploits, and his sad days as an isolated old man whose love of the sea inspired his classic novel. Incorporating both documentary and re-enacted footage, this short drama makes for compelling viewing. Apart from the sheer genius of the piece in its remarkable IMAX format, the film's technical depth and wonder never detracts from the heart of the film, in its essence a story of a contradictory idealist whose prose was simple in structure but emotive and highly profound. Magnificently shot, Hemingway: A Portrait could well have extended beyond its meagre 20 minutes. The film is followed by Russian animator Alexander Petrov's adaptation of Old Man and the Sea. This animated version is a bare bones version, as one would expect given the film's running time of 20 minutes. Yet Petrov does manage to capture the essence of Hemingway's classic man vs. fish tale, and gives the film a certain authenticity in the way he has characterised the story's Cuban fisherman. The hand drawn animation techniques may come across as a bit old fashioned for those used to the depth of Disney and the like, but it's effective in the way the story unfolds. Powerful and passionate, Old Man and the Sea is a beautifully realised work that looks spectacular on the IMAX screen."
Paul Fischer

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0
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SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

OLD MAN AND THE SEA (PG)
(US)

LIVE ACTION DOCU-DRAMA

DIRECTOR, ANIMATOR: Erik Canuel

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Imax

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: July 22







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