From January 7 through February 17, the Science Museum of Minnesota is hosting its annual Omnifest, screening five Omnitheater favorites: Hubble, Sea Monsters, The Old Man and the Sea, Tropical Rainforest, and Wild Safari. Perhaps the most anticipated, and least conventional, of the five is The Old Man and the Sea.
The Old Man and the Sea is an animated adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s classic tale; the 22-minute film won the Best Animated Short Film Oscar in 2000. Over the course of two years, the film’s 29,000 frames were individually painted in pastel on glass by Russian artist Aleksandr Petrov with the help of his son Dmitri Petrov. The Old Man and the Sea became the first animated film to be released in IMAX, and while the Petrovs’ work doesn’t break any boundaries artistically, it is striking to see brushstrokes skitter across the giant screen.
The Old Man is paired with a preceding short, an odd little biography of Hemingway framed, like Citizen Kane, as a search for Hemingway’s essence by the creators of a newsreel about the late writer’s life. Much is made of Hemingway’s outdoorsy childhood (a river ran through it) and heroic military service, then the bulls run and it’s time for the cartoon. If you’ve been waiting for an Omnitheater presentation that makes reference to Gertrude Stein, your wait is over. Can the J.D. Salinger Omnipic be far behind?