The stars of To the Arctic
  • The stars of To the Arctic

Apart from the recent Paul McCartney songs on the soundtrack—reminders of how trite and maudlin his work has become—the most dispiriting parts of the new IMAX documentary To the Arctic are the interview sequences. The subjects appear in these little insets that take up about one-tenth of the screen while overhead shots of giant icebergs transpire behind them. Thanks to 3-D technology, the insets appear to jut out at the audience—as though the manager just turned on a real big-screen TV inside the theater. Attending a preview at Navy Pier last week, I felt as if the filmmakers had gotten it all backward, making a spectacle of the most prosaic material and reducing real spectacle to background noise. The movie runs for only 40 minutes—is it impossible to forget about television for that long?