Ossus Library Index Non-Fiction Movie Index


Directed by Peter Georgi (2001, BBC International)
Narrated by Robert Winston

A look at how the body works, from the inside out, using unique camera angles.



2+ stars+

June 1st, 2002 on the OMNIMax Dome

    This film definitely didn't pull any punches. It goes for the shock treatment all the way. It just didn't seem to go very far with it.

The best part of this film was the way it followed the development of a certain child to birth.  We didn't start at conception, and that was a major drawback, but I was amazed that the woman actually consented to give birth on an IMAX screen!  She emptied her heart in interviews, as well, but there was too much of that, of her just sitting on her couch.  Granted, it was quite moving.

We also got plenty of interviews with other people, too.  The kids were fun to watch, especially talking about hormones.  But I have never been a fan of "a day in the life of" stories, and this one followed a family around.  But it didn't do it a whole lot.  And interviews seem to be the wrong way to use the giant screen!

The husband barely got any screen time at all, just to show how the brain can send over-ride signals while we are doing other things, like mindless driving. 

The little girl didn't get anything until the end of the day -as she was listening to loud music we were able to peer into an ear.  And that was another problem with this film: I am perfectly sure that this was not her ear we were looking into.  Why get emotionally invested if that's not the case?

The boy received the most screen time, as we watched him cycle to school through an x-ray camera (or was that just an animation -it seemed way too clean), and an infrared camera. 

We got a good glimpse of the brain synapses, the heart (pretty cool), and other parts inside the body.  Much of it was animated, I think, but I can't be sure. There were a lot of things that were just gross, and I have trouble imagining that they were simulated at all.  Popping a pimple on an IMAX dome has got to be the grossest thing I've ever seen.  But then there was the half-full stomach, and the liver spurting bile, and the small intestine gobbling up half-digested food.  Take your pick.

The most fun came with the sperm and the egg.  The sperm swam upstream to a blues song, lamenting the fact that only dozens would reach the egg, and that only one would enter!  This leads to what is called the largest view of a fertilized egg ever made.

There were other cool moments, as well, such as the aforementioned infrared camera, showing the boy exhaling and removing his sweaty shoes, or the babies being dunked into the pool showing the diving reflex, among others.

I think the producers were going for the gross factor most of all, though.  These things were big, more so than they would have been on the simple IMAX screen -they were on the dome.  The film was interesting, and tried very hard to be entertaining.  But it was offbeat enough to be a little unsettling.


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