3/22/2005

The dreaded E-word

From Robin McKie of Salon:
In several states, IMAX cinemas -- including some at science museums -- are refusing to show movies that mention the subject of evolution or suggest that the Earth's origins do not conform with biblical descriptions. The films include "Cosmic Voyage," an animated journey through the universe; "Galapagos," a documentary about the islands where Charles Darwin made some of his most important observations; and "Volcanoes of the Deep Sea," an underwater epic about the bizarre creatures that flourish near ocean vents. In most Southern states, theater officials found recent test screenings of several of these films triggered accusations from viewers that the films were blasphemous...Superficially, the decision affects only a dozen or so cinemas. But it could have a profound effect across the world because of the high cost of producing IMAX films. They require special cameras and expensive projectors. The economics of IMAX filmmaking are therefore very tight, and the actions of these southern IMAX cinemas will only exacerbate the problem. It is expected that producers will be far less likely to make films that could offend fundamentalists, as the loss of venues in Southern states could be enough to turn profit to loss.

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