‘Mother…’ Cate Blanchett calls out softly into the dark. The screen is black and empty, when suddenly, it is illuminated by a flash. Light is blasted onto the screen. The Big Bang has occurred – the universe has been created. So begins ‘Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey’, an experience of epic proportions presented by the Melbourne Festival.
The world premiere event paired Terrence Malik’s incredible, 30-year production film with the unpaired talents of both the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the MSO Chorus. The aim of the film is to explore how far our little planet has come within the grander scale of the cosmos – essentially, it is a biography of both our Earth and universe.
The film itself is filled with grand juxtapositions – pairing science and spirit, birth and death, massive galaxies and the tiniest particles of life – it aims to show all of the magic and mystery of our cosmos, big and small. The viewer witnesses the birth of stars and the conception of human life; humanity is portrayed at its best and its worst. It is an ambitious tribute to science, nature and life, and exceeds beyond expectation.
What brought the experience to a higher level was the impeccable accompaniment by the MSO and Chorus. Playing the entire soundtrack live, it truly became an ultimate feast for the senses. The music paired perfectly with the visuals and both myself and my plus one were captivated the entire time. My favourite moment was when the camera focused on a massive bloom of jellyfish and then slowly progressed to focus on an individual one. As it magically drifted through the ocean, it suddenly and abruptly pushed open its bell and tentacles, accompanied by a massive strike of the timpani.
Shivers ran from my head to toe; I can’t think of a more fitting description for the entire experience.
Dotti (Nicole) Mazga is a law student currently learning how to make the world a better place in Melbourne. When she’s not hitting the books, you can find her consuming any theatre, dance, or space-related event she can get her hands on.
The Melbourne Festival runs 4–22 October 2017. Read our guide to the best of the Melbourne Festival.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of TS Publicity.
Image credit: Melbourne Festival.