Ice worlds | The art and science of ice

Ice is an element of great beauty. It can take many forms and colors, inspire artists, and is at the heart of Inuit culture. But it is also important for life on the planet. It is described ice worlds, A film at the intersection of art and science that opens on Wednesday at the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan.

Director Philippe Baylaucq chose ice as a theme in 2018 “a bit by accident”, just knowing it was a problem in the whole climate change thing.

A year of research and discussions with scientists revealed it to be “one of the strangest and most amazing materials on the planet.”

“Ice exists elsewhere in the solar system and in space, but generally it is in a hyper-frozen form, hard as gravel.” Press along with the presentation ice worlds. On planet Earth, it oscillates between being and non-being, always on the verge of dissolution. »


Ice climbers in the movie ice worlds

According to him, ice thus becomes a metaphor for life and humanity: “fragile, multifaceted and beautiful”.

The film, produced by the National Film Board in partnership with the Planetarium, explores the origins of ice and its role in sustaining life. Ice reflects 60% of solar radiation, and even up to 90% when covered with snow.

“Who says that radiation is heat, Mr. Baylaucq recalls. When the ice melts, the part of the ocean that absorbs heat increases, the ocean warms, the ice melts more. We are in a vicious circle that we can no longer control. »

Hard shot

shooting of ice worlds was particularly complicated.

Philippe Baylaucq says: “After a year of research, I started planning the filming in the Far North and the Yukon. Two weeks later, COVID-19 arrived. The course of the project changed completely, I had to find a plan B.”

He trained people remotely in the Yukon and the Far North, sending them 360-degree cameras.

He and his team set up an “ice lab” in the warehouse of the Arctic Glacier ice maker in Pounte-Saint-Charles, where it’s 30 degrees outside in the summer.

“We were cold for 13 days during the shoot, always with kodaks who didn’t want to watch. It wasn’t like going to the Far North, but almost. »


the narrator of ice worldsBeatrice Deer and director Philippe Baylaucq

Filming in winter was also complicated by the anomalously warm season.

“I brought ice cream from Charlevoix, I kept it in my yard,” the director recalls. We were at 5 degrees for three days, I was losing my ice cream. I had to go to my grocery store to ask if they could store my ice cream. He was running after the cold. There is a metaphor: you lose your ice cream, you lose it. »

The pandemic didn’t help. The production was able to capture two figure skaters Nicolai Soerensen and Laurence Fournier-Beaudry, who could skate together, because they were a couple in real life and thus could adapt to the rules of the time. In ice worldsthey can be seen developing behind the ice partition.

By the way, the shooting review (making) shows the great creativity that characterized the shoot.

ice worlds emphasizes the scientific aspects of ice while emphasizing its beauty: the descriptions are often spectacular.

Inuit culture also features: Inuit artist Beatrice Deer was chosen to narrate ice worlds. “I have always been fascinated by the beauty of ice and snowflakes,” he says on the sidelines of the presentation. But learning about the scientific processes behind ice makes it even more magical for me. »

He was particularly impressed by the importance of ice in sustaining life. “If there was too much ice or too little, there would be no life,” he says. It’s a delicate balance. We are at a crucial turning point. Here’s what I learned. »

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