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JOURNEY OF MAN

Directed by Keith Melton

Narrated by Ian McKellen

I have always been intrigued by the special demands of acting invisibly on radio, concentrating a character into his voice. Narration has an extra limitation - too much personality can be at odds with the story being told. Journey of Man was a test of my modesty; I was not required to be a character — not even my own — rather a disembodied voice. Nothing had to distract from the shapes and moods of the circus athletes of the Cirque du Soleil company.

John Schlesinger took me to see them perform in a tent on Santa Monica Beach in the late 1990s and I am now glad to be a supporting part of their cinematic debut. As for IMAX — I wish the viewing glasses were less heavy on the bridge of the nose and I think Siegfried and Roy (1999) was easily the funniest movie I've ever seen and that includes the sonorous narration by a fellow acting knight. — Ian McKellen, June 2000

A grand scale visual and musical celebration of life, JOURNEY OF MAN features the magical performers of Cirque du Soleil, an international performance troupe headquartered in Montreal since its founding in 1984. Using elements and characters of various Cirque du Soleil live "big-top-style" shows featuring precision acrobatics and grand costuming, JOURNEY OF MAN takes a sensual voyage through six stages of life, from birth through childhood, adulthood, and maturity. Filming took place in a variety of locations, including the ocean off the Bahamas; a giant redwood forest in California; the Nevada desert; the Green Gables estate in San Mateo, California; Cleveland, Ohio; and the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin. The odyssey includes the percussive rhythms of the Taiko Drummers, aquatic ballet by the Synchronized Swimmers, aerial ballet with the Bungees (yellow bird-like characters), Cube Man's juggling, the incredible Statue Act and Russian Banquine acrobatics. In the end, the Mature person has realized the key to life, opening the doors of endless possibilities.

Ian McKellen provides the narration for the 38-minute IMAX movie, directed by Keith Melton.

The story follows a mystical journey through the stages of man, from birth to maturity. Shot in spectacular locations around the world, each stage is introduced by a Cirque du Soleil act. All of the phenomenal elements of a live show—the music, the acts, and the atmosphere—are incorporated into the film

During this odyssey, you will hear the pounding drum rhythms of the Taiko Drummers, experience an aquatic ballet from the Synchronized Swimmers, travel to the forest for an aerial performance from the Bungees, watch the Cube Man in the Valley of Fire, witness the incredible choreography of the statue act, and admire the acrobatics of the Russian Banquine.

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