The show consists of images from the Frozen Planet series which are accompanied by a live orchestral performance of the score for that series. The images and impressions are connected by short texts and explanations from host Max Moor.
While the music and the images are impressive, the format of presentation we got here could have been improved on. Nevertheless it was a very nice experience.
I haven’t seen the original Frozen Planet series, but it’s pretty clear that it is not easy to condense a 7 part series into a single evening performance. To make up for the gaps that necessarily ensue since there was no narration directly connected to the images, they had Moor talking between montages and explaining what we would get to see. That’s not the ideal way of going about it, but it’s okay as a compromise. Unfortunately whoever wrote Moor’s texts didn’t nail it particularly well. More than once did I cringe at the flowery descriptions or jokes that were so half-hearted they weren’t even properly sexist.
But the narration wasn’t the important part. We went because of the images and the music. And the images were certainly amazing – even though it sometimes felt like they had sent out the B-roll. Which admittedly had more to do with the editing than the images themselves: it all just felt a little too cobbled together.
That feeling only became stronger when the fit between music and images became increasingly worse as the program went on. Soundtracking is an art and there are of course many ways to go about it. But what seems to be a basic requirement is that music and images should have the same duration. I’m not talking about ouvertures or music that is played over a blank part of the film or vice versa, silent episodes in movies. But you know, when you got a couple of scenes accompanied by music, I expect that the scenes end when the music does and not that we get another 30 seconds of music because they ran out of images to show. But that is exactly what happened here, making it a little awkward at times.
Still it was a very nice way to spend the evening, looking at impressive images on a big screen, seeing cute animals and listening to good music. I haven’t watched a nature program in years. Maybe I should do that more often.