By Josiah HughesEdmontonian filmmaker Kyle Armstrong recently visited Churchill, MB, where he completed shooting a short-form documentary called Magnetic Reconnection. Aside from some stunning shots of his subject, the northern lights, the film is noteworthy in that it will feature an original score from experimental legend Jim O'Rourke, along with narration from Will Oldham (aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy).
The film's synopsis explains that the short film contrasts the northern lights with "decaying manmade debris" surrounding the Arctic Canadian town, touching on "the regenerative power of nature and the futility of mankind's struggle against natural processes of decay."
Speaking to Exclaim!, Armstrong explains, "The aurora footage is probably the best footage ever captured, as I travelled with an auroral imaging specialist with two decades of experience, and a custom built digital IMAX camera, purposely built for shooting the northern lights."
That high-end aurora borealis footage came courtesy of Norwegian scientist Dr. Trond Trondsen, who joined Armstrong in Manitoba. The two used a camera designed by Dr. Robert Eather of Brookline, MA, which, a press release explains, "utilizes two precisely calibrated fast wide angle prime lenses and a very large and highly sensitive digital sensor capable of ultrahigh ISO settings, allowing for a ﬁeld of view at nearly 90º at a 4:3 aspect ratio at over 6K resolution."
Magnetic Reconnection will make its world premiere at the 2012 edition of AFI Fest, which runs from November 1 to 8 in Los Angeles. It will then head to New York City's Imagine Science Film Festival, which runs November 8 to 16.
A Canadian premiere has not been set just yet, but you can check out the film's minute-long trailer below, complete with some O'Rourke instrumentation and a brief snippet of Oldham's epic narration.