U2 arrives to Ottawa museum

U2 3DTake a seat in the IMAX theatre, put on your glasses and get ready to see Bono and the boys in 3-D.

The Canadian Museum of Civilization will re-open its IMAX Theatre Monday after two months of renovations that will allow it to present 3-D films for the first time. The opening films will be U2 3D and Sharks 3D, a documentary filmed in 2005.

The makeover to the 20-year-old theatre includes a new projector,

3-D screen, a new sound system and seats equipped with cup-holders. The renovations will allow the museum to present 3-D IMAX films and traditional-format IMAX films, says theatre manager Sarah Mitchell.

U2 3D, a feature-length film released in 2008, was filmed during a 2006 concert in Buenos Aires during the band’s Vertigo tour.

The musical documentary “U2 3D,” which stitches together three performances by this Irish rock band during a recent tour of South America, is not merely a technical landmark — shot entirely in digital 3D — but also an aesthetic one, in that it’s the first Imax movie that deserves to be called a work of art.

The person most responsible for the film’s vision, Catherine Owens — one of the movie’s two directors, who is also in charge of production design for the band’s live shows — has brazenly ignored the usual stipulations about making a 3-D film.

She favors quick edits and slow dissolves rather than long takes and hard cuts. Throughout, she layers the screen with multiple planes of information: long shots and medium shots of the musicians, images of the crowd, close-up details of graphics from the big screen that the band performs in front of that make the designs abstract and merge them with the performers.

The result is not a confusing mishmash of images but a musical/experimental work that visually simulates the sensation of thinking. The very idea of self-contained screen geography is thrillingly reconceived.

The style of the film dovetails with the international, humanistic vision that U2 has presented in songs and public statements for more than 20 years. When the band performs its hit “One,” the lyrics take on new meaning.