No, you're not watching some Hollywood slasher-flick spoof, although the film is sometimes as colorful. Instead, The Human Body is a lavishly produced IMAX film -- three years in the making -- that offers a scientifically accurate representation of the functions of the human biological system. The filmmakers relied on a variety of techniques, from time-lapse photography and computer-generated and magnetic-resonance imaging to good old-fashioned model making, to create images of a tomato splashing into the digestive track, blood cells snaking through a hundred miles of veins and eardrums dancing to the music.
The movie details a day in the life of a person, showing the conscious and unconscious functions of the most complex machine ever created -- including the 100 billion new red blood cells the body generates each morning and the forty yards of hair that sprout daily.
"We've investigated and portrayed the human body in ways never seen before," says executive producer Jana Bannett. "This film brings images to the audience on a scale never before captured in the history of cinema."
The part of most people that's certain to respond to the movie is the freebie gland, because this week's three showings at the 430-seat Phipps IMAX Theater are free. After each screening, audience members will be asked to fill out a questionnaire; their impressions of the film will help staffers decide whether to book the film into Denver for an extended run.
According to spokeswoman Julia Taylor, previews of this sort are offered regularly at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, but they aren't so commonplace that you shouldn't arrive at least thirty minutes before showtime. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis, and it doesn't require a visit to the museum.