MV Blog


MIFF returns to the Melbourne Planetarium

by Warik
Publish date
16 July 2012
Comments (0)

Warik is a digital production designer at the Planetarium at Scienceworks.

The Melbourne International Film Festival returns again to the Melbourne Planetarium to show the latest works in Fulldome Cinema. Two Fulldome Showcases will be presented on Saturday 4 August.

Coral Coral: Rekindling Venus promotional photograph.
Source: Lynette Walworth

7.00pm screening:
• Visualiszt
A series of short immersive works inspired by the music of 19th century Hungarian composer and piano virtuoso Frank Liszt

• Space Opera
Journey through the solar system accompanied by English composer Gustav Holst's acclaimed composition 'The Planets: Opera 32'.

9.00pm screening:
Life: A Cosmic Story
Narrated by Academy Award winner Jodie Foster, the show launches the audience on a journey through time, witnessing key events since the Big Bang that set the stage for life.

Coral: Rekindling Venus
Journey into a mysterious realm of fluorescent coral reefs, bioluminescent sea creatures and rare marine life and uncover a complex community living in the oceans most threatened by climate change. Coral: Rekindling Venus is the new film from acclaimed artist Lynette Wallworth, who also created the Welcome video installation at the Immigration Museum's Identity exhibition.

For further information, or to purchase tickets, head over to the MIFF website.


Fulldome Showcase at the Melbourne Planetarium

Melbourne Planetarium

Ocean invertebrates

by Kate C
Publish date
23 May 2011
Comments (5)

The amazing French film Oceans opens in Melbourne on 26 May. This documentary about the wealth of life in seas was filmed over four years by a global team. MV’s Julian Finn and Mark Norman worked with the film crew as scientific consultants for several of the animals filmed. Two of these animals - Nomura's Jellyfish (Nemopilema nomurai) and a blanket octopus (Tremoctopus gracilis) are often found together in the near-surface waters of the open ocean.

Diver with female Tremoctopus Underwater cameraman Yasushi Okumura filming a female blanket octopus.
Image: Julian Finn
Source: Museum Victoria

Blanket octopuses are so-named because of the membranous webs that the females possess on two of their arms. This is a defence mechanism: a two-metre-long female blanket octopus can use her webs to mislead potential predators about her size and shape. If this doesn’t intimidate them, she can also shed off pieces of her web – ‘like sheets of toilet paper,’ according to Julian – which in turn stretch out into long, tangling filaments.

Detail of the female Tremoctopus web Detail of the female Tremoctopus web, showing the bands where bits of it can break off as a defence mechanism.
Image: Julian Finn
Source: Museum Victoria

Another extraordinary thing about blanket octopuses is the size difference (or dimorphism) between males and females. We discussed size dimorphism on the blog recently but here’s the most extreme example we know of. In Tremoctopus, the male can be up to forty thousand times smaller than the female by weight!

Female Tremoctopus Female Tremoctopus.
Image: Julian Finn
Source: Museum Victoria

Now from the miniscule to the massive. Nomura’s Jellyfish is one of the largest cnidarians in the word. When these creatures invade Japan’s coastal waters, thousands of jellyfish can clog fishing nets, making the nets so heavy that fishing boats have overturned trying to recover them. Oceans includes footage of Julian diving with one so you can see for yourself just how huge they are.

Julian swimming with giant jellyfish A still from the film Oceans showing Julian Finn swimming with a giant Nomura's Jellyfish.
Source: courtesy of Galatee Films

Julian believes that Tremoctopus are able to survive in hostile environment of the open ocean through association with jellyfish, probably feeding on the small fish that live amongst the tentacles and within the bell of giant Nomura’s Jellyfish. Male and small female Tremoctopus harvest the stinging tentacles of another variety of jellyfish – the Portuguese Man-of-War (Physalia spp.) – to use for their own defence and/or prey capture, suggesting a long association between two quite different types of animals.

Special offer for MV Blog readers:
We have 200 two-for-one passes up for grabs courtesy of Hopscotch Films. For the chance to receive one, enter the draw here.


M. D. Norman, D. Paul, J. Finn & T. Tregenza. First encounter with a live male blanket octopus: the world’s most sexually size-dimorphic large animal. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 2002, Vol. 36: 733-736

Tree of Life: Tremoctopus

Oceans preview trailer

IMAX Melbourne tops global box office

by Natasha D
Publish date
10 May 2011
Comments (1)

This guest post comes from Natasha who works in public relations for IMAX Melbourne.

IMAX Melbourne Museum is astounded by the amazing response we’ve had from Melbourne viewers for the release of Born to be Wild 3D, which opened on 8 April.

Young elephants Young elephants playing in Born to be Wild 3D.
Source: IMAX

This gorgeous film about the amazing people who take care for orphaned baby orang-utans in Borneo and elephants in Kenya, has been so well received by a local audience that IMAX Melbourne has topped the global box office for April.

Born to be Wild: Global Top 3

  1. Melbourne
  2. Montreal OP
  3. Washington DC


We don’t know if it was the beautiful baby orang-utans, the sweet baby elephants or the amazing support we have received for this film from WWF-Australia, Zoos Victoria, the Herald Sun, The Circle, Peregrine Adventures, Mix 101.1 and World Expeditions... but IMAX Melbourne is delighted and humbled by this huge response!

young Orang-utan A young Orang-utan in Born to be Wild 3D.
Source: IMAX

You can find out more about Born to be Wild 3D or buy tickets on the IMAX website.

About this blog

Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.