The Luc Besson-produced visual feast “Home” opens Friday in theaters across the U.S. and Europe, in celebration of World Environmental Day.
Best to catch this “stunning visual portrayal of Earth” on the biggest screen you can find, but there’s a quick, easy and free way to see the film as June 5 dawns.
YouTube is set for a one-day-only streaming of “Home,” which was directed by French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand. (Update: The movie started streaming on schedule. YouTube’s presentation is in widescreen with the viewer option for what it calls HD.)
The production claims the title of first simultaneous online and offline premiere for a major film. The 90-minute feature is narrated by Glenn Close.
The ambitious and well-executed YouTube channel for “Home” includes the making-of extras we’ll probably see on the Blu-ray and DVD, as well as short videos about shooting locations. There’s also a stash of press conference videos. Google France worked with the producers to create five map “layers” with interactive and dynamic content.
The film is available in English, French, German and Spanish. Some international viewers are reporting messages that the stream is not available in their countries.
Director Arthus-Bertrand’s eco-friendly canned quote says, “The message in this film is incredibly important since it underscores the question of survival. It needs powerful and accessible platforms like YouTube and Google Maps to reach the largest audience.” Besson, of course, is known for visually driven movies such as “The Big Blue” and “The Fifth Element.”
“Home” also will screen in outdoor settings around the planet, such as Central Park, and on some TV networks.
Previous filmmakers debuting their works online include Michael Moore (“Sicko” on BlipTV) and Wayne Wang (“The Princess of Nebraska” on YouTube).