November Science & Film Goings On
On Sunday, November 4 the Museum of the Moving Image’s Science on Screen series presents “Rhinoceros: The Decline of Civilization." The program features a screening of the 1974 film adaptation of Eugène Ionesco’s anti-fascist play Rhinoceros, directed by Tom O’Horgan (who directed HAIR on Broadway). Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel star—the only time the two reunited follow THE PRODUCERS. The story is set in a town in which people inexplicably begin turning into rhinoceroses, except for one non-conformist. On November 4, the film will followed by a conversation about how the political themes in the story resonate today, between acclaimed playwright Theresa Rebeck (Bernhardt/Hamlet) and Columbia University political scientist Ester Fuchs.
In Academy Award-winner Damien Chazelle’s FIRST MAN, Ryan Gosling stars as Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon. The film is now in theaters.
THE TRUTH ABOUT KILLER ROBOTS
THE TRUTH ABOUT KILLER ROBOTS, a documentary directed by Maxim Pozdorovkin (OUR NEW PRESIDENT), is about the present and future of automation around the world. The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and will premiere on November 26 on HBO. Stay tuned to Science & Film for an interview with the director.
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE
Winner of the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature at SXSW in 2018,
Hao Wu’s documentary PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE is about the impact that the Chinese Internet platform YY has had on the economy. The film follows two of the platform’s biggest stars who make money by collecting digital gifts from fans while livestreaming. We spoke with the director Hao Wu. PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE opens in theaters on November 30.
WHO’S WHO IN MYCOLOGY at Lincoln Center
Marie Dvorakova’s Sloan-supported short film WHO’S WHO IN MYCOLOGY will make its New York premiere at the Film Society of Lincoln Center during My First Film Fest, the weekend of November 9. The film centers on a trombone player (Joel Brady) who spends a bizarre night trying to open a tantalizing bottle of wine. However, a sleeping girl, a bookcase, and some mold get in his way.
MAGIC ‘85 at AFI FEST
The 32ndAFI FEST features a section of short selected from filmmakers from around the world that will then be eligible for the Academy Awards. Annika Kurnick’s Sloan-supported short MAGIC ’85 has been selected to screen. It is set during the height of the AIDS epidemic, and centers on a hospice worker. AFI FEST takes place November 8 through 15 in Los Angeles, and is free and open to the public.
The largest documentary film festival in America, DOC NYC takes place in locations around New York City from November 8 through 15. A number of science-related films are in the lineup, including the NYC premiere of PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE, THE TRUTH ABOUT KILLER ROBOTS, and THE ANCIENT WOODS.THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS, about triplets separated at birth and a secret study, will also play. DOC NYC will host the World Premiere of Alyssa Bolsey’s film BEYOND THE BOLEX, about the history of the Bolex camera and its inventor. Other science-related films include THE SCHOOL IN THE CLOUD, EARTHRISE, and INSTANT DREAMS.
THE EUGENICS CRUSADE
The new PBS documentary THE EUGENICS CRUSADE, written and directed by Michelle Ferrari, tells the history of the eugenics movement in America. The film premiered on PBS’s “American Experience” on October 16 and is now available for streaming online. The film was produced with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation through its partnership with WGBH to spotlight the role of science and technology in history on “American Experience.”
A CURE FOR FEAR on Topic
Award-winning filmmaker Lana Wilson (THE DEPARTURE) chronicles a new twenty-four-hour treatment for people who suffer from severe phobias in her four-part docu-series A CURTE FOR FEAR. The series premiered at the 2018 Camden International Film Festival and is now available to stream on Topic.com. Read our interview with Lana Wilson.
THE TERROR on AMC
The AMC series THE TERROR is based on the true story of a lost expedition by the Royal Navy to find the Northwest Passage in 1845. It stars Jared Harris (THE CROWN) and Tobias Menzies (GAME OF THRONES). The first season’s ten episodes are avaialable on Amazon for streaming. We spoke with the series’ historical advisor, archaeologist Matthew Betts.
MANIAC on Netflix
The new Netflix series MANIAC, directed by Cary Fukunaga, stars Jonah Hill and Emma Stone as participants in a pharmaceutical drug trail aimed at developing a pill that heals users of their core trauma. Stay tuned to Science & Film for an article about the series by neuroscientist and trauma researcher Daniela Schiller.
THE FIRST on Hulu
THE FIRST stars Sean Penn as an astronaut waiting to launch on a mission to colonize Mars. Now streaming on Hulu, the series is created by Beau Willimon (HOUSE OF CARDS).
STRANGE ANGEL on CBS
The historical drama STRANGE ANGEL is set in 1930s Los Angeles and is about the birth of American rocketry. It is based on the biography Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons by George Pendle. Jack Reynor (DETROIT), Bella Heathcote (THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE), and Rupert Friend (HOMELAND) star. The first season is available on CBS All Access, and the series has been renewed for a second season.
HOMECOMING on Amazon Prime
HOMECOMING is an Amazon Prime series starring Julia Roberts as a therapist working with a veteran. Directed by Sam Esmail (MR. ROBOT), HOMECOMING premieres on November 2.
MR. AKELEY’S MOVIE CAMERA at The Field Museum
The Field Museum in Chicago has a new exhibition, “Mr. Akeley’s Movie Camera,” featuring the “pancake” camera invented by Carl Akeley, the Field Museum’s first chief taxidermist. Museum of the Moving also has an Akeley camera on view because, in addition to being used to film wildlife, the portable and easy-to-use camera revolutionized documentary cinema. “Mr. Akeley’s Movie Camera” is on view through March 2019.
MARIANNA SIMNETT: BLOOD IN MY MILK at The New Museum
British artist Marianna Simnett, whose film THE UDDER Science & Film previously covered, has a new multi-screen installation at the New Museum of Conetmporary Art in Manhattan. It is on view through January 6, 2019. Simnett’s work examines medical treatment and procedures, infection, and body parts. Read Science & Film’s interview with Simnett.
PROGRAMMED at The Whitney
“Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018” is a new exhibition supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art from September 28 through April 14, 2019. Works in the exhibition all are based on instructions of some form (e.g. coding). Nam June Paik, Cory Arcangel, and Jim Campbell are some of the artists with video work included. ”Programmed” is organized by Christiane Paul, Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, and Clémence White.
THE MOON at The Louisiana
A new exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen, “The Moon, From Inner Worlds to Outer Space,” is about the different ways in which interpretations of the moon have impacts artists. Video work in the exhibition includes that by Roa Barba, Cath Le Couteur, Hito Steyerl, Rachel Rose, and more. An accompanying screening series will feature 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. The exhibition is curated by Marie Laurberg and is on view through January 20, 2019.
THE HARD PROBLEM at Lincoln Center Theater
A new play by Tom Stoppard, THE HARD PROBLEM centers on Hilary, a newly employed research assistant at a neuroscience start-up. The company believes that the brain can be mapped and predicted, while Hilary struggles to reconcile this understanding with what consciousness means. The play is now in previews at Lincoln Center Theater, and runs through January 6.
This is a monthly listing of science-themed cultural offerings about town.