November Science & Film Goings On

Here is a selection of creative takes on the world of science and film for the month of November:

Amy Adams plays a linguist tasked with deciphering communications from an alien species in director Denis Villeneuv’s film ARRIVAL. Jeremy Renner plays a mathematician. Paramount Pictures is releasing the film on November 11. Check back on Science & Film for an article by linguist Dr. Jessica Coon who consulted on the film.

DOCTOR STRANGE is the latest Marvel superhero story to be adapted into a film. Benedict Cumberbatch, seen in THE IMITATION GAME as mathematician Alan Turing, plays a neurosurgeon who looses the use of his hands after a car accident. He becomes a sorcerer, and Tilda Swinton plays his mentor. Physicist Adam Frank was set up by the Science & Entertainment Exchange to consult on the science of the film. It will be in wide release starting November 4.

In Werner Herzog’s documentary INTO THE INFERNO, Herzog travels with volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer to investigate the role of volcanoes in the cultural imagination of countries such as North Korea and Indonesia. The documentary is based on Dr. Oppenheimer’s book Eruptions that Shook the World. It played at the Hamptons International Film Festival and is now streaming on Netflix.

Terrence Malick’s first documentary-style feature film, VOYAGE OF TIME, tells the story of the universe in gorgeous images of sand dunes, oceans, and valleys. Brad Pitt narrates the IMAX version and Cate Blanchett narrates the theatrical version. Science & Film interviewed the chief science advisor Dr. Andrew Knoll who consulted with Malick on the script for 20 years. The IMAX version of VOYAGE OF TIME is now playing in IMAX theaters, and the feature version is in limited release.

Garth Davis’s LION stars Dev Patel as a boy orphaned in India, who ends up using Google Earth to find his hometown. It is based on a true story. Check back on Science & Film for an interview with screenwriter Luke Davies on technology as used in the film. LION will be released into theaters by the Weinstein Company on November 25.

How close are we to colonizing Mars? National Geographic and RadicalMedia have partnered on a six-part television series, MARS, which takes place in both 2016 and 2033. In 2016, engineers including Elon Musk speak about their scientific work people to the Red Planet. The dramatic portion in 2033 tells of the first group of astronauts to make the trip. Check back on Science & Film for an interview with Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in outer space, and with Justin Wilkes, the Executive Producer of the show. The first episode premieres on the National Geographic Channel on November 14.

Charlie Brooker’s TWIGHLIGHT ZONE-esque television series BLACK MIRROR has a new season available for streaming on Netflix. Each episode has a unique cast and story, which often take place in the near-future. The story focuses on the human relationship to technology. Seasons one and two of BLACK MIRROR had three episodes each which played on Britain’s Channel 4. The third Season on Netflix has six episodes.

THE ENCOUNTER at the John Golden Theater
Simon McBurney directs and stars in the one man-play THE ENCOUNTER, which is based on the journals of a National Geographic photographer lost in a remote valley in Brazil. Theatergoers wear two-channel headsets which create an experience of 3D sound. McBurney recorded the audio using a technology called binaural audio recording, about which Science & Film has written. THE ENCOUNTER is playing at the John Golden Theater on Broadway until January 8 of 2017.

Dreamlands at the Whitney Museum of American Art
The Whitney Museum of American Art’s groundbreaking group exhibition, Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016, is curated by Chrissie Iles and includes the work of two Sloan-supported filmmakers, Lynn Hershman Leeson and Frances Bodomo. Accompanying the exhibition is a series of film screenings at the Whitney Museum and Microscope Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The exhibition is up now through February 5 of 2017.

This is a monthly listing of science-themed cultural offerings about town.