Professor Luis Nieto with his monkey friend Capucine
Just in time for New York’s emergence from two weeks of weather-related madness, the Imagine Science film festival launched last night in New York City with the US premiere of Peter Mettler’s The End of Time, a mind-melting documentary-ish examination of time. There’s a lot more where that came from, including short film line-ups, parties, panel discussions and, of course, Gattaca (with a post-film roundtable). And somewhere inside the brain circus, I’m honored to say, are two short documentaries I produced with Motherboard. If you can get to any of these, below, you will have easily fulfilled all of your credits for the university of the week.
- Also see an interview Motherboard's Michael Byrne did with the founder of the festival, scientist and filmmaker Alexis Gambis.
The Colors of Math
“To most people math appears abstract, mysterious. Complicated. Inaccessible. But math is nothing but a different language to express the world. Math can be sensual. Math can be tasted, it smells, it creates sound and color. One can touch it – and be touched by it…” Directed by Ekaterina Eremenko.
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 5pm; New School University. Tickets
The Avant Garde
A selection of short films on the cutting edge. “Since the early days of celluloid, science and cinema have shared an strong relationship. Avant-Garde Science presents films that are experimental and innovative with respect to their take on science.” Featuring Motherboard’s Doctor Teller’s Strange Loves.
Saturday, November 10, 2012 9pm; The Wooly at the Woolworth Building, 11 Barclay St, Manhattan, NY 10007; Tickets. Party to follow.
The Beginning of Time
The US premiere of People of a Feather, which “explores the world of the Inuit people of Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay. A unique cultural relationship with the Eider duck connects their past, present and future. Eider down, the warmest feather in the world, allows both Inuit and bird to survive harsh Arctic winters. Both people and eiders face the challenges posed by changing sea ice and ocean currents disrupted by the massive hydroelectric dams powering Eastern North America. The eyes of a remote subsistence culture challenge the world to find energy solutions that work with the seasons of our hydrological cycle.” Preceded by Motherboard’s “A Death on the Frontier”, about America’s quiet quest for the Higgs boson.
Sunday, November 11, 2012 3pm » $8; Liberty Science Center, Jersey City, New Jersey; followed by a conversation with the director, Joel Heath. Tickets
“Challenging the boundaries of fictional narratives and imaginative experiments, this film program explores various ways for visualizing data. From photo microscopy, to time-lapse imaging, take advantage of this rare chance to see some of the first images of microscopic life, captured by historic fine art photographer Roman Vishniac in the 1960s.”
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 8pm; The Bell House | Brooklyn; Free. In collaboration with Secret Science Club, with a guest appearance from the Biobus, 5-7pm, and an experiment by Professor Luis Nieto:
“In 2009, he co-directed with the primatologist Prof. Shibuya, an experimental protocol on animal communication in Japan. They taught the cinematographic language to a monkey named “Capucine”. This successful process led to Capucine getting the title of the first monkey filmmaker in the world. For his Imagine Science New York debut, Prof Nieto a unique and mind-blowing surprise for the Bell House.”
Thursday, November 15, 2012 7:30pm » $8; NYU Cantor Film Center; Tickets
Welcome to the Machine
“An exploration into the increasing role of technology in human civilization, especially a future in which people and machines become ever more intertwined.”
Friday, November 16, 2012 5:00pm | » $8; Followed by a Q & A with director Avi Weider. School of Visual Arts Theatre; Tickets.
CONSCIOUSNESS / CLOSING PANEL
In collaboration with Neuwrite, “A premier selection of short films addressing the subject of consciousness and imagination. Through these works we examine the age-old struggle to define human consciousness, from Aristotle and Plato to Einstein and modern philosophers. This unique selection from international film-makers looks at what it is that makes us human and the role of imagination in propelling conscious thought.” Above, Jason Silva’s “The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck.”
The panel discussion, moderated by Carl Zimmer, features some fantastic people:
Walter Murch // Film Editor, Sound Designer, Writer
Joe LeDoux // Professor and Member of the Center for Neural Science and Department of Psychology at NYU.
Dr. Stuart Firestein // Chair of Columbia University’s Department of Biological Sciences.
Catherine Chalmers // Photographer, artist