Like most of yesterday, today is grey. Currently, it's 57˚F. It was a little warmer yesterday. There's colder weather on the way, though. We're supposed to have a low of 26˚F on Saturday night. While we were gone, while I was not looking, the tree outside my window shed almost all its leaves.
Because this is a dry spell, we're starting a new round of eBay auctions. You can also have a look at Spooky's Etsy shop.
Yesterday, we saw Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. What a beautiful, brilliant film. It is, I think, certainly,one of the best sf films of the last two or three decades. Excellent performances that actually were not overshadowed by the breathtaking visuals. And when I say breathtaking, I do mean breathtaking, literally. I caught myself holding my breath, again and again. The film's depiction of a tesseract and the fifth dimension actually had me in tears. I'm not sure I've ever seen a film try so hard to address the problems that relativity and time dilation pose to the prospect of interstellar space travel. To quote Neil deGrasse Tyson, "There’s a constant reminder that the Relativity of Time is a phenomenon to be reckoned with, thought about, and resolved." Indeed. One of my longtime scientific heroes, Kip Thorne, author of the wonderful Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy (1994) is one of the film's executive producers and acted as science adviser. There's a nice interview with Tyson about the film's scientific accuracy and the relationship between good science and good sf.
Well, a couple of things. I’m a fan of Mark Twain for many reasons, and very high on the list is, “First get your facts, then you can distort them at your leisure.” If they have a ship, and it’s obviously a ship we don’t have today, and this movie obviously takes place in the future, and this ship is obviously more advanced than anything we have or have dreamt up, and they have to get through a wormhole, they don’t have to just use engines to get across the galaxy. I’m OK with that. They’re in a ship, it’s in the future, so get over it and move on!
Yup. Of course, Tyson has also pointed out some of the film's (sometimes glaring) scientific foibles. But, in the end, this isn't a film about science. No good sf story ever is. Good sf, as with all fiction, is about humanity.
Were I to take issue with any aspect of the film it would be with it's basic premise, that once we've broken one world we should look to another for deliverance. At this point in the history of our species, that's a dangerous and foolhardy conceit. It's a very big nit I could pick, were I in the mood. At the moment, though, I'm not. I loved the film for what it is, and I'll likely make an effort to see it in the theater a second time. I feel like, in some ways, it works as a grimly optimistic response to The Dry Salvages.
As I said, excellent performances all round, though I admit I'd pay to see Matthew McConaughey floss his teeth. And Hans Zimmer's score, I predict, will earn an Oscar. So, yes, see this film. I'll be praising it for a long time to come.
And it looks like I've used up all my blogging time for the day. I sincerely wish I were better at reviewing films.