Science and cinema is not an uncommon coupling, as far as seminar or think-piece topics go. How moving pictures are made, and the mechanics of a camera and a projector, formed some of the biggest topics of 20th-century technology.
But science on the screen? That counts as major, too.
Fictional stories celebrating the life of the mind have changed how we view physics and astronomy and tech in our real-world. Enter the Sloan Summit, an every-three-years gathering of filmmakers that supports science cinema. The three-day cinéaste confab that'll give a $50,000 distribution grant "to films that bridge the gap between science and popular culture and further public understanding of science and technology."
The weekend-long smarties-on-screen scene runs from Nov. 14 through 16 at the Downtown Independent, and the centerpiece happenings are solid. "The Theory of Everything" -- the film detailing the journey of Stephen Hawking -- screens on Friday, Nov. 14, complete with Q&A, and showcases of shorts and features that have received Sloan support'll roll on Saturday, Nov. 15.
It's hard to visualize a major summer blockbuster of the last several years that didn't feature some zazzy tech inventiveness or a somber person in a lab coat talking about the impact an asteroid or a pathogen or sunspots might have on the earth.
From realistic to outlandish, science has always had a place in our cinema.
Look to "A Trip to the Moon" by Georges Méliès. Not only is the 1902 gem possibly the most famous of the early films, but, you bet, it's a science film, at its core. (True, the moon doesn't have a face, that we know of, but rockets are real.)
Science, keep burnishing and deepening cinema in all the fantastic and real-life-enhancing ways that you do. And Sloan Summit, keep furthering that important cause.