Culture Magazine

Science Of Cinema

By V3rv0se

This week at Harper Morgan English, we’re talking about the science of science-fiction.
We recently saw Arrival, a great film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Eric Heisserer. The film depicts an alien invasion on Earth and the process of humans communicating with the extraterrestrials. Although the film follows a much explored concept, this story is about how to communicate when we do not share a common language or even common thinking. The film explores the science of linguistics which is an uncommon field to be depicted in Hollywood.
This great video by astrophysicist Any Howell explores the science shown in the film. Andy speaks to the physicists and linguists involved in making the film as realistic as possible. Andy speaks to Jessica Coon who advised the filmmakers and actors in Arrival. She explains that linguistics is much more then just knowing many languages. Jessica also says that although there are a few things that are unrepresentative of linguists, the films does explore understanding language in an accurate way.
What we’re interested in discussing is if it is necessary for Hollywood to portray science in an accurate way or if it should be entertaining above all else – sometimes sacrificing reality.
Here are some things for you to consider;
Do you believe science fiction films to be realistic? Is it important for these films to show something that might actually happen?
Why might it be important for films to be based on facts? Do you consider the cinema as a place of education or only entertainment? Can something be both educational and entertaining or are these things mutually exclusive?
If you’ve seen Arrival, we’re very interested in how you feel about it. We’re also keen to find out how you feel about Hollywood and modern science-fiction. As always, comment, share and join the conversation.

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