Ex­tra serv­ings of sci­ence

The Observer (Sarnia) - - ENTERTAINMENT - CHRIS KNIGHT

If you like Clara, or the idea of a film that fea­tures some solid sci­ence in ser­vice of a truly hu­man story, there are many oth­ers to choose from, in­clud­ing such clas­sics as In­ter­stel­lar, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Con­tact and The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Here are 10 lesser-known ex­am­ples to ex­plore: Agora:

Rachel Weisz stars as Hy­pa­tia, fourth-cen­tury math­e­ma­ti­cian, as­tronomer, philoso­pher and proto-fem­i­nist, in this thougt­ful biopic.


Set in south­ern Europe 20,000 years ago, this fan­ci­ful but sci­en­tif­i­cally solid tale imag­ines how early hu­mans turned wolves into dogs.


One of the best sci­ence-fic­tion films of the past decade, De­nis Vil­leneuve’s heady story of first con­tact stars Amy Adams as a lin­guist try­ing to un­der­stand an alien mind.


A din­ner party gets quan­tum-en­tan­gled by a pass­ing comet, mix­ing con­cepts both high-brow (Schrödinger’s cat) and low (Gwyneth Pal­trow in Slid­ing Doors).

Ex Machina:

Ali­cia Vikan­der made a splash in this 2015 movie in which a pro­gram­mer tries to de­ter­mine if a ro­bot is self-aware. It puts the in­tel­li­gence in ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence.


In 1991, the well-pre­served body of a man dead 5,300 years was dis­cov­ered in the Alps. The imag­ined story of his last days hasn’t yet screened in North Amer­ica but may get an on-de­mand re­lease in the spring.

The Man from Earth:

This low-bud­get cult favourite asks: “What if a man from the Up­per Pa­le­olithic had sur­vived to the present day?” David Lee Smith stars as John Old­man. Get it? Me­lan­cho­lia: Lars von Trier’s end-of-the-world story takes a nar­row fo­cus, as a week­end wed­ding at a coun­try es­tate is in­ter­rupted by Earth’s col­li­sion with a rogue planet.


Sam Rock­well stars as a lonely as­tro­naut near­ing the end of a three-year stint run­ning a lu­nar min­ing op­er­a­tion. But he senses he hasn’t been told ev­ery­thing about his mis­sion.

The Quiet Earth:

This New Zealand last-manon-Earth drama from 1985 stars Bruno Lawrence as

Zac Hob­son, a sci­en­tist who might have some knowl­edge about just what hap­pened.


Troian Bel­lis­ario, left and Pa­trick J. Adams in Clara.

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