IMAX Hubble Space Telescope Movie

Cinema began as a scientific medium.  Marey and Muybridge used recording apparatus to study the movement of their subjects.  In Muybridge’s case, it was the race-horse – an anecdote drilled into every film student from their first lecture.  Marey, the fella who first achieved sequence photography (a moving image) in a singular device, used it to study birds and their method of flight.

Film then got hijacked by the arts.  Fiction and documentary replaced study.  These two approaches provided their own analysis of reality, but cinema – or more precisely, film – as a scientific tool has the superior objectivity.  It’s easier to unintentionally manipulate reality when creating art.  After all, a defining characteristic of art is its intention.  Science, however, suffers no such constraints.  It records only for evidence, very rarely allowing its aim to dictate results.

Although this looks like a documentary, and a spectacle, and inevitably to an extent, a fiction, seeing footage of our world and the infinite which surrounds it will surely champion this scientific approach to film.  Subjectivity will never be removed from human practice, but the images recorded from the Hubble space telescope, looking out into an unexplored abyss – where human reach is neither noticeable or significant – will provoke feelings in awe of objectivity.  That we are, in fact, very, very little, and our subjectivity counts for even less.  And in that great void, as the trailer’s closing soundbite perfectly describes…

“Hubble shows us the size of the Universe, and the beauty that it holds.  It’s beyond what we can comprehend.”

And then, even more poignantly…

“Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio”

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2 responses to “IMAX Hubble Space Telescope Movie

  1. “[Science] records only for evidence, very rarely allowing its aim to dictate results.”

    Science is as much a process under capital as ‘entertainment’.

    “It’s easier to unintentionally manipulate reality when creating art.”

    It replicates not only the production of spectacle, which is more habitual today than real, but creates ‘side effects’ which threaten our very existence. From Chernobyl to Climate Change.

    Beauty is beautiful because we cannot understand it. Yet the aim of science functioning under capital is to control and colonise beauty.

    • I disagree. I think one gains a lot more from understanding something rather than simply admiring it. Obvious case – a countryside, untouched and seen from a vantage point, is beautiful, and one needn’t pry any more. However, if one looks upon that same view, and sees that same beauty, and then understands that the trees are that colour because of their ability to absorb light, and that, in turn, supports the ecosystems that surround it, which contribute to yet other complex systems of life, which determines or gives reason to that a stream be there, or an open field be here, or today the sky is clear but the dew still glistens from a stormy night, then I would say that this fulfills me so much more.

      Science may threaten our very existence, but it alone is objective. You seem quick to point out its disasters, but neglect medicine, irrigation, or any other scientific venture that has improved the standard of living for so many people. A misuse or mismanagement of science is where you should direct your slants, not science itself, for it has unlimited potential to do good. But, as you point out, it does also hold the same potential for bad.

      And besides, beauty is subjective anyway. I have no qualms with you wishing to enjoy beauty for beauty’s sake, but I find a greater pleasure in being in awe of how it all is. Of course this lends us some form of control of our surroundings, to explain and understand it, but that, for me, if part of human existence, and a great one at that.

      Capital undoubtedly complicates science, and does often turn it to spectacle (*ahem* LHC), but is that so bad in the grand scheme?

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