Blog Archives

The Space Between Truth and Fiction Is Not so Strange Anymore

A black hole is photographed for the first time, thanks in part to Katie Bouman.

“Three years ago, Bouman led the creation of an algorithm that eventually helped capture this first-of-its-kind image: a supermassive black hole and its shadow at the center of a galaxy known as M87. She was then a graduate student in computer science and artificial intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”

–Michelle Lou and Saeed Ahmed, CNN, ‘That image of a black hole you sae everywhere today? Thank this grad student for making it possible’

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) -- a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration -- was designed to capture images of a black hole. Today, in coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers reveal that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.

Amazing. And this amazement applies to the first image of a black hole in space as well as Ms. Bouman’s ground–well, space–breaking algorithm.

Life is about pushing boundaries, which is a particular topic of interest with the release of ‘First Man’ starring Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy and the recent theatrical release of the CNN documentary ‘Apollo 11’ chronicling America’s groundbreaking moon landing. While in awe of the image shown above, American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Kip Thorne and the science fiction epic ‘Interstellar’ by Christopher Nolan immediately came to mind. ‘Interstellar,’ while fiction, is painstakingly rooted in real science. Creating a realistic depiction of a black hole was pivotal to the story for the filmmakers, writers, and audience.

Was the ‘Interstellar’ crew right with their image of a black hole back in 2014?

Kip Thorne, Christopher Nolan, and the entire ‘Interstellar’ team were pretty damn close with their depiction of a black hole in 2014 to the first image of a black hole in 2019!

Who else is going to watch ‘Interstellar’ again?

This scientific revelation as compared to a cinematic epic validates and builds upon the lore of Mr. Nolan’s brilliance as a filmmaker and storyteller of spaces beyond our earthly realities. More importantly, the first image of a black hole is a game-changer in ways we are only just beginning to comprehend.

Yesterday was another giant leap for mankind.

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Lloyd Christmas Is About To Lose His Mind Again

The Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy-led ‘First Man’ from 2018 revisited the historic Apollo 11 mission that culminated in the United States landing on the moon on July 20, 1969. The film’s director Damien Chazelle and his set crew beautifully recreated the moon’s surface and chronicled the first step by Neil Armstrong as well as a surprise, deeply reflective walk that personalized a grand moment that is now–impressively–more awe-inspiring.

Hollywood can dramatize and expertly recreate historic events. And yet a documentary tells a true story in masterful, artistic ways that are, at times, indescribable.

‘Apollo 11’ is one of these realities.

Director Todd Douglas Miller and major motion picture distributor Neon aims to do just that with its recent official trailer.

An exact release date has not been determined for ‘Apollo 11.’ Although it’s fair to say that people will surely mark their calendars when this exciting and informative documentary finally takes off into a theater near you.

The Sounds of Space Aren’t Silent

What did space sound like in 1969? ‘First Man’ composer Justin Hurwitz thinks he knows…

With ‘First Man’ in theaters, the highly-anticipated cinematic adventure that chronicles the Appollo 11 mission to the moon, has been receiving rave reviews. Perhaps this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering the same director, lead actor and composer from the smash hit ‘La La Land’–Damien Chazelle, Ryan Gosling and Justin Hurwitz–have returned to showcase the epic story–with new sub-stories–from this groundbreaking moment (well, decade) that changed human history forever.

Speaking of ‘La La Land’ and composer Justin Hurwitz, the soundtrack of a film is a powerful force and can even define the movie itself. We all know music’s starring role in ‘La La Land.’ With any other music, movies wouldn’t be the same. The same story, feeling, and impact of a spectacular soundtrack would not be projected onto the silver screen and then into our imaginations.

While I will be seeing ‘First Man’ in the very near future, it’s now commonplace for major studios to release a couple songs early. In doing so, it surely gets fans excited. But it also provides a glimpse into the heartbeat of a movie. Since Jimmy’s Daily Planet is a spoiler-free blog, I’ve purposely chosen a non-essential song from the soundtrack.

But it’s a fascinating sneak peek sneak listen nonetheless.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you “Contingency Statement” by Justin Hurwitz from the ‘First Man’ soundtrack.

Eerie and unfamiliar yet hypnotizing.

Just like space.

That Famous Moon Shot

The United States won the “space race” against the Soviets on July 20, 1969. This long, dedicated pursuit and historic flight to space–through the lens of Neil Armstrong–is the focus of the film ‘First Man.’

Seems straightforward, right?

And yet there has been controversy recently surrounding the forthcoming film ‘First Man’ because there isn’t a scene that depicts the American flag literally being planted on the moon. While I will withhold final judgment until after seeing this movie, it seems like a bad call by a director–Damien Chazelle–who has made so many right calls in his young, burgeoning filmmaking career.

Without getting into the weeds here, the moon landing was an American achievement that inspired this country and the world.

That’s just reality.

Another reality is that the third trailer for ‘First Man’ is the best one yet.

Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon, but he did so with the help and support of an entire nation back on earth.

That fact can’t be omitted from history.