CERN featured in the recent blockbuster Angels and Demons, which did not make it into a new list of top physics films, but the European physics facility will play host to an international film festival in February Credit: Sonypictures
By Matin Durrani
If you’re a film buff — and even if you’re not — you’ll no doubt be interested to learn that a website called Online Engineering Degree has posted a list of its “top 25 movies for physics geeks”.
Top of the charts for us physics geeks is October Sky. It’s a film I’ve never seen – but then my colleagues often accuse me of living under a cultural stone – but it is, apparently, a “feel-good movie about boys launching their own rockets”. Hmm, can’t say I’m desperate to watch it.
In second place is Apollo 13 — the Tom Hanks blockbuster that has that scary bit where our hero almost carks it on his way back to Earth. Now I have seen that one.
Third is Infinity, a bio about the Manhattan project, featuring Feynman et al. Now you’re talking.
There follow a couple of others I also hadn’t heard of before – Stargate and Parralel Worlds, Parallel Lives — before we reach a quartet of definite blockbusters: Deep Impact, Armageddon, Star Wars and Star Trek. The full list can be found here.
I’m not quite sure what Goldeneye is doing on the list though. The compilers, however, reckon that Brosnan’s first Bond film has “its share of physics conundrums”, such as his ability to catch up with a falling plane — by jumping off a cliff, of course.
I emailed Suzane Smith, who alerted me to the list, to ask how the films were picked — was it a mysterious cabal of physicists or just her and her chums musing one lunchtime? Sadly she has not yet got back to me so I cannot say what criteria they used, if any.
No doubt you’ll have your own view so take a look at the top 25 and let us know what you think of the list by commenting below.
Meanwhile, genuine filmmakers with a science-fiction or science documentary film in the can might be interested to know that entries are now being invited for the next Cinėglobe International Short Film Festival, which is to be held at CERN from 16-20 February 2010.