Amanda Hammett 1 February 2018

Don't Be Afraid of Science


The word "science" sometimes turns people off because it sounds intimidating, even elitist. What's encouraging about the sciences in filmmaking, particularly the sciences in experimental filmmaking, is that the facilitators challenge the perception of "science film" as monotonous, textbook, or lab safety. Instead, they remind that the root of science is discovery, exploration, inquisition--a recorded attempt to search for answers. 

So how is this mindset relatable to a general audience? Because curiosity is found in everyone. The process of asking scientific questions often has humble and universal origins, via new experiences and the ways they activate the senses.

The following films get you thinking about those basic instincts that bring about investigation and experimentation through four different styles of filmmaking.

Expression of the Sightless, directed by Jessica Sarah Rinland

This visual portrait of a Greek sculpture being encountered by someone lacking vision is a deep reminder of the power of touch, an experience made doubly evident in how voyeuristic a viewer can feel while watching something be touched.

Tardigrade, directed by Sally Warring

This lab footage brings out the existence of a creature we don't see on a regular basis when we look into a body of water. But then again, they too can't see us, since their world exists on an entirely different scale. Something extraordinarily large to humans is just as out of sight. And not only is it any micro-animal, but upon further research one can find that it's considered by most to be a lot tougher than humans and virtually indestructible. This observation is an elegant reminder of how close visual examination begets mystery and amazement.

Turbulent, directed by Perttu Inkilä

This experimental piece tests different sounds and their vibrational effect on matter, with a tone of discovery and curiosity emanating from its frames. The film insights the desire for more information, of a what and how of the whole process, that same basic desire that drives any mind full of question and wonder.

Anosmia, directed by Jacob LaMendda

This documentary presents testimonials of people who have either lost their sense of smell or never had it to begin with. Using cuts of beautiful ultra-sensory visual imagery, the film digs up that longing for smell. When a viewer is watching, he or she will crave the scents associated with those specific experiences but won't be able to smell them. 

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