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Hollywood Science: Movies, Science, and the End of the World
     

Hollywood Science: Movies, Science, and the End of the World

by Sidney Perkowitz
 

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In this book, a scientist and dedicated film enthusiast discusses the portrayal of science in more than one hundred films, including science fiction, scientific biographies, and documentaries. Beginning with early films like Voyage to the Moon and Metropolis and concluding with more recent offerings like The Matrix, War of the Worlds,

Overview

In this book, a scientist and dedicated film enthusiast discusses the portrayal of science in more than one hundred films, including science fiction, scientific biographies, and documentaries. Beginning with early films like Voyage to the Moon and Metropolis and concluding with more recent offerings like The Matrix, War of the Worlds, A Beautiful Mind, and An Inconvenient Truth, Sidney Perkowitz questions how much faith we can put into Hollywood's depiction of scientists and their work, how accurately these films capture scientific fact and theory, whether cataclysms like our collision with a comet can actually happen, and to what extent these films influence public opinion about science and the future. Bringing together history, scientific theory, and humorous observation, Hollywood Science features dozens of film stills and a list of the all-time best and worst science-fiction movies.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
An entertaining, maybe indispensable guide for film buffs everywhere.
Los Angeles Magazine
"A grand roundup of technical movie masterpieces... praising scientific accuracy (A Beautiful Mind) and exposing turkeys (Volcano).
Locus
An engaging and fun read.

— Claude Lalumière

American Scientist
Hollywood Science is great fun... I give it two thumbs up!

— David Schneider

Physics World
A fascinating read that will have you heading to your local DVD store.
CHOICE
This is a terrific book... Essential.
Fortean Times
Hollywood Science is a treat for anyone who looks from their television set to the Moon.

— John Findura

SFRA Review
An exceptionally accessible book, Hollywood Science provides a very good catalog of the ways Hollywood has used and abused science.

— Neil Easterbrook

Choice
This is a terrific book... Essential.
Locus - Claude Lalumiere
An engaging and fun read.
American Scientist - David Schneider
Hollywood Science is great fun... I give it two thumbs up!
Fortean Times - John Findura
Hollywood Science is a treat for anyone who looks from their television set to the Moon.
SFRA Review - Neil Easterbrook
An exceptionally accessible book, Hollywood Science provides a very good catalog of the ways Hollywood has used and abused science.
Locus - Claude Lalumière
An engaging and fun read.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231512398
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
10/06/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
File size:
2 MB

What People are Saying About This

Evan Hadingham

In this engaging tour of science in the movies, Sidney Perkowitz disentangles fact from fantasy, explores stereotypes of the eccentric or evil scientist, and shows how sci-fi movies express our deepest hopes and fears about where technology is taking us. Essential reading for any movie buff.

Evan Hadingham, senior science editor, NOVA

Roald Hoffmann

Sidney Perkowitz's rollicking account of the encounter of science and the movies is just fun, from beginning to end. All of the ways Hollywood has dreamed up for your and my destruction, all of the alien, bug-eyed-monsters you want (and some you didn't even know existed) are contained in this marvelous romp through Hollywood's weird science.

Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, author of Same and Not the Same

Greg Bear
An engaging appreciation of both the delightful and the dubious in one of our favorite pastimes, the science fiction film.

David A. Cook

There are many good books on the science fiction film but hardly any on the science of science fiction films. When a distinguished scientist like Sidney Perkowitz decides to write one, we had better pay attention.

David A. Cook, author of A History of Narrative Film, Fourth Edition

Brian Schwartz

The approach taken by Sidney Perkowitz is ideal and can accommodate science subfields such as cosmology, genetic engineering, volcanology, and robotics. I believe this book will be very valuable to bridging the gap between scientists, general readers, and non-science students. The book has great appeal for general readers and, in my opinion, will be a useful course book for college level courses in science and film. For the most part, the book is highly readable, provocative, and will be just plain fun to read for both general readers and college students.

Brian Schwartz, Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, director of the NSF-supported Science and the Arts Program, and professor of physics at Brooklyn College

Leon M. Lederman

Sidney Perkowitz provides us with an interesting and very useful study of movies that have a science thrust. Public science literacy in this age of climate peril and terrorism is the road to sanity and, as Perkowitz shows, the magic of the screen can do so much better.

Leon M. Lederman, Nobel Laureate in Physics

Meet the Author

Educated as a physicist, Sidney Perkowitz has produced dozens of research papers and books, along with four popular science books, works for stage and screen, and numerous magazine articles. Hollywood Science combines his science background with his love of movies. Born in New York, he lives in Atlanta and is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Physics at Emory University. He's happy to hear from readers at www.sidneyperkowitz.net.

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