Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director

A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME

UK, 1991 (MIFF 1992, Documentaries)

Director: Errol Morris

From Errol Morris, the director of the daz­zling The Thin Blue Line, comes this won­drous and wonder-filled joumey into the life and work of Professor Stephen Hawking, the world-famous physicist and popular author.

Like in the earlier film, Morris rejects the traditional orthodoxies of documentary film­making for an approach that is highly stylized, mediated and interpretative. Loosely built around interviews with Hawking's family and colleagues, the film's true subject is Hawking's fascinating theories about 'black holes', real and imaginary time and the infinitude of the universe. As 'unfilmable' as these topics may seem, Morris succeeds, with the help of optical and special effects, at demonstrating the mys­teries that have preoccupied Hawking for more than two decades.

At the centre of the mystery is Hawking himself. Shortly after his 20th birthday, he was diagnosed as having amyotrophic lateral scle­rosis, an incurable disease which leads to com­plete paralysis, all the while leaving the patient in full control of his or her intellectual capaci­ties. Though he was expected to live only two more years. Hawking embarked on his seminal work, eventually writing and communicating with the outside world (and Morris) with the help of a unique word processor.

The elaborately crafted film was pho­tographed by John Bailey and Stefan Czapsky and scored by Philip Glass.

See also...

GUERILLA: THE TAKING OF PATTY HEARST

USA, 2004
Guerilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst USA ,/i>'Death to the Fascist insect that preys on the life of the people!' With that incendiary battle cry, the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) declared war on … More »

GLASS: A PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IN TWELVE PARTS

Australia, 2008
“I've been called a minimalist composer for more than 30 years, and while I've never really agreed with the description, I've gotten used to it.” - Philip Glass ... In the year of his 70th birthd… More »

VERNON, FLORIDA

USA, 1981
Vernon, Florida is a film about some of the ordinary (which is to say extraordinary) people of a small town in Washington County, Florida. There is a man obsessed with shooting wild turkeys who takes… More »

THE THIN BLUE LINE

USA, 1988
... ... The Thin Blue Line is both the recreation of the brutal murder of a Dallas policeman in 1976, and a passionate argument for the case of a man wrongly accused of the murder. While making an un… More »

Hawking

UK, 1989
The Media Show goes on location with the making of the film version of A Brief History Of Time, Stephen Hawking's best-seller about the origins of the universe. Directed by Errol Morris (Thin Blue Li… More »

© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

Site by MeccaMedialight. Powered by Textstem CMS.