Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Time (1991)

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6 ratings
Views: 31,789
Date Added: 13 years ago.

Documentary Description


In 1992, Errol Morris finished "A Brief History of Time," about the life and work of Stephen Hawking, the physicist who is often compared to Einstein and who is paralyzed and has spent much of his life in a wheelchair. In this film adaptation of Hawking's book about the origins of the universe, Morris has woven together graphics, interviews and archival material in a story about both Hawking's life and science. David Ansen in Newsweek has called it, "an elegant, inspirational and mysterious movie. Morris turns abstract ideas into haunting images, and keeps them spinning in the air with the finesse, and playfulness, of a master juggler".

Morris' interviews for the film have been incorporated into a book, A Reader's Companion, published by Bantam Books. The film appeared on many "top ten" lists for 1992, including Time, The Los Angeles Times and The San Francisco Chronicle.

Credited cast overview:

Stephen Hawking .... (Himself)
Isobel Hawking .... (Stephen Hawking's mother)
net Humphrey .... (Hawking's aunt)
Mary Hawking .... (Hawking's sister)
Basil King .... (Hawking family neighbor)
Derek Powney .... (Classmate at Oxford)
Norman Dix .... (Classmate at Oxford)
Robert Berman .... (Oxford tutor)
Gordon Berry .... (Classmate at Oxford)
Roger Penrose .... (Professor at Cambridge)
Dennis Sciama .... (Professor at Cambridge)
John Wheeler .... (Astrophysicist)
Brandon Carter .... (Astrophysicist)
John Taylor .... (Astrophysicist)
Kip Thorne .... (Research scientist at Cambridge)
Don Page .... (Hawking's student)

Credited crew overview:

Director .... Errol Morris
Producers .... David Hickman, Gordon Freedman, Rory Johnston
Executive Producer .... Gordon Freedman
Original Music .... Philip Glass
Directors of Photography .... John Bailey, Stefan Czapsky
Editor .... Brad Fuller
Production Designer .... Ted Bafaloukus

Tokyo Broadcasting Systems, Channel Four Films (aka Film Four International, aka Channel 4 TV), Anglia Television Ltd., National Broadcasting Company (NBC)


Filmmaker's Award, 1992
- National Society of Film Critics

Grand Jury Prize, 1992
- Sundance Film Festival

Filmmaker's Prize, 1992
- Sundance Film Festival

Best Documentary, 1992
- Seattle International Film Festival


Editor's Review,

Documentarian Errol Morris has a knack for finding the fascinating quirks of his subjects, and this brings Stephen Hawking's book A Brief History of Time to sparkling life. Through interviews with family and colleagues of the brilliant theoretical physicist, as well as Hawking's own synthesized readings and reminiscences, we learn of his early life, his struggle with the degenerative disease ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and his wide-ranging contributions to our knowledge of time, black holes, and the origin of the universe. The science is never downplayed; between Hawking's prose and Morris's visual wizardry, important concepts such as entropy and singularities jump from the screen in memorable vignettes. (Hawking believes a truly universal theory of physics will be understood by "scientists, philosophers, and just ordinary people.") Philip Glass's music, subdued and minimal, balances the alternately somber and hilarious moods of the film. The viewer is left with a sense of awe at the joyous spirit of a man trapped in the world of the mind, occasionally letting the rest of us in on his discoveries.


Tags: cosmo time video videos physics astronomy astrophysics


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