Science has a long history in the cinema. This week, we learn just how
long. Film scholar Oliver Gaycken
reveals that the first science documentaries date back almost as far as the birth of cinema itself. Hit films like “Cheese Mites” and “The Birth of a Flower” showed early film buffs the microscopic life teeming in their food, and unveiled the mysteries of plant growth (using a powerful new technique called “speed magnification”—i.e., time-lapse). Together, these and other early reels helped shape the tradition of science documentary that continues today.
Plus, Ira speaks with the directors behind a new
documentary which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this week. Uncertain
weaves the tale of an invasive species into an intimate portrait of a tiny Texas town.