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A Brief History of Time (1991) [The Criterion Collection #699]

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A Brief History of Time (1991) [The Criterion Collection #699]

A Brief History of Time (1991)
DVD9 | VIDEO_TS | NTSC 16:9 | Cover | 01:23:54 | 7,41 Gb
Audio: English AC3 5.1 @ 448 Kbps | Subs: English SDH
Genre: Documentary | The Criterion Collection #699

Director: Errol Morris
Writer: Stephen Hawking (book)
Stars: Stephen Hawking, Isobel Hawking, Janet Humphrey

Errol Morris turns his camera on one of the most fascinating men in the world: the pioneering astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, afflicted by a debilitating motor neuron disease that has left him without a voice or the use of his limbs. An adroitly crafted tale of personal adversity, professional triumph, and cosmological inquiry, Morris’s documentary examines the way the collapse of Hawking’s body has been accompanied by the untrammeled broadening of his imagination. Telling the man’s incredible story through the voices of his colleagues and loved ones, while making dynamically accessible some of the theories in Hawking’s best-selling book of the same name, A Brief History of Time is at once as small as a single life and as big as the ever-expanding universe.


A Brief History of Time (1991) [The Criterion Collection #699]

I was one of the few locals who had the opportunity to watch this on the big screen. The film was pulled 3 days after its release, but I happened by chance to be visiting the strip mall where the theater was located on its last day. I feel very lucky, although I wonder how a film of this nature ever made it to the big screen in the first place.

A Brief History of Time (1991) [The Criterion Collection #699]

I don't recall having heard of Hawking before this film, mainly because I was fresh out of high school and carefree at the time. However, I am now well versed in many of his theories, and althought I disagree with many of his opinions, I still find him to be one of the most amazing individuals of our time. Simply, his willpower is enough to put us all to shame, and his cosmic imagination is unfathomable.

A Brief History of Time (1991) [The Criterion Collection #699]

A Brief History of Time should be required viewing for anyone with any interests outside of mundane popular culture. I also recommend it if you are a writer, a thinker, or an admirer of cosmology. Anyone can enjoy this film, and I hope that you enjoy it as much has I have. We need more films like this at the theaters! Please?
IMDB Reviewers

A Brief History of Time (1991) [The Criterion Collection #699]

Errol Morris' A Brief History of Time (1991) celebrates the thoughts and achievements of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, but it's not exactly a wild party. His early life is examined in modest detail and peppered with his personal thoughts, observations and examples of his work (unlike Hawking's original book, which omits the biography), while friends, family members and colleagues also offer their own thoughts on the man. As usual, Morris lets the people speak for themselves; they're only identified in the end credits and, aside from Hawking's synthesized "speech", no voice-over narration is present. Long-time collaborator Philip Glass also contributes a score that was produced, at the director's request, without him having seen the actual film. The end product is entertaining, informative and thought-provoking.

A Brief History of Time (1991) [The Criterion Collection #699]

Early 1990s films typically have a very distinctive look and, while A Brief History of Time falls into that category, it often avoided particular trends. Many of the "talking head" sessions were shot on carefully lit, constructed sets instead of on location, while Hawking's unique means of communication allowed for more liberal edits that transfer his thoughts into an approximate relative of voice-over narration. Charts, maps, diagrams, black-and-white illustrations and, in several cases, computer graphics were used to break up many of the interviews to varying degrees of success. Morris admits in an accompanying interview that the expensive CGI was a bad decision; after all, most computer graphics from that era (and beyond) haven't aged gracefully. Even so, A Brief History of Time is largely impressive from a visual standpoint.

A Brief History of Time (1991) [The Criterion Collection #699]

What hasn't aged is the stark contrast between Hawking's progressive mental achievements with his gradually declining physical ability. We see glimpses of the man in younger times and hear stories of day-to-day challenges as he lost the use of his arms and legs. By 1990, Hawking was even in the midst of separating from his wife of almost 30 years, a fact that undoubtedly hampered the participation of certain individuals and dramatically changed the tone of others. But while a semi-biographical documentary of this type almost begs for deeper personal exploration of the subject (or even a new epilogue, taking the film's age into account), A Brief History of Time still works quite well as a snapshot of one man's tiny existence in comparison with the ever-expanding universe. It remains a perfectly accessible production from start to finish, even if you have no experience with astrophysics…and let's face it, most of us don't and never will.

A Brief History of Time (1991) [The Criterion Collection #699]

A documentary is only as interesting as its subject matter, so it's no surprise that A Brief History of Time impresses at just about every turn. Hawking remains one of the most intriguing figures in modern history, both for his triumph over physical handicaps and his ever-expanding degree of intelligence. The "family and friends" testimonials, for the most part, are just icing on the cake. This one's undoubtedly worth adding to your collection, even if you're not a committed fan of the genre. Firmly Recommended.
DVDtalk

A Brief History of Time (1991) [The Criterion Collection #699]

Special Features:
- New, restored digital film transfer, supervised by director of photography John Bailey and approved by director Errol Morris
- New interview with Errol Morris (34:17)
- New interview with John Bailey (11:41)

All Credits goes to Original uploader.


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