by Rob Boylan
On Saturday afternoon, Enzian will present the first in a series of special Science on Screen events thanks to a grant from the Coolidge Corner Theatre and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
The event will feature Sebastian Cordero's Europa Report with a pre-screening talk about the search for extraterrestrial life with the space physicist prez of Rollins, Dr. Lewis Duncan.
Europa Report is an excellent suspense drama about the first manned mission to the moon of Jupiter to search for extraterrestrial life. Over the summer I wrote this about it:
Though Europa Report is another entry in the found footage genre, there is something slightly different about its use here. The footage — the film is told through a series of onboard monitors that catch everything — isn’t used a gimmick to mindfuck you, as it is in most films of the genre. Here, it’s a legitimate story telling tool, employed to tell the story of the first manned space expedition to Europa after something goes horribly wrong. Europa is the moon of Jupiter that is though to be the best chance for life outside of Earth because of its subsurface liquid water, and it’s exactly that chance of life that these explorers hope (and somewhat idly fear) they will find once they land on the moon’s icy surface — that is, if they can get there. Europa Report is not the hard science fiction that screenwriter Philip Gelatt wanted to make but it’s always been the soft science of movie logic that allows the suspense to really take shape and grip us with a sincere and exciting “what if
This looks like it could have a lot of potential to be a great screening series. The second event, coming in January, will feature Steven Spielberg's AI preceded by a talk with UCF's Dr. Kenneth Stanley.
The Europa Report event starts at noon on Saturday, Nov 16th. There will also be a post-screening Q&A so stick around after. $8 general admission, $5 for members.