Why didn’t I know about this movie?
I have no clue how I didn’t notice this film was in the works, but it would appear I’m not quite as well plugged into the sci-fi pulse as I used to be. Announced last year, “Moon” is set on the lunar surface where a lone contractor is manning the Helium-3 mining operation. Acted by Sam Rockwell, the setting looks like a visual treat, bound to get any science fiction enthusiast’s taste buds excited. However, yesterday the trailer was released ahead of its June 12th release… and it looks good…
I can’t emphasise enough how much I love this short film. It may only be 13 minutes long, but it is as small as it is mighty, much like the dwarf planet itself.
“Naming Pluto” documents the adventure of how Pluto got its name. Inevitably with most astronomical studies, there can be some controversy surrounding the naming of celestial objects, often depending on traditional naming protocol and who made the discovery first. The naming of Pluto on the other hand appears to take on a more natural tact, starting with a conversation in 1930 involving a little girl named Venetia Phair and her grandfather, over breakfast in Oxfordshire.
Father Films have just released a trailer for their magnificent film, giving you a taster as to what to expect. I had the pleasure of watching and reviewing a copy late last year, and I was blown away by the accuracy, wonder and history that can be packed into 13 minutes (note that the DVD has extras included, extending the content to 40 minutes). I fell in love with Pluto all over again – suddenly the fact that the IAU had demoted the planet to a dwarf planet (and then to a plutoid) didn’t matter any more. Written, directed and produced by Ginita Jimenez, Naming Pluto is in the true spirit of the International Year of Astronomy, capturing the excitement surrounding a tiny member of the Solar System with excellence. I wholeheartedly recommend this short film, it needs to be in your DVD collection! Patrick Moore is also at his best, giving the proceeds his unique style. And don’t just take it from me, Astronomy Now has also given the film a highly enthusiastic review.
Check out the Naming Pluto Facebook events page for more information »
You can purchase a copy of the DVD and poster from the Father Films website.
For more, check out my reviews of Naming Pluto on the Universe Today and Astroengine.com.
Having been a reader of Discovery Space for a while now, I was excited to hear from the Discovery’s ace producer Dave Mosher, that the site had undergone a fairly radical face-lift. The excited the web designer inside me couldn’t wait to see what had been done, but it was also a relief that the superb space science reporting hadn’t changed, it had been re-packaged to make it easier to navigate. Also, as Dave expertly steers the site through the ocean of space journalism, blogging and reporting, I am very pleased to see his space blog, Space Disco, has pride of place right at the top of the site.
All that is needed now are some funky social options (perhaps some Twitter, Facebook and Google gadgets–you know me, I love my gadgets!) and Discovery Space will really hit my cosmic funny bone. Great job Dave, your hard work and leadership is really shining through, like a GRB on a dark night! (Sorry, I had to think up a geeky analogy.)
Naming Pluto, the story of Venetia Phair (© Father Films)
When my copy of the “Naming Pluto” DVD arrived in the post, I was very excited. However, this wasn’t the original plan.
Only a few days earlier, the short film was being aired down the road at the Los Angeles Femme Festival in Beverly Hills and the film’s writer, producer and director Ginita Jimenez had invited me along. Alas, I couldn’t be there (really frustrating as you know how much I love premiers!), so Ginita kindly posted a copy to me.
I had little idea about the history of the naming of Pluto (and I only had a general knowledge about how and when it was discovered), so I was looking forward to being educated as well as entertained.
Fortunately, I had the night to myself to watch Naming Pluto and take notes for a future review of the short film (just posted on the Universe Today). So I dimmed the lights and started the DVD. For the next 13 minutes, I didn’t write a word…