Monday, December 17, 2012


So I had to remove the Oskar Fischinger post as there was a copyright complaint. Oh well. Friday we watched a Polish movie called Iluminacja, by Krzysztof Zanussi. I never thought a film about physics could be so beautiful. Of course it's about a lot of other things as well. The main character is a graduate student trying to juggle life and love and research, with little success. But this portrait of the physicist as a young man also includes documentary-like detours into the ethics of science, including interviews with young Polish physicists about war and a sequence filmed in what appears to be an actual mental hospital. That makes it sound a bit heavy going, but it's really quite stylish and fun, like a Polish Poor Cow with brief science and harpsichord interludes.

I thought it might be fun to do something of a year end list in the next few days, so keep an eye out for that. Not a best-of-2012 so much as a loose set of impressions and directions for 2013. We'll see...