Volume 22, Issue 3 / March 2018

Stephen Hawking

One of his generation’s greatest scientists, Stephen Hawking, died on March 14, 2018 at the age of 76. Hawking lived with a debilitating motor neurone disease from the age of 21, but that never stopped him from achieving great heights in the fields of physics, cosmology and science, as a theorist, academic, educator, and writer. As a tribute to Hawking, Offscreen leads off this issue with an in-depth analysis by Daniel Garrett of the film based on his life, The Theory of Everything, the title of his review: “Faith, Knowledge, Illness, Sacrifice: Stephen and Jane Hawking in the film The Theory of Everything.” Garrett writes a positive review of a film that takes a challenging subject, the physicist Stephen Hawking and his important contributions to science and knowledge. Part of what Garrett likes is the film’s commitment to intelligence and un-ending curiosity, a quality that he finds is often missing from the landscape of American contemporary art and culture. The balance of the issue is more or less a mix of subjects, although loosely linked by a concentration on cinema and politics. Parisa Javadi analyzes how the formal choices of long take specialist Lav Diaz informs the politics of fear and violence in the Philippine film From What is Before, a film set in the Philippines during the martial law of 1972, declared by President Ferdinand Marcos. First time writer Mazyar Mahdavifar reviews a recent book on Iranian cinema, Reform Cinema in Iran: Film and Political Change in the Islamic Republic by Blake Atwood (published in 2016). Troy Bordun reviews the latest film, Happy End, by the Austrian director whose films are always informed by a strong social or political (and often controversial) spine, Michael Haneke. For the last piece, Christina Stojanova reports on her involvement at the prestigious FIPRESCI (the international federation of film critics) Colloquium on Russian Cinema at St. Petersburg, Russia, which took place between November 13-15, 2017. (Donato Totaro, ed.)

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