Larry Kardish

Larry Kardish – Mad Science and Popular Cinema 1910 – 2020 – November 2019

Although “Oscar” is a creature of an organization called the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Hollywood has for 110 years made the “sciences” a terrific villain in its films as the 2018 Oscar winner, The Shape of Water, demonstrably shows. With a few notable exceptions, American cinema has portrayed movie scientists as ambitious, driven, single-minded, demonic (but not necessarily evil) and slightly berserk. In their search for a better world, according to Hollywood, scientists have made a worse one.

And why not? Treating scientists seriously would make for boring cinema and deprive film lovers of many enjoyable genre films, like horror, science-fiction, mysteries and even biographies.

In an illustrated talk, Laurence Kardish, the former Senior Curator of Film at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, follows the image of scientists in a century plus of film as they create wondrous dramatic trouble and eye-popping havoc on planet Earth.

Join us on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 7:00 pm in the auditorium of the Ottawa Public Library, 120 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa.


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