Salon spoke with scientists who praised “Deep Impact” — and with others who helped make it
By Matthew Rozsa, Staff Writer, Published May 6, 2023 10:00AM (EDT)
In anticipation of the 25-year-anniversary of “Deep Impact,” Dr. Clark R. Chapman and his wife Y Chapman decided to rewatch the classic sci-fi disaster flick. Dr. Chapman is uniquely qualified to assess the movie’s merits: “Deep Impact” is about a comet the size of Mount Everest that is heading on a collision course with Earth, and Chapman is a planetary scientist for the B612 Foundation, a nonprofit which protects Earth from comets, asteroids and other near-Earth Objects (NEOs).
Perhaps unusual for a big-budget sci-fi flick, Dr. Chapman strongly approved of the film’s science, and both he and Y — an environmental activist and artist who donates to the B612 Foundation — said that as a work of art they “highly rate the movie’s production and creativity. It treats a number of characters in sufficiently intimate detail that viewers get to ‘know’ them.”
Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item...
Through all the times Irwin Allen destroyed cities in his ‘70s era disaster films, and as many times as Hollywood took out humanity through climate-based disasters or alien invasions, none did it better than Deep Impact.
Not for the destructive spectacle; Deep Impact has surprisingly little, and the visual effects lack the sizzle they once carried.
Instead, it’s because of Tea Leoni, standing in fear on the seashore with her previously disowned father, waiting for a cataclysmic tidal wave to end their lives.
Rarely does disaster claim the lead actor’s life. Here, she’s obliterated when humanity fails. There’s something inherently human about the acceptance, the defeat, and reality that drives Deep Impact’s drama to that moment (even if Leoni’s broadcast journalist shtick before lacks the same real world conviction).
It’s no secret big Hollywood studios like a sure bet, and there’s no shortage of predictable movies to prove it.
Which is probably why Nicolas Cage left Los Angeles for Las Vegas a long time ago. At 59, the Academy Award winner owns one of the most eclectic lists of film credits in the business.
He’s been at it for more than 40 years – pivoting from leading man to action-hero to a slew of lesser features and back again. But we learned, behind that kaleidoscope of characters is a unique imagination and an encyclopedic knowledge of film… that seems to motivate everything Nicolas Cage does… his work, his life, and even this.
The retirement speech of General Douglas MacArthur. A talk on three Caravaggio paintings by a National Gallery curator. Several hours of woodland noise to fall asleep to. All 13 episodes of Civilisation. Clips of how Gavi is coming on at Barcelona. An interview with Saul Bellow on Swiss Italian TV. A review of the De’Longhi Dedica coffee machine. A Tame Impala gig I missed in Hackney last summer. Gore Vidal drawling his way through Venice for 90 minutes. A guide to the five tones in spoken Thai.
Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. Someone’s hour-long drive through my old neighbourhood in LA. A documentary about the Meiji Restoration in French. How to re-pressurise a boiler. The academic philosopher Anthony Quinton explaining Wittgenstein. Martha Nussbaum explaining Aristotle. An American expat eating bánh cuon in Hanoi. A British expat eating prawn pad kaprao in Bangkok. Versions of L’Orfeo from the Barcelona and Zurich opera houses. A discussion of how close China came to industrialising in the Song dynasty. Four parkour runners seemingly beating the Tube in a race from Moorgate to Farringdon stations. A 158-minute interview with Emmanuel Macron. How to use an Indesit washer-dryer. The above is a basket of goods from the great souk we call YouTube. I pay a tenner a month for these videos. I could put up with adverts and pay nothing.
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ is one of Bob Dylan’s greatest moments. Written in 1973, the track features a glamorous, all-star band. Boasting The Byrds frontman Roger McGuinn on the six-string and Jim Keltner on the drums, it also utilised the talents of the iconic backing singers Carol Hunter, Donna Weiss and Brenda Patterson. Together, this stellar lineup created something spiritually driven and emotionally hard-hitting.
Out of all of Dylan’s post-1960s work, ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ is one of his most loved. Described by Dylan biographer Clinton Heylin as “an exercise in splendid simplicity”, it discusses the notions of life and death, and through its glorious composition, it has earned legions of fans with an inter-generational appeal that is largely unseen in music.
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