BLAST! is an intriguing documentary about a team of astrophysicists who travel to both poles in an effort to launch a massive telescope from a hot air balloon to discover more about the origins of the universe. The film originally premiered at Hot Docs in 2008 and is airing in Canada on the Discovery Channel on Friday February 21st at 7:30pm EST.
Doc blogger Agnes Varnum caught the film at the Sheffield Doc Fest in November and called it:
a movie about a scientific project but it is also about learning through trial and error, about what we know and don’t know about the universe, and also a smattering of faith in science.
Toronto science blogger Eva Amsen was also enthusiastic:
All in all, BLAST! was a blast! I loved that it was so very much focused on the work, not just on the results. The film had some animations to explain basic astrophysics concepts, but it also showed what the actual measurements from the telescope looked like (just graphs and numbers) and it emphasized how much work there was still left in actually interpreting the data. There are also some great shots of scientists being either sad or happy depending on how the research went that day, and everyone being bored and irritated when they have to wait for the weather to change. That’s science in action.
I respect the opinions of both of these women, and therefore I’m looking forward very much to seeing BLAST! If you’re at all interested in seeing real scientists at work, and wondering about the curiosity that drives them to the ends of the earth in search of knowledge, you won’t want to miss this broadcast.
Saw “Blast” at Hot Docs last year and it is a fine example of scientists being, well, scientists. And I love that kinda stuff. I seem to remember it lost a bit of steam in spots when it focused too much on the lead scientist (the director is his brother), but that’s picking on nits…