April 17th, 2008

lego me

your life, dramatized

When you're a kick-ass martial artist, do you groan at the liberties taken with personal combat on film? do you cringe at Keanu's form? If you're a doctor, do the operating-table confrontations on ER make you groan? As a technically savvy individual, I never buy science or engineering as it is presented on screen. The writing is invariably wrong, throwing out exposition or metaphors that no geek would ever use. And the delivery is never right, emphasizing certain words as if they're cool or important where they're really just mundane. The too-pretty actor has never solved a differential equation in his life and it shows.

A recent re-visiting of Primer reminded me that this is one of my favorite movies of all time. It makes no effort to explain itself as the convoluted (but still internally consistent) plot loops back into itself like a mobius crazy-straw. The actors talk like real engineers talk, without patronizing or condescending to the audience.

Are there other realistic depictions of scientists, engingeers, mathematicians, and other professional geeks on film? For that matter, does any profession ever feel it is well-represented dramatically?