Sex is a simple word for a very complex set of desires. It cuts to the core of our passions, our wants, our emotions. But when it goes wrong, it can be the most painful thing of all. Professor Alice Roberts looks through 45 years of Horizon archive to see how science came to understand sex, strived to solve our problems with it, and even help us to do it better. Can science save the day when sex goes wrong?
2013 • People
From the protests of Tiananmen Square to the fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989 transformed global politics in profound ways that still resonate today; former Secretary of State James Baker and journalists provide eyewitness accounts.
In May 1893, a man is thrown out of a train, on the platforms of the train station of Pietermaritzburg, a little city of South Africa, for daring to sit in a first-class compartment. This young Indian lawyer is named Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
From Luke Skywalker's light sabre to Darth Vader's Death Star, the Star Wars franchise is one of the defining science fiction works of the later 20th century. George Lucas' prolific imagination has already inspired two generations of scientists and engineers to push the envelope of technology. By introducing computers into the filmmaking process, he changed the way movies are made, and the way we all see the future.
Man on Wire is a 2008 documentary film directed by James Marsh. The film chronicles Philippe Petit's 1974 high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center and is based on Philippe Petit's book, To Reach the Clouds, which has recently been released in paperback with the new title Man on Wire. The film is crafted like a heist film, presenting rare footage of the preparations for the event and still photographs of the walk, alongside reenactments (with Paul McGill as the young Petit) and modern-day interviews with the participants. Native New Yorkers know to expect the unexpected, but who among them could've predicted that a man would stroll between the towers of the World Trade Center? French high-wire walker Philippe Petit did just that on August 7th, 1974. Petit’s success may come as a foregone conclusion, but British filmmaker James Marsh’s pulse-pounding documentary still plays more like a thriller than a non-fiction entry--in fact, it puts most thrillers to shame. Marsh (Wisconsin Death Trip, The King) starts by looking at Petit's previous stunts. First, he took on Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral, then Sydney's Harbour Bridge before honing in on the not-yet-completed WTC. The planning took years, and the prescient Petit filmed his meetings with accomplices in France and America. Marsh smoothly integrates this material with stylized re-enactments and new interviews in which participants emerge from the shadows as if to reveal deep, dark secrets which, in a way, they do, since Petit's plan was illegal, "but not wicked or mean." The director documents every step they took to circumvent security, protocol, and physics as if re-creating a classic Jules Dassin or Jean-Pierre Melville caper. Though still photographs capture the feat rather than video, the resulting images will surely blow as many minds now as they did in the 1970s when splashed all over the media. Not only did Petit walk, he danced and even lay down on the cable strung between the skyscrapers. It competed in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize: World Cinema Documentary and the World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary. In February 2009, the film won the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film, the Independent Spirit Awards and the Academy Award for Best Documentary.
2008 • People