the friend online
17 August 2007


Arts miscellany - preview
Dangerous Knowledge

  • A David Malone film shown on BBC Four, 8 August 2007

  • Critics are renowned for rubbishing television 'entertainment'
  • So when Thomas Sutcliffe the Independent's TV critic headlined his piece about this film – 'This was so good, I didn't want it to end', I thought he was being ironic

  • But no, as he went on to explain
  • Impressed by the weaving of thought and imagery, he was captivated by David's 'beautiful economy' and the film's 'stylistic unity'

  • This is a film about the dangers of stretching the boundaries of what we know
  • It shows the labours of four men driven by their pursuit of knowledge
  • Working on the very edge of what was known and publishing their extraordinary findings with incontrovertible proof, they attracted the wrath of their colleagues and drove themselves to despair
  • Why? Because they challenged the certainties of established thought, rocking to destruction the foundations of their discipline
  • Madness or suicide followed
  • But in remaining faithful to their craft they cleared the way for others, for instance, to unlock the secrets of the atom and the universe


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