Molson goes to the Vault: Copenhagen

Sometimes a flick comes along that mixes subject matter with technique and the whole ball of wax turns into fine art. Like the 2002 BBC TV-film Copenhagen starring Daniel Craig, Stephen Rea, and Francesca Annis. It’s basically just a conversation between two old friends —Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr — back in 1941. The atom’s been split for a couple of years and everybody’s concerned about whether or not Hitler’s crack physicists are going to figure out how to make a big-ass bomb now. 

Fortunately for the world, due to Hitler’s cracked head, most of the top particle physicists in Europe had left his domain because they happened to be Jewish. In 1941, Bohr (half-Jewish) hadn’t left Denmark yet and Heisenberg, one of the few brainiacs remaining in Deutschland (he wasn’t Jewish), went to visit him. According to the film, he either went to find out if the Allies were building a bomb, to get some missing piece of the bomb puzzle, or to beg Bohr to not develop the bomb at all. No one knows for sure. Not important.

The thing about this film is that it has virtually no action in it. It’s just people walking around, conversating. And yet it’s mesmerizing. At one point the camera swirls around the two men facing off in the middle of a park. Big trees, lots of empty space. Kind of like the landscape down at the quantum level. The camera movement makes you feel like an electron in a p-shell of a U-235 atom. And suddenly Bohr gets pissed. He goes flying off. The friendship is split apart.

It’s an alleglorious moment of cinematic beauty, elevating film art to fine art. You dig?

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Who Doesn’t Love a Little Vice

Who doesn’t love a little vice?

Nugget Molson here with some stellar movie criticism.

Okay, Vice, yeah. Cheney. Double Entendré. Sure, the film is biased, but there were no WMDs, let’s not forget that. And whose fault was that? W’s? Rummy’s? Follow the money. Can you spell Halliburton?

The story’s familiar to anybody who lived through it. It’s straight out of the headlines from the oughts. What I’m saying is that there’s no new info here. The strength of the movie is in the way they tell it. I mean, the Shakespeare soliloquy between Dick and Lynne Cheney in bed: that’s priceless. Question: If there’s two people in it, is it a duliloquy? Dunno, anyway, it’s nice touches like that that make Vice a great little flick.

So is it a fair rendering of Cheney’s presidential reign? Ha! you say, he was the VP, not the big guy. Just watch the film, see what you think, then get back to me on that.

Meantime, consider a donation to our little film, Dust Nuggets. It’s not presidential, but it is mind-blowing in the way of American politics. Help out here: https://fiscal.ifp.org/project.cfm/1093/