New York Times - 05/30/2008
"Throughout the film Mr. Dyson, its resident scientific expert, effectively translates principles of nuclear physics into layman's language."
The atomic bomb may seem an unlikely subject for an opera, but director Peter Sellars has always strayed far from the conventional. This documentary follows Sellars and composer John Adams as they embark on their ambitious collaboration, DOCTOR ATOMIC, which tells the story of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and one of mankind's darkest inventions.
Description by New Video Group :
The spectacular opening to Jon Else's critically acclaimed WONDERS ARE MANY - nuclear blast after blast in the desert, under the ocean, high in space - intimates what is to follow: a profound and triumphant fusing of art and science, humanity and technology, destruction and creation.
WONDERS ARE MANY: THE MAKING OF DOCTOR ATOMIC traces a dazzling double-helix trajectory: one thread follows composer John Adams and director Peter Sellars as they work to create Doctor Atomic, the strange and beautiful opera about J. Robert Oppenheimer and the first atomic bomb; the other recounts the actual historical events that underpin the stage drama. Masterfully interwoven with recently declassified footage of nuclear testing in the deserts of the Southwest and the frenetic backstage action of the San Francisco Opera, the film creates an explosive vortex of performers and physicists, past and present, all of which is anchored by the enigmatic figure of Oppenheimer and channeled into high art by the creative power of Adams and Sellars.
A magnificent pastiche of potent elements, WONDERS ARE MANY allows us to see history - and ourselves - in a new light: we learn the humanity in science; the regret in discovery; and, unforgettably, the law that "matter can be neither created nor destroyed," but only transformed.
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