|2002, 20 mins. (NYU)
Director/Writer: Jessica Sharzer
Producer: Sydney Burtner, Andrij Parekh
Editors: Sharzer and Adam Walsh
Composer: Christopher Libertino
Cast: T.J. Sullivan, T.J. Stanton, Claire Beckman
|The passage between light and dark, and that between happiness and despair, find an elegant scientific metaphor in Jessica Sharzer's The Wormhole. Young Wally watches as his grandmother lectures her college students about the wormholes that connect black holes to white holes, and the immensity of the gravitational pull between them. As he listens, he remembers the time before his little brother was kidnapped and his own family was wrenched apart.
For director Sharzer, The Wormhole was not so much a chance to illustrate a scientific principle as it was the result of the way the phenomenon of wormholes sparked her imagination. Ironically, Sharzer credits "being bad at science" with providing some of the inspiration for her film.
"I figured if my hero were a child," she says, "he could interpret wormholes in a very literal and 'unscientific' way. In school, I always found science difficult because it was often abstract and analytical. Of course, it has to be to serve the discipline. But it's wonderful when science can be grounded in human experience and emotion."
Sharzer, a native of Iowa City who grew up in New York City but now lives in Los Angeles, became interested in filmmaking during college but "was unsure how to make a career of it. Finally," she says, she "applied to film school and that turned out to be a great beginning." Since making The Wormhole, she has shot the feature Speak, which showed at last year's Sundance Film Festival and will be aired on Showtime in October. And she is currently working on the life story of the great Dusty Springfield, which she will film for Universal next fall.
Of the opportunity to make The Wormhole, Sharzer says, "The Sloan Foundation grants are a wonderful way for nonscience folks like me to dip our toes in that world and explore it."
|Principles of wormholes, Scientific American|
Definition and history of time travel theory, Wikipedia
Problems in time travel movies, M.J. Young