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Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Mathematician They Made A Feature Movie About


"Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not. 'Immortality’ may be a silly word, but probably a mathematician has the best chance of whatever it may mean."
-- G.H. Hardy

Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/g/g_h_hardy.html
Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/g/g_h_hardy.html
I saw the Ramanujan biopic, "The Man Who Knew Infinity," last night and will just add to the chorus of those recommending it (there are plenty of full, and mostly positive, reviews out there).
It starts off a bit slow, but builds in emotion towards the end. It is fairly heavy, for story-telling purposes, on the relationship between Hardy and Ramanujan, Hardy and his colleagues, and Ramanujan and his home. I would have enjoyed just a tad more on Ramanujan's actual mathematical findings and formulas, but that may have made for a less audience-generating movie -- I just fear that those seeing the film without much prior knowledge of Ramanujan's life, will come away without a full appreciation of the breadth and range of his contributions (still under study!), and how extraordinary they are for someone who died at such a young age (32) and from such an impoverished background.
A deeper exploration/portrayal of Ramanujan's insistence that his 'intuitive' knowledge came in dreams, via a Hindu Goddess, would have been intriguing as well. The movie is essentially almost as much about renowned British professor G.H. Hardy as it is about the titled central character. Still, a fairly powerful hour-and-a-half, despite some blandness along the way.
If you haven't already done so, read the book upon which the movie is based:
http://amzn.to/1Nu1AGA

Will be interesting to see what awards this film might eventually be up for. I suspect there will be one or two Oscar nominations (not necessarily winners) in the future, but I'm no whiz at such prognosticating. In any event just great to see a mathematician and mathematics take center-stage in a major-release movie, though of necessity, so much is left out of his life-story. Still, "Ramanujan," will now deservedly be more of a household name encouraging further attention, instead of a name known primarily only within mathematics circles. Like Archimedes, Pythagoras, Gauss, Newton, and so many others before him, he has gained immortality.
If it comes to your area, don't miss out. (PG-13, small amount of violence, no sex, lots of smoking which I now learn affects rating.)
More info here:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0787524/


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