Ramanujan

I really enjoy watching movies that are based on real life-stories. And I have seen a fair amount of these over the years. They are incredibly educational. And with each and everyone of them I have added new knowledge and new interests to my reservoir. There are of course those stories that are founded in a real life-event, but then the creators/writers have used their artistic freedom to spin the story in a different way. These movies can be very good too. But the ones I  like the best are the ones that are true to the original life-experience.

I watched one of the latter last night, “The man who knew infinity”, which is the story of Ramanujan, the world renowned mathematician, who changed mathematics forever, and his friendship with G. H. Hardy, a professor in mathematics at Trinity College in Cambridge.

Ramanujan was born in India in 1887 in a poor family and was a selftaught mathematian, aided and inspired by local students. He was a genious who intuitively knew the patterns and constructs of complex mathematics from an early age and who diligently wrote his findings down in notebooks some of which later became published at Trinity College in Cambridge.

With no formal education he wrote to G. H. Hardy including a small sample of his theorims and the british mathmatician, who recognized Ramanujans extraordinary talent, invited him to Trinity College to work together proving these theorims and to publish Ramanujins works.

The movie extensively covers the many obstacles Ramanujan faced: racism (India was a British colony), religious difficulties as Ramanujan was a devout Hindu and the stringent procedures of early 20th century university rules and regulations.

However, as I am not going to reveal the entire movie. It is a spellbinding story of overcoming adversities and paving the way for groundbreaking achievements in mathematics. The story is excellent and well worth watching, not just because of Ramanujans lifestory; but also because it draws a crystalclear picture of the many cultural differences which not only divided people in those days, but unfortunately still does.

We, as a species, have a long way to go – it seems.

Movies

I love movies, especially science fiction movies. But I also do enjoy wellwritten manuscripts where the writers anticipate an intelligent audience. And funny scripts. So, here are a few of my favourite movies and series. They are not in any specific order of preference, just written down as they come to mind.

Scorpion – a series inspired by the life of Walter O’brien, an entrepreneur with an IQ of 197 who together with  other highly intelligent people solve crimes and other disasters using their abilities and ingenuiety in an unconventional way. It is incredibly welldone and very revealing of the hightech society we presently live in.

Star Trek – the many series and movies related. I don’t even have a favourite, they just all seem good in their own fashion. Now there is a new series underway Star Trek Discovery which I am looking forward too.

Stargate, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe plus movies – I have seen all of these too, and some more than once. It definately appeals to me. Especially the idea of travelling to other worlds through a stargate and also to parallel universes and timelines. I enjoyed all of the films and series and I do hope that they decide to continue Stargate Universe which ended after only 2 seasons.

Gilmore Girls – all, without question. I watched the recent followup taking place 10 years after the original series and it was very entertaining. The writing by Amy Sherman-Palladino is beyond amazing. Again she writes with an intelligent viewer in mind and it shows. It is entertaing and quick-witted and funny. My kind of movie/series.

Matrix, all 3. Really, this goes without saying. I am a fan and enjoy the philosophical aspects immensely so closely linked together with the science fiction/conspiracy angle depicted. One wonders 😉

Northern Exposure – an oldie but goodie. A series taking place in Cicely, Alaska where a young doctor pays of his scholarship by working as a resident doctor in this quaint little town. It is funny and filled with unique personalities and a good portion of native american wisdom and down to earth philosophy.

The Martian – an excellent movie adapted from the book by Andy Weir. I first heard the audiobook then read the book and then saw the movie. And while they are different medias and I can see the difficulties in adapting the book to a screenplay I must admit that I do prefer the book. Allthough I did enjoy the movie as well, it is just a somewhat shrunk version of the details in written form. Nevertheless on my list as a favourite

Atlas shrugged – from the book by Ayn Rand written in 1957 and set in 2016. Again the movie is limited due to its form and the book offers so much more detail on the political philosophy Objectivism developed by Ayn Rand. The world is falling apart due to sanctions and regulations and the main character, Dagny Taggart, explores the mysterious disappearances of prominent industrialists, each uttering the words: “Who is John Galt?” I found it inspiring despite the changing cast in the 3-part series and recommendable.

Hunger Games – all 4 movies. Had me from the start. Very well told and, as I found out when I later read the three books by Suzanne Collins, completely able to stand on its own. The books have more details as they primarily center on Katniss’ thoughts, but I think the screenplay did a fine job conveying this.

Avatar – well, I have seen this several times and the amazing depiction of the moon Pandora is so beautifully done. It does seem though that it is a typical american movie primarily concerned with military power and inherent stupidity, but surrounding all of this is the creation of a wonderfull alien universe, and that makes it worth my while.

Cubic – originally called Equilibrium is another favourite exploring a future big brother society where feelings are banned and controlled through drugs. Of course this is not taken willingly by some who become rebellious in a subculture planning to overthrow the dictatorship. Really wellwritten and well made.

Cloud Atlas – from the book by David Mitchell. Centers around the reincarnations of the main characters in different roles in relation to each other. It spans over several centuries from the past and well into the future. The stories from the different centuries alternates in such a way that it makes it possible to track the developement of each character, or their karma, and connect the dots. Well worth the 3 hours, I do have the book as well, but haven’t yet completed it, allthough again the book does cover more ground than it is possible when translated into a screenplay.