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Carlos Prime [Celluloid 11.23.15] documentary

When can a generation tell if the future is happening? Or around the corner?

In the past, one imagines it would have been life-changing to see through a telescope for the first time, or hear a combustion engine start up. The endless directions various minds take with technology are unpredictable and staggeringly clever.

Perhaps it’s time again. The future just might be here.

Making science fiction startlingly close to reality, the brilliant engineering minds behind the creation of the Orbital Tower (or "Space Elevator") explain it to the rest of us in Sky Line. The possibilities will seem endless when entrance into outer space becomes so simple and accessible. As someone with moderate exposure to science fiction literature growing up- I had a great time with this one.

There’s a handful of different companies and, at times, individuals vying for the breakthrough that will make the Orbital Lift a part of the next generation’s infrastructure. The theory is sound, and every inventor seems to be on the same page in terms of exactly how to make the climb to space. The only hang-up is that nobody can make the lightweight and absurdly durable carbon tube material necessary for the device to function. We see years and years of preparation- scientists and engineers piling up research in every other facet of the device’s planning, in anticipation of somebody eventually fabricating the currently unobtainable material.

Glimpses into the lives of these dedicated individuals show exactly what it takes to fully dedicate a life to scientific faith. Fully accepting the notion that they may never live to see the day this dream becomes a reality, the brilliant (and mostly humble) minds explored in this doc get the mental gears running in the imaginations of everyone else.

Combining years of footage from different stages in the lives of the scientists, a comprehensive view of what may one day come is clearly and concisely explained.

It’s exciting, in a low-key sort of way. Intellectually stimulating like a 60’s sci-fi book, and peppered with references to Arthur C. Clarke, this is one you don’t’ want to miss- seeing as how it could easily be the groundwork for humanity’s greatest engineering achievement.

While watching, I couldn’t help but think of how magnificent a feat it would be for the people of this planet to unite and erect a monument of our glory- and the two greatest minds trying to make it happen are quarreling like ex-Beatles. Unfortunate, but also the grim reality of our species.

Once ego excuses itself from the table, science will hopefully prevail.

Sky Line is now available on VOD.

Recommended Release: Childhood's End

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