Not the usual fare on the Whole Human blog, this indie movie offers some engaging moments and an interesting story-line sprinkled with theoretical quantum physics.
A trailer, the full movie, a press release and review, and the official web site link are packed into the post along with my personal comment.
Einstein's God Model - Trailer
Many can relate to the emotional theme of this story, which is the sense of loss at the death of a loved one and the desire to make connection. I certainly felt this at the death of my two brothers in separate car accidents, followed by the deaths of my mother and father. My younger brother died at 17 when I was 21, and I did seek to connect with him.
Still, if I had a choice to communicate with those who have passed from earth life or with 'the ground of being, pure consciousness embedded in an infinite field of potentiality' — I would choose the latter. My conversations with 'cooperative networks of conscious particles through the focal point of Heartstone' touch upon this.
In the movie, it is stated that the personality is an electro-magnetic field and that after death it survives, and travels on gravitons to another membrane. It refers to the personality as a person's essence. I feel that essence is something different than the personality field, especially when you go into the deeper planes. The essence of all essences is the ground of being.
The official press release for the movie starts out:
'Einstein’s God Model takes audiences to THE QUANTUM REALM
'Los Angeles, CA (March, 2017): Einstein’s God Model is a mind bending sci-fi thriller that explores the connection between quantum physics and the afterlife!'
The indie exploration was fun for me, at least in moments, and I enjoyed the brief references to super string and membrane theory, the bold imagery and music score.
The PR goes on:
'Winner Best Picture 2016 Comicon & Best Science Boston Science Fiction Film Festival, this independent feature film uses the science of quantum physics and string theory to take us on a clandestine adventure beyond the known universe. Director Philip T. Johnson uses love as the ultimate connection, compelling his main character, Brayden, to fearlessly trust a shadowy physicist and a blind psychic drunk who launch him into other dimensions in search of his fiancee.
'Einstein's God Model recently won the Metaphysical Media award at the 2016 RAW Science Film Festival on the 20th Century Fox studio lot. The awards ceremony was attended by noted physicists Kip Thorne (gravitational waves, "Interstellar") and Stephen Wolfram (“Arrival"). The film also won Best Picture, Judges Choice, and Best Visual Effects at the 2016 Classic Comic Con!
'Mr. Johnson, the Director of Einstein’s God Model states "EGM is a mashup of classic technicolor science fiction and modern theoretical physics. We really wanted everything to have this cool pulp scifi flavor - the story, the characters, the visual effects, and even the music were designed as a nod to that cinematic period.”
'Geeks & nerds are discovering a new breed of independent sci-fi filmmakers who, without studio support, are creating original stories that kick fiction’s butt with a blast of science!
'Producer Kenneth Hughes is a voice for independent filmmaking on the festival scene, and brought in a deep bench of Hollywood talent to create a powerful post-production team. The film's amazing score was composed by Senon Williams of the immensely popular band “Dengue Fever” - a darling of public radio. Erik Tillmans of Dreamworks supervised the film's groundbreaking visual effects. Naaman Haynes supervised the creation of the film's other worldly soundscape and mixed the film's sound at the legendary Technicolor sound studios on the Paramount lot in Hollywood. Producer Craig Dow of Imageworks Chicago, has over 20 years of production experience, working with such artists as Gary Sinise, Jane Seymour, Kristin Chenoweth, and recently wrapped production on “Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk” directed by Eric Stoltz.
'Much of the cast comes from the Chicago acting community (e.g. Second City Theater), including Brad Norman (Craig Leeham) and Darryl Warren (Dr. Carl Meiselhoff). The film also enjoyed The Discovery Channel’s, Mike Turano as the Director of Photography.
'Other facts: The production had physics professor Daniel Record (a veteran of the Apollo Moon program and NASA educator) consulting. Dr. William Rosenblatt of Yale University, contributed as the medical consultant. Using the visual effects as a character, the filmmakers went to great lengths to blur the line between science and fiction, perhaps even ... erase it?
“… an engaging mind bender” – Los Angeles Times (Noel Murray) Rotten Tomatoes FRESH!
“… this imaginative indie is bursting with ambition.” - The Hollywood Reporter (Frank Scheck)
“Einstein’s God Model opens a door and never shuts it …” – Cinema On the Rocks (Ziggy)
NOVEMBER 15, 2017 EINSTEIN’S GOD MODEL (MOVIE REVIEW)
Dave Heath, CrypticRock
'Induction Productions make their cinematic debut with a story about scientists getting in touch with the afterlife in Einstein’s God Model. Initially released in the US back in May of 2016 through Indie Rights, over the past year plus it has earned more and more attention in the VOD world.
'The tale follows Brayden Taylor (Aaron Graham: Paint Crew 2009, Two Guys Eating Thai 2011), a man having trouble coming to terms with the death of his fiancée, Abbey (Kirby O’Connell: The Beast 2009, Fancypants 2011). Inspired by Thomas Edison’s claims of contacting the deceased, and the experiments of Dr Carl Meiselhoff (Darryl Warren: Spawn 1997, Return to Me 2000), he tracks down a device that could allow him to reach Abbey one more time; the Edison Spectrograph. He just needs a little help operating it from both Meiselhoff’s protégé, Dr Mastenbrook (Kenneth Hughes: The Island 2005, The Bloody Indulgent 2014), and Craig Leehan, one of the machine’s former subjects (Brad Norman: America’s Most Haunted 2013, Bridal Boot Camp 2017).
'For a film called Einstein’s God Model, it sure talks about Edison a lot. This does get explained in a rather interesting way in the film, but the gist seems to be a battle of ideals over how far humans can expand their knowledge. Einstein says there are limits, while Edison says there are not – least not without the right equipment. It is lucky this difference in ideals did not cause any arguments on set, considering ‘A. Einstein’ is credited as ‘Relativity Chairman’, and ‘T. Edison’ as the one behind the ‘Spectrographic EMF Receiver’ (“…from designs by N. Tesla”) in the opening sequence. Okay, it is just a science joke, but with each fake credit connecting to each part of the Spectrograph (the goggles appear next to a credit for ‘Multiverse Optics’), it is a cute one.
'This scientific take on talking to ghosts is an uncommon, if not unique, take on the genre. The New Haven Film Festival, Classic Comic Con Film Festival, Melbourne Australia Film Festival, Phoenix Comicon Film Festival, and Boston SciFi Film Festival seemed to agree, giving it awards for Best Picture, Best Science Fiction Film, and Best Science Award, amongst others. The Raw Science Film Festival even gave it the Metaphysical Science Award, and the Something Wicked Film Festival gave Philip T. Johnson the Best Director Award. Not bad for a man who started out as the B-camera operator on 2009’s short film Donkey Punch (not to be confused with the boat Horror-Drama. That was in 2008).
'He also wrote, produced, and edited Einstein’s God Model, on top of designing the visual effects, and acting in it as both the host of a TV science show and as Edison himself in narration. That is a nice feel-good story in itself – one man works hard to achieve his vision, and it manages to pay off on the Independent film circuit. Just him and the best cast and crew a $2 million budget could afford.
'It is not exactly low budget, but for that amount of money it is a good-looking film. With help from Mike Bosland (The Ghostmaker 2012, Titans of Newark 2012) and Erik Tillmans (Enchanted 2007, Trolls 2017), Johnson’s effects look very flashy and bright. They do not stick out too much either, least not for most of the film. It is one of those cases where less is more, and more is less. The effects look better when they are used sparingly – a wisp here, some electricity there, etc., but when they are all over the place, it shows where the film hit the ceiling of its SFX budget.
'The cinematography, by Mike Turano (Mastodon Live at the Aragon), is not so bad either, but it does not go beyond Indie film expectations. This is especially clear when it is combined with Johnson’s editing, like the use of the over-the-shoulder camera for select conversation scenes. Otherwise, it tends to be one shot showing all the key players in the scene, before cutting in close on one or the other as it progresses. Perhaps this was a case of playing it safe, as the swinging, swooping camera angles used for the stunt sequences in the first half of the film are more distracting than convincing.
'This is also the more emotional half of the film; where the audience sees how Brayden and Abbey get on before tragedy ensues. It aims to be touching, but it feels more melodramatic as the universe seems eager to dump on the couple. It is not helped by the stiff acting, with Graham and O’Connell coming off as quite wooden. It does have its strong performances, and they lie in Hughes’ clinical yet eccentric Dr Mastenbrook, and Norman’s bitter yet humorous Leehan. The former is almost as stiff as Graham, but it feels more natural that way because it fits the weirdly dry character so well. Meanwhile, the latter has the most personality, with his sarcastic quips and attitude, yet he knows just as much about the experiment – if not more so – than Mastenbrook. He may not be the protagonist, but he is the star of the show.
'So, with the camera going between pedestrian and weird, and the acting being so-so (with exceptions), the strongest appeal of Einstein’s God Model rests in its story. Though it starts out overwrought, it finds its feet once the science kicks in. It goes into some fascinating ideas on life after death and string theory amongst others. Those averse to technobabble are unlikely to be impressed, but it is intriguing enough to keep others in their seats. It may not touch the heart as effectively as it hoped to, but it does touch the brain in a good way, if not better than its blockbuster counterparts. For these reasons, CrypticRock gives Einstein’s God Model 3.5 out of 5 stars.'