Movie Mann
Nov 20, 2014
Bishop Hill in Climate: Mann

The new film Interstellar has been generating quite a lot of column inches in recent weeks, with many people noting that it features a data-falsifying scientist named Dr Mann. I was intrigued to note that the film's scientist adviser was Kip Thorne, a physicist from Caltech, and wondered what he and Richard Muller discussed at the coffee machine of a morning.

Anyway, while some people have pooh-poohed the idea that there is any connection between the fictional Dr Mann and the real one, it seems that the film's director Christopher Nolan is quite clear that there is:

And ‘Mann’ is a weighty name, definitely. But once I christened him that, I felt I had to go for it. I did apologize to Michael Mann, too. I told him, ‘It’s not intended as an affront!’

And there do seem to be some interesting parallels between the fictional Mann and the factional one (if that's the word). For example, Nolan describes Movie Mann as being motivated by 'selfishness and cowardice'.

It’s the kind of sequence where you loathe the guy because he’s doing something that you feel you might wind up doing in a similar situation. It’s very logical, but the rationalization of it is extraordinary—the way he was able to rationalize his own cowardice into a positive thing. Loneliness and desperation will make us do crazy things.

Read the whole thing.

Update on Nov 20, 2014 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

In the comments, Latimer Alder notes the existence of a film director called Michael Mann. But still...

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