Me & Isaac Newton

on September 17, 1999 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
   Michael Apted follows "Inspirations," his look at seven varied artists, with a new film about seven scientists, including a primatologist, a computer scientist and a linguist, among others. His format is once again divided into three parts: an intro to his subjects, conversations about what they do and a few observations about where they see their future going. But Apted's method of interviewing his subjects separately, rather than allowing them to interact with each other, is moribund; he doesn't challenge them, and thus the portraits of them are more in the vein of a simple TV interview than a penetrating film study. For example, we never do find out why Steven Pinker, the expert linguist who specializes in children's cognitive development, is, as he says, one of the more "controversial" scientists in his field. Apted does capture the fascination of science for those who have made it their life work but "Me & Isaac Newton" never really does justice to their compelling concepts and ideas.    Directed by Michael Apted. Produced by Eileen Gregory. No distributor set. Documentary. Not yet rated. Running time: 112 min.
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