Cinema Arts Centre - Cinema 1 Sat, Jun 17, 2023 7:00 PM


Science on Screen®

Film / Lecture / Q&A

Saturday, June 17 at 7pm


with Sebastian White, High Energy physicist, CERN

featuring a screening of TESLA

Starring Ethan Hawke, Kyle MacLachlan, and Jim Gaffigan

Members $10 / Public $15


Join us for a mind-expanding exploration of the pioneering scientist Nikola Tesla, featuring a lecture by Sebastian White, and a rare big-screen showing of Michael Almereyda’s unconventional 2020 biopic.


Brilliant, visionary Nikola Tesla (Ethan Hawke) fights an uphill battle to bring his revolutionary electrical system to fruition, then faces thornier challenges with his new system for worldwide wireless energy. The film tracks Tesla’s uneasy interactions with his fellow inventor Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan) and his patron George Westinghouse (Jim Gaffigan).  Another thread traces Tesla’s sidewinding courtship of financial titan J.P. Morgan (Donnie Keshawarz), whose daughter Anne (Eve Hewson) takes a more than casual interest in the inventor.  Anne analyzes and presents the story as it unfolds, offering a distinctly modern voice to this scientific period drama which, like its subject, defies convention. (USA, 2020, 102 min., color, DCP)


Nikola Tesla arrived in the United States in 1884 after absorbing the essentials of the new science of Electromagnetic Theory through study in his native country, as well as Graz, Prague and then practical experience in Budapest and Paris. His arrival roughly coincided with a period sometimes referred to as the American Renaissance in Art and Architecture (~1876-1917). Tesla fit right in and played an important role in The Columbia World Exposition (1893), which showcased much of what this stood for. Along with the sense of national identity, a key element was a sense of modernism and technology for which Tesla was a star.


Dr. White will discuss some of the inventions with which Tesla is correctly credited and others that relate to developments today, as well as exploring the broadness of

Tesla’s interests as seen in his friendships with Mark Twain, Vivekananda and Stanford White, among others.


Sebastian White is a High Energy physicist who, like many radio amateurs growing up in the New York area, learned early on about the life and work of Nikola Tesla. Only later, following a (2009) New York Times article about Tesla’s laboratory “Wardenclyffe” in Shoreham, NY, did he learn of the friendship and collaboration between his great-grandfather, Stanford White and Tesla. White now serves as a science advisor to Wardenclyffe, which had its groundbreaking ceremony this past April. He studied physics at Harvard and received a Ph.D. from Columbia University for work on the first hadron collider (the CERN ISR). Since then he has performed experiments at all 5 Hadron Colliders, most recently the CERN LHC.

Poster for Tesla (2020)

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