star men

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 AT 7:30PM | REGULAR ADMISSION PRICES at the Loft Cinema, 3222  E. Speedway Blvd. Tucson

This presentation is part of Science on Screen at The Loft, an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation, with major support from the Alfred P. Sloane Foundation.


“Don’t miss the U.S. Premiere of the acclaimed new documentary Star Men, featuring an introduction by University of Arizona astronomer Chris Impey, and a post-film discussion with Impey, director Alison Rose, and film subject Professor Neville “Nick” Woolf!

In the new documentary Star Men, four exceptional astronomers celebrate 50 years of work and friendship on a road trip through the southwest, recapturing youthful adventures and recounting each other’s influences on the most exciting period in astronomy’s history: Professor Donald Lynden-Bell,  the theoretician; Professor Neville “Nick” Woolf, the visionary;  and Professor Wallace L.W. Sargent, the observer.  Together they represent the most productive period astronomy has ever had. They helped build the world’s biggest observatories and made revolutionary discoveries about the evolving universe, discoveries that have the power to change the way humanity sees itself.  In old age and facing death, their journey through memory and the breath-taking landscape provokes them to reflect on how their profound work on the universe has reflected back on the individual, affecting their sense of religious faith, how life may have purpose, and what is knowable and unknowable.  Filmed in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, the film draws a character-driven, intimate portrait of friendship as the men travel from the century-old telescope on Mt. Wilson through a progression of larger and more powerful observatories. They pause at the Grand Canyon, and re-take a hike that nearly defeated them when they were young.  (Dir. by Alison Rose, 2015, Canada/USA/UK, 88 mins., Not Rated)

Chris Impey is a noted author and professor and deputy head of the department of astronomy at the University of Arizona. His astronomy research focuses on observational cosmology—using telescopes and other instruments to study the large-scale structure and evolution of the universe. He also does research on education and science literacy.

Alison Rose is a producer, director, and writer whose filmmaking explores how people experience and understand the world – scientifically; ethically. Alison worked at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics for 18 months during the making of Star Men. Her previous documentaries include Galileo’s Sons & Love at the Twilight Motel.

Professor Neville “Nick” Woolf received his PhD in Astrophysics from Manchester University in 1959. After his graduation, he moved to the United States, first to the Lick Observatory of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and then to the Princeton University Observatory in Princeton, New Jersey. In 1965, he became a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and in 1966, he was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship at the National Academy of Sciences. In 1974, he became a professor at the University of Arizona, where he helped create the Mount Graham International Observatory.   Professor Woolf pioneered adaptive optics, making telescope images sharper by subtracting atmospheric interference.

Science on Screen is designed to pair thought-provoking films, old and new, with insightful contextual discussions with local experts and academics to create illuminating and entertaining programming that will bring the exciting world of science alive on the big screen. Made possible by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation.”