Earlier this month, at the fall conference of the American Geophysical Union, Jon Amiel gave a presentation about how science is represented in movies. Amiel is the director of 2003's The Core, a movie in which Aaron Eckhart nukes the center of the world and sunlight melts the Golden Gate Bridge. It may not shock readers to learn that Amiel told the assembled scientists he'd rather tell a cracking good story than get hung up on whether certain plot elements make the slightest bit of sense.
Hamish Johnston at Physics World reports:
After showing us some very funny clips from The Core, Amiel went on to discuss the question of whether Hollywood should try to represent science and scientists in an accurate way. Unsurprisingly, he believes that the success of a film comes from its ability to stir the emotions, and the aim of staying faithful to the science always comes second.
Amiel's comments should perhaps be weighed against those of Deep Impact screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin, who said of his own movie, "I really worked hard trying to make this film scientifically accurate." On the other hand, and in fairness to Amiel, it is true that every emotionally affecting piece of art in the Western canon, from Anna Karenina to Midnight Cowboy to Tristan und Isolde, features a scene where Aaron Eckhart nukes the center of the world, and then sunlight melts the Golden Gate Bridge.
[Hat tip: io9]