The Experimental Cinema of Jonathan Keats

Plants are able to perform photosynthesis and therefore, plants are in a position to enjoy cinematography, to enjoy films since the essence of film is light. 

The Experimental Cinema of Jonathan Keats

I have always been somewhat of a dilettante who enjoys doing everything and doesn’t do anything very well and there are a lot of other people out there who were making films quite well indeed, people like Stanley Kubrick for instance, people like Steven Spielberg arguably. 


I felt that I probably could not compete with them because Hollywood already has employed them and humans are already entrenched in a way that we tend to expect of film certain things that make us crave what probably I as a filmmaker could never deliver like narrative.  

So I decided that I would seek other audiences and it occurred to me that while there are a lot of us, there are a lot more plants and plants are able to perform photosynthesis and therefore, plants are in a position to enjoy cinematography, to enjoy films since the essence of film is light. 

So I started to think about what plants might like, what sorts of movies might appeal to them and one thing about being a plant is that you have roots, so you don’t get to go anywhere and so I thought about perhaps travel documentaries as a form of entertainment and even of enlightenment that might appeal to plants, that what I might do is to film places where the plants were not and could not go and then to provide plants with that experience vicariously.

Now if you’re a plant of course you don’t really care about the Eiffel Tower or the Coliseum.  What matters to you is the sky.  That’s sort of the ultimate tourist attraction.  So I filmed skies in Italy initially and I made travel documentaries that simply screened those skies for plants in a theater that I set up in New York and those plants over a period of several months were able to—they were ficus trees. 

They were able to enjoy a little bit of Italy from afar and then they went back to their old New York ways and their old New York world, but perhaps they were different in ways that I don’t know, that we’ll never find out.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

There are 5 eras in the universe's lifecycle. Right now, we're in the second era.

Astronomers find these five chapters to be a handy way of conceiving the universe's incredibly long lifespan.

Image based on logarithmic maps of the Universe put together by Princeton University researchers, and images produced by NASA based on observations made by their telescopes and roving spacecraft

Image source: Pablo Carlos Budassi
Surprising Science
  • We're in the middle, or thereabouts, of the universe's Stelliferous era.
  • If you think there's a lot going on out there now, the first era's drama makes things these days look pretty calm.
  • Scientists attempt to understand the past and present by bringing together the last couple of centuries' major schools of thought.
Keep reading Show less

Dark energy: The apocalyptic wild card of the universe

Dr. Katie Mack explains what dark energy is and two ways it could one day destroy the universe.

Videos
  • The universe is expanding faster and faster. Whether this acceleration will end in a Big Rip or will reverse and contract into a Big Crunch is not yet understood, and neither is the invisible force causing that expansion: dark energy.
  • Physicist Dr. Katie Mack explains the difference between dark matter, dark energy, and phantom dark energy, and shares what scientists think the mysterious force is, its effect on space, and how, billions of years from now, it could cause peak cosmic destruction.
  • The Big Rip seems more probable than a Big Crunch at this point in time, but scientists still have much to learn before they can determine the ultimate fate of the universe. "If we figure out what [dark energy is] doing, if we figure out what it's made of, how it's going to change in the future, then we will have a much better idea for how the universe will end," says Mack.
Keep reading Show less

Astrophysicists find unique "hot Jupiter" planet without clouds

A unique exoplanet without clouds or haze was found by astrophysicists from Harvard and Smithsonian.

Illustration of WASP-62b, the Jupiter-like planet without clouds or haze in its atmosphere.

Credit: M. Weiss/Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
Surprising Science
  • Astronomers from Harvard and Smithsonian find a very rare "hot Jupiter" exoplanet without clouds or haze.
  • Such planets were formed differently from others and offer unique research opportunities.
  • Only one other such exoplanet was found previously.
Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast