An evening of science on the screen


Filmmaker Jay Cheel’s (“Beauty Day”) documentary, “How to Build a Time Machine,” examines the ever-lingering obsessions of childhood by focusing on two men with a shared interest in time travel and love of H.G. Wells’ novel, “The Time Machine.”

Robert Niosi is a former stop-motion animator, a medium intrinsically linked to the concept of time, who has devoted the last decade of his life towards the creation of a nearly exact replica of the time machine from the 1960 H.G. Wells film adaptation. 

University of Connecticut theoretical physicist Ronald Mallett dedicates his studies to the concept of time travel, a controversial topic in the science community that forced him to earn his degrees behind a smokescreen of other topics, largely black holes. 

Niosi’s hobby arises from a childhood nostalgia, the memories that “The Time Machine” conjure combined with an absurdist goal that even he cannot fully explain.  He has no interest in actual time travel, unlike Mallett whose entire fascination with the concept stems from his desire to travel back to a time before his father passed away. 

Though their intentions differ, a shared sense of loss drives them both forward throughout a film that is just as concerned with development as it is with the past.

Sponsored by the Gold Coast Arts Center, “How to Build a Time Machine” will be shown at Bow Tie Squire Cinemas, 115 Middle Neck Road in Great Neck, on Tuesday, March 27 at 7 p.m.  There will be a discussion session and audience Q&A with Niosi and Mallett before and after the screening. 

The tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for GCAC members.

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