For over a century, filmmakers have attempted to capture the mystery of weather events & space phenomena. One of the strangest examples is the Disney film “The Black Hole”. Released in 1979, the film features many well-known actors- including Anthony Perkins, Maximilian Schell, and Robert Forster. It’s tag-line was “a journey that begins where everything ends”.
The film was released at the height of the “Star Wars” craze, and features the usual trappings of the genre (robots, space guns, etc). But the tone shifts wildly from scene to scene. Some sequences are played for humor, others play more like horror. The climax features what appears to be a depiction of “heaven” and “hell”, and adds a rather uneven coda to the film. The “Black Hole” had a mixed reception upon release, but gained a following among science fiction enthusiasts in recent years.
The visual centerpiece of the film is the “black hole” itself. In real life, a black hole is a region of space with a gravitational field so intense that nothing can escape it. In the film, the black hole looks almost like a hurricane in space. Probably not very accurate scientifically, but it provides a suitably ominous backdrop for the action. Many of the effects were supervised by Peter and Harrison Ellenshaw, veterans of the science fiction industry. The theme music for the film was composed by John Barry, famous for his compositions in the “James Bond” film series.
If you are in the mood for something a little different, “The Black Hole” is worth a look.
Chief Meteorologist Jerry Jackson