EMILY@ THE EDGE OF CHAOS 61 min.
Since Sir Isaac Newton’s time, western culture has looked to science to explain how the universe works. America’s founding fathers used Newton’s cosmic model as a template for our institutions, our values, how we relate to each other as individuals and as a society.
But since Isaac Newton’s time, relativity, quantum physics, chaos and complexity theory have radically altered our picture of the universe. No wonder our social model is in flux, our core values are shifting, and the country has lost faith in its institutions. If only we had a movie that explains these Big Ideas to the people whose lives are affected, that makes science accessible, relevant and exciting, that inspires us with a vision of the future.
Oh, wait, we do.
“Emily @ the Edge of Chaos” is a 61-minute film that interweaves Emily Levine’s live
performance with animation, documentary montages, appearances by scientists,
animated characters (John Lithgow as Sir Isaac Newton, Lily Tomlin as Ayn Rand,
Richard Lewis as Aristotle, et.al.) and innovative visual effects to tell the story of Emily
Levine’s own paradigm shift: from Emily 2.0 to Emily 3.0.
Emily 2.0 is a successful stand-up comic and television writer, firmly aligned with Sir Isaac Newton’s rational, predictable, law-and-orderly universe. Then she falls into a black hole. A rare and long-undiagnosed tumor in her pituitary gland makes her produce too much human growth hormone. This results in a host of debilitating symptoms, including the signature big head, big hands and big feet for which her condition, “Acromegaly” (literally “large extremities”) is named.
Brain surgery to remove the tumor puts Emily on the path back to physical fitness, but it’s science that transforms her. During her recovery, Emily reads up on quantum physics and chaos theory to find out that the whole universe is going through a paradigm shift: From Newton’s Universe to Emily’s Universe. The more she aligns herself with Emily’s Universe, the healthier she gets.
Now Emily wants to upgrade an America which is exhibiting the same symptoms from which she suffered.
A compulsion to grow beyond one’s natural limits has resulted in the triumph of Wall Street over Main Street.
Large extremities have turned the United States into the Divided States.
Americans have lost their sense of balance, their confidence and reason.
Using her own experience as guide and inspiration, Emily takes her audience - and
America - through its own paradigm shift: from the Fear of Change to the Edge of
Physicists describe the Edge of Chaos as the most creative, innovative and
transformational place in the universe. Here is where we need to be to collectively reinvent ourselves as a vibrant, interactive society capable of a new kind of growth:
But to get us there, Emily herself has to undergo one final – and painful – change. In a
startlingly revealing moment that prompts tears as well as laughter, she forever
transforms our understanding of our universe, our world, and ourselves.