A Brief History of Time
Edward Frenkel is a professor of mathematics at UC Berkeley; his latest book is Love and Math.
Stephen Hawking’s 1988 classic A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes was written for the layperson, and Morris’s documentary uses cinema to go for the heart of this outsize mind. Hawking collaborates in this, guiding us (using his speaking device—he had ALS) through questions like “Why do we remember the past and not the future?” He is not unaware of their poetry, we think. Morris seems equally fascinated by the family of unflappable eccentrics that spawned Hawking and his sense of wonder, and by colleagues like Roger Penrose, who theorized the death of stars while crossing the street. Hawking died on March 14, 2018.