Brown University School of Engineering

Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 7:30pm - 9:00pm

The film "Sizzle" is a hybrid of three genres -- mockumentary, documentary and reality. While initially met with a wave of disapproval by many in the science community (with comments like, "There's no place for comedy with such a serious issue") it received solid praise in the film community -- Variety called it, "An exceedingly clever vehicle for making science engaging," Cinemasource called it, "Brilliant filmmaking," and the Arizona Daily Star says it's, "Laugh out loud" funny. As a mockumentary, the movie is about a scientist-turned-filmmaker (Randy Olson) trying to make a documentary about global warming that features his beloved scientists, but the only sources of funding he can find are two flaky Hollywood producers who want the host of the film to be someone like Tom Cruise (not a scientist, but a Scientologist and, "most people don't know the difference"). The movie was criticized in part for allowing a number of climate skeptics to speak on camera. But after the November, 2009 attack on climate science (dubbed "Climategate") the film, while still being solidly pro-science, turns out to be one of the only places where you can hear the voices of both sides of the climate controversy, thus making for a popular evening of viewing and discussion.