Thursday, February 1, 2007

A Romance of Many Dimensions

I discovered that Edwin Abbott Abbott's (yes, his middle name and last name are the same) 1884 novel "Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions" will be released as a feature length film (available only on DVD) this month.

"Flatland" tells the tale of a square (named A. Square) living in a two-dimensional world. In dreams he observes a 1D line-world and a 0D point-world where the native entities refuse to believe that the universe holds more dimensions than they know. He meets a 3D sphere (although he can only see a cross-section at an given time) and, despite his initial reluctance, learns to accept that his own world view is indeed limited. But can his society accept this truth? And can the sphere learn his own lesson and acknowledge that a 4th dimension might exist?

Packed with Victorian wit and satire, "Flatland" is a classic amongst math nerds throughout the Western world. Several short film adaptation have been made before, but this animated educational feature is the first with real star power. Martin Sheen ("Apocalypse Now"), Kirstin Bell ("Veronica Mars") and Tony Hale (Buster from "Arrested Development") provide voice talent.

4 comments:

Mad Dog said...

I hope Kristin Bell plays a sexy, sassy sphere.

Walrus said...

Currently she is billed as "Hex" a character I don't recall from the book but which is presumably a hexagon. This would a be a definite departure from the book (which is frequently labeled as heavily sexist) where all females exist as lines in flatland while the males exist as polygons (the more sides, the higher your social status). Women have to sway back and forth and emit a "peace-cry" so that men don't mistake them for single points and impale themselves. I'm not sure how that would translate into the movie...

Walrus said...

I just wanted to mention that I agree with the IMDB poster who suggested the tagline/alt-title be "Shapes on a Plane"

Mad Dog said...

I agree that it would be one of the most amazing subtitles to a movie, ever. And might be clever enough to get people to actually see it. And maybe the deviation from the sexist themes of the book won't be such a bad idea. Maybe. It could be pretty fucking terrible.