Legendary actor, and son of Boston, Leonard Nimoy recently announced his official retirement from the entertainment industry last week. The 79 year-old that is most famous for his starring role in the original 1960s “Star Trek” series as the half-alien, half-human Spock has been appearing in film and TV professionally for 60 years. His most recent role has been as Dr. William Bell in the set-in-Boston television drama “Fringe”. Watch Nimoy and legendary costar, William Shatner (above) take shots at each other and reminisce at a conference last year.
Nimoy was born Boston in 1931 and raised in a tenement by his Jewish Ukrainian parents. His father owned a barber shop in town for many years, which even featured a special “Spock” style cut when Nimoy’s character on “Star Trek” hit its peak popularity. Before leaving the area to move to LA, he attended Boston College, where he received a MA in Education. Proving his heart has never left his hometown, the actor lent his recognizable voice to the Museum of Science by recording the introduction at the Mugar Omni Theater. In 2009, the city of Boston proclaimed November 14 “Leonard Nimoy Day” in honor of the beloved actor.
The actor also recently made headlines for visiting the small farming town of Vulcan, Calgary, in Canada. The tiny community happens to share the name of the planet Nimoy’s Spock character came from.
The only thing spreading faster than swine flu this season is Hollywood Fever, and the Museum of Science in Boston just caught it. The institution is running a series of adult programming called “Movie Magic,” a number of lectures led by top visual effects innovators. The presentations are an exploration of “the technological tricks that make films fabulous,” and reflect a larger museum initiative called “When Science Meets Art.”
“‘Movie Magic’ is part of our ongoing effort to produce sophisticated, cutting-edge, and culturally relevant programming for curious adults,” said Lisa Monrose, program manager in the Lectures & Special Programs Department at the Museum of Science, Boston.
“Moviegoers are wowed by visual effects, but they don’t necessarily know how these effects are achieved,” said Monrose. “Our series provides an opportunity to hear first-hand from the visual effects gurus who, through a combination of art, science, and technology, create magic on the silver screen.”
Visual effects producer and Northeastern professor Terrence Masson will lead a lecture entitled “Living in a CG World” on January 27 at 7pm. The pioneer behind original CG animation and rendering techniques, Masson will speak from his experience working on Fantastic Four, Star Wars: Episode I, and Batman Forever.
On February 3 at 7pm, visual effects supervisors Matt Jacobs and Eric Pascarelli will speak about their experiences working on New Moon, the second installation of The Twilight Saga, in a lecture entitled “Conjuring New Moon.”
Finally, Academy Award-winner Doug Roble, Creative Director of Software at the visual effects studio Digital Domain, will speak at a lecture entitled “Visionary Visuals” on February 10 at 7pm. Though his name may seem unfamiliar, Roble’s software is responsible for bringing many of today’s top blockbuster hits to the big screen.
All “Movie Magic” programs are free, and will take place in Cahners Theater at the Museum of Science. Passes are available in the museum lobby beginning at 5:45 p.m. on the evening of the program; arrive early as seating is limited. Museum members may reserve a limited number of seating passes in advance.
The only thing cooler than keeping warm at home with your favorite movie is trekking out in the snow to see how it was made. Plan a trip to the Museum of Science to cure even the worse case of winter woes.
If our generation has contributed anything that has affected popular culture in a significant way, the Harry Potter phenomenon of the past 10 years would make the short list.
With the book and the resulting movie series, Harry Potter has boosted virtually unknown kids to super-stardom and even influenced its own cult-like wizard culture. Now, you can experience the magic by visiting the Museum of Science in Boston where Harry Potter: The Exhibit is currently on display through February 21st.
The exhibit, which made its debut in Chicago in April, opened in the Museum of Science on October 25th and features over 200 props from the movies such as Harry’s wand, glasses, Marauder’s Map and acceptance letter into Hogwarts, Quidditch uniforms from the different houses, Hermione’s dress for the Yule Ball, and many other recognizable items prevalent in the books and movies.
The exhibit also features recreations of the Great Hall, Hagrid’s Hut and the Gryffindor Common Room, as inspired by the actual film sets and allows visitors to toss a quaffle or try to pull a screeching Mandrake from its pot.
The exhibit has been in the Museum of Science since October and will remain through the holidays until February 21st. Visit the Museum of Science website to buy tickets online, separate from the general admission into the museum, or to look at event scheduling and other general information.
★ Knight and Day (formerly Wichita) film crew sets up on Dayton St. in Danvers, MA (above).
★ They always come home again; Matt Damon and family are spotted around Boston.
★ Playtime in the park; Jennifer Garner brings daughters Violet and Seraphina out in Cambridge.
★ The Boston Bike Film Fest rode through the weekend.
★ Alex McCord of “The Real Housewives of New York City” stops by Burlington, MA.
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