5 Carl Sagan Movies That Looked To The Stars

Tuesday, March 6 by Loretta Arnold

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Carl Sagan is a cosmologist, astronomer, astrophysicist and an author. Carl Sagan's past movies and documentaries that looked to the stars take science to another level of intelligence. For a guy from Brooklyn, New York, Sagan used his time in the city that never sleeps wisely by not only checking out the stars but exploring them in areas like no man has ever done before him. Here are five Sagan movies a science lover can't do without!

"Cosmos: A Personal Voyage", 1980.

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If you like Darwin's theory of evolution and Einstein's theory of relativity you have got to watch this one! Also, Carl Sagan adds a green thumb, so to speak, when including the greenhouse effect. An intellectual account from Sagan himself, as he delivers a realistic down-to-Earth presentation that can be found in a seven DVD set. Released first on PBS, this documentary film is one of the greatest influences to those into science and theory exploration. Some can say this cosmo-style flick put Sagan on the map involving "billions upon billions" of stars.

"Pale Blue Dot", sequel to "Cosmos".

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Sagan wrote this one well enough to have it formed into a documentary. Philosophy and the Solar System marks this fantastic voyage. Inspired by a photo called "Pale Blue Dot", Sagan defined the pale edge that some haven't considered. "Pale Blue Dot" has only one issue. Many film crafters find ways to plug in Sagan's narration with their own visions per clip (or versions so per say). But "Pale Blue Dot" is measured as a masterpiece just by Sagan's personal definition alone. So, watch the pretty pictures but remember to listen very carefully to the sound. Sagan is out of this world!

"God, the Universe and Everything Else", 1988.

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This documentary interview film features Professor Stephen Hawking, novelist Arthur C. Clarke and yes, Carl Sagan. The trio answers questions about God, the Universe, and well, everything else. Hawking describes an expansion of the Universe where it all begins at one point and stretches outward. Meaning, Hawking delivers the "we all stem from one center" pitch. Clarke is asked if he would want the world to end with a bang or, as T.S. Elliot would describe, a whimper. He goes for the big bang in the far, far future. Carl states that every human culture has a set of creation myths that are mutually inconsistent. But if you really want to be blown away, you should watch the interview just to see what they think about the question "is God real." One of the most interesting of all Carl Sagan movies that, in another way, looked to the stars.

"Contact", 1997.

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Sagan and his wife, Ann Druyan, began working on the movie "Contact" together. But unfortunately Carl Sagan died on Dec. 20, 1996 of pneumonia before it was complete. The storyline continued in honoring the astrophysicist as the main character, Dr. Eleanor "Ellie" Ann Arroway, explored an eighteen hour trip that no one but her experiences. According to the readings (within the movie itself) Ellie's experience only lasted minutes – not eighteen hours as the Doctor claimed. A true-to-form Sagan trademark is found on every angle of this film. Jodi Foster, who plays Ellie, does a fantastic job. Sagan would be proud! He wrote the book.

"Carl Sagan: Biography".

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Sagan gave our Universe an appealing life. But when he died, those admiring him most put together a set of documentaries honoring the sky giant. "Carl Sagan: Biography" is a well-defined documentary of the life and times of Carl Sagan. While the documentary focuses more on the work, rather than the man, this biography still manages to paint a compelling picture of a brilliant cosmologist.