Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Sunday: No Stars in Northern Liberties

"The City Dark," a documentary that considers how light pollution effects city-dwellers' views of the night sky, and, more importantly, how it impacts their psychology and their souls, screens for free as part of the summer-long Awesome Fest.

Sunday: No Stars in Northern Liberties

The City Dark

Brooklyn filmmaker Ian Cheney, who won a Peabody for his 2007 film, King Corn, has made a seriously smart and somewhat alarming documentary about how 24/7 city life and urban sprawl have diminished our view of that luminous grid of planets and constellations that humankind, for centuries, looked to for inspiration, navigation, a sense of place in the universe. The City Dark, which features interviews with astrophysicists, biologists, cancer researchers, eco-scientists and even a light bulb salesman with a Thomas Edison connection, is the perfect (albeit ironic) film to watch outdoors, for free, on a Sunday evening.

Which, thanks to the Awesome Fest and Rooftop Films, is exactly what you can do: The City Dark screens at 8pm at the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties. (Show up at 7:30pm for a Scrapple TV program first.) Cheney, who grew up in rural Maine (is there a non-rural Maine? -- I guess so) and made telescopes out of cardboard boxes as a kid, will be on hand to talk about the way our environment, our health and our emotions have been affected by the light pollution that erases the Milky Way, the Big Dipper and all those stars from our night skies. Info:   

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays, and his blog, On Movies Online, can be found here. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Steven Rea's previous blog posts can be found here. Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Reach Steven at

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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