#Eclipse2017 Watch | Total Eclipse of the Sun☀️

Films

If you’re like us, then we know you’re already preparing for August 21’s total solar eclipse—the first in North America since 1979! Get in the eclipse mood with a great selection of films that touch on our neighbourhood star—and you don’t need any protective eyewear to watch!

Shadow Chasers

Directed by Jean Marc Larivière, the 2000 film Shadow Chasers follows “eclipse chasers” as they travel incredible distances to witness the last total eclipse of the millennium. At various points along the way, enthusiasts in France, Austria, Germany and India offer their impressions of this historic event, demonstrating the power of a solar eclipse to inspire and bind us in a collective human experience.

Shadow Chasers, Carlos Ferrand, Jean Marc Larivière, Fadel Saleh & Eileen Thalenberg, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Universe

Captured in the vastness of space, the sun and its role in the solar system is a key part in Roman Kroitor and Colin Low’s multi-award-winning 1960 short animated documentary Universe. No film had portrayed outer space with such stunning realism, doing so long before the advent of computer animation. NASA alone ordered more than 300 prints of the film, which also had a huge influence on Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Universe, Roman Kroitor & Colin Low, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Satellites of the Sun

The 1974 film Satellites of the Sun was intended as a colour update of Universe by director Sidney Goldsmith, who had worked as an animator on the earlier film. Like Universe, it was a smash hit,  playing in theatres across Canada and internationally—offering audiences as detailed a recreation as was possible at the time of the sun’s turbulent surface. For more background on this film, visit Satellites of the Sun: The Wonders of Earth and Space.

Satellites of the Sun, Sidney Goldsmith, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Northern Lights

The stunning effect of solar wind on our planet’s magnetosphere is the subject of Alan Booth’s 1992 documentary, Northern Lights. The film explores humankind’s efforts to understand the aurora borealis, through the ancient legends of Indigenous peoples up to contemporary space science.

The Northern Lights, Alan Booth, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Mirrors of Time

Jean-Jacques Leduc’s award-winning 1990 animated short Mirrors of Time looks at the central role our sun plays in the measurement of time, from ancient Babylon—where it was the sun’s shadow across the moon that humans could observe and chart—through to the birth of our modern solar calendar.

Mirrors of Time , Jean-Jacques Leduc, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Circle of the Sun

The same year that he co-directed Universe, Colin Low also directed Circle of the Sun, a rare look at the Sun Dance ritual of the Kainai Nation. Cameras were typically not allowed but tribal leaders had been concerned the practice might be dying out and wanted a visual record. It also didn’t hurt that Low was a local boy who had known the Kainai people since childhood, allowing us a privileged archival look at this sacred celebration.

Circle of the Sun, Colin Low, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Image credit: Dynasty Marketing Consulting