Buffalo, NY, October 10, 2019 --(PR.com
)-- In producing, writing and directing “Chesley Bonestell: A Brush With The Future,“ award-winning filmmaker Douglass M. Stewart Jr. takes audiences on an extraordinary voyage into the life and career of “the Father of Space Art” who is credited with helping to influence America’s Space Program, not with technology, but with a paintbrush.
“Chesley Bonestell inspired us into space,” says Stewart. “But as we head into an Oct. 29th Halloween Week encore at the North Park Theatre, one could also say Chesley scared us into reality with paintings of atomic bombs and meteorites exploding over large cities. His ‘Brush with the Future’ may have influenced us to avoid the nuclear dangers we faced in the 1960s while encouraging us to be more aware of threats from outer space.”
In 1947, Bonestell even created a series of frighteningly catastrophic paintings for an article called “The End of the World.”
“You might think this a little macabre,” says Author and Space Artist David Aguilar in the film. ”but Chesley was fascinated with devastating events that might take place here on Earth. In his 1947 issue of Coronet Magazine he’s dealing with all the ways the Earth could be destroyed from the sun burning up the Earth to the target of meteors. Celestial events that many people had not considered. He painted the city of Manhattan struck by a meteor and gone in one flash.”
Winning two prestigious Best Documentary Awards, one at Comic-Con 2018 and a second one at the 2019 Boston Science Fiction Film Festival, the film has screened to enthusiastic audiences across the country, including the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and Seattle’s famed “Museum of Flight” as part of Smithsonian’s “Destination Moon” exhibition.
Chesley’s visionary art went beyond inspiring America to reach for the stars. His architectural visions literally reached new heights on Earth when he designed the gargoyles for the tallest skyscraper of 1930 – NY’s iconic Chrysler Building. Bonestell may have known horror better than many, having lived through San Francisco’s terrifying 7.9 magnitude earthquake in 1906. In the award-winning documentary, writer Anne Papineau, who once interviewed Chesley, recalls his story of that horrific morning.
“He was a young man who, he said, had been on a bender,” recalls Papineau. “He was lying in bed when he looked outside the window and saw the bricks undulating and he thought ‘this is my cue that I should quit drinking’.”
A few years later, Bonestell would return to San Francisco to help rebuild his beloved city and also translate complicated blueprints into beautiful paintings that helped set yet another record, this time for the tallest and longest bridge in 1937, San Francisco’s majestic Golden Gate Bridge. When he moved to Hollywood, he created movie magic with matte paintings for classic films like The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Citizen Kane and The War of the Worlds which told the H.G. Wells story about Martians invading the Earth.
“The thing that I remember about The War of the Worlds was that it scared me. That’s very important. We all like to be frightened in the best way. I think the film is a triumph of real terror,” says legendary sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury. “There isn’t an artist that’s painting today in the science fiction fantasy field who didn’t start with Chesley Bonestell.”
Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future will encore at 7:00PM on October 29th at the North Park Theatre, 1428 Hertel Ave, Buffalo, NY 14216. To view the film’s trailer, please visit www.chesleybonestell.com. For tickets and additional information about this screening, please visit the North Park Theatre website at www.northparktheatre.org.