“Downsizing”, moderating talkback with bioethicist
“Downsizing”, moderating talkback with bioethicist S. Matthew Liao and screenwriter Jim Taylor.
Dir. Alexander Payne. 2017, 136 mins. DCP courtesy Paramount Pictures. With Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Rolf Lassgård, Laura Dern, Hong Chau, Jason Sudeikis, Christoph Waltz. The speculative new Alexander Payne film Downsizing is premised on a fascinating and plausible scientific theory: at five inches tall, the world’s resources would go a long way. Scientists have discovered how to shrink people in order to address over-population and help save the planet. Paul (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to downsize in order to afford the kind of life they want. In real life, the desperate state of the planet has caused scientists to consider human engineering in order to mitigate the effects of climate change. Focusing on the science and philosophy behind Downsizing, a preview screening of the film will be followed by a discussion with Payne’s co-writer Jim Taylor (Sideways) and NYU’s Director of Bioethics S. Matthew Liao, moderated by Mount Sinai neuroscientist Heather Berlin.