How To Build A Time Machine

Date: Tuesday, March 27th, 2018
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Bow Tie Squire Cinemas (115 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck)


Jay Cheel | Canada | English | 82 min | Documentary | 2016

Filmmaker Jay Cheel’s (Beauty Day) extraordinary documentary examines the ever-lingering obsessions of childhood by focusing on two men with a shared interest in time travel.

Robert Niosi is a former stop-motion animator, a medium intrinsically linked to the concept of time, who has devoted the last decade of his life towards the creation of a nearly exact replica of the time machine from the 1960 H.G. Wells film adaptation.  Theoretical physicist Ronald Mallett dedicates his studies to the concept of time travel, a controversial topic in the science community that forced him to earn his degrees behind a smokescreen of other topics, largely black holes.  Niosi’s hobby arises from a childhood nostalgia, the memories that The Time Machine conjure combined with an absurdist goal that even he cannot fully explain.  He has no interest in actual time travel, unlike Mallett whose entire fascination with the concept stems from his desire to travel back to a time before his father passed away.  Though their intentions differ, a shared sense of loss drives them both forward throughout a film that is just as concerned with development as it is with the past.

Join us before and after the screening for a discussion and Q&A with film subjects, Robert Niosi & Dr. Ronald Mallett, and Director Jay Cheel

$15.00 / $10.00 Member Price



Prof. Ronald L. Mallett received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the Pennsylvania State University. He worked for United Technologies from 1973-5, and in 1975 joined the physics faculty at the University of Connecticut in Storrs where he is currently Research Professor of Physics. Prof. Mallett has published numerous papers on black holes and cosmology in professional journals. His breakthrough research on time travel has been featured extensively in the media around the world, including print media such as New Scientist, Die Zeit, GEO, the Boston Globe, the Hartford Courant, Rolling Stone magazine, and The Wall Street Journal, and broadcast media such as, NPR’s This American Life, Science Busters, the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, the Science Channel, ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today Show and CNN. Prof. Mallett has appeared in a feature-length documentary “How to Build a Time Machine” which won Best Documentary at the 2017 New York City Sci-Fi Films.

Prof. Mallett’s recently published memoir “Time Traveler: A Scientist’s Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality” has been translated into Korean, Chinese, and Japanese.

Artist/Animator: Rob Niosi
Rob Niosi began drawing and painting at a young age. When he was 8, he picked up his father’s 8mm home movie camera and began making short films. After studying filmmaking at the School Of Visual Arts, Rob began a career in film and video production. His credits include directing, producing, set design and construction, special effect make-up and cinematography but he is perhaps best known for his work as a stop-motion animator for such productions as The Reading Rainbow, Pee-wee’s Playhouse and Peter Gabriel’s music videos.
His completed 12 year project, a full-scale artistic rendering of the Time Machine prop from the classic 1960 MGM film, is featured in the documentary How To Build A Time Machine.

Artist/Director: Jay Cheel
Jay Cheel’s debut feature, Beauty Day, premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as part of their Canadian Front Programming Series. The film was also an official selection at the Hot Docs International Film Festival and was nominated for a Genie Award in 2012. His second feature, How to Build a Time Machine, premiered at the Hot Docs International Film Festival and went on to screen at AFI Docs, The Rotterdam International Film Festival, and DOC NYC. Jay is also the co-host of  Film Junk, the internet’s longest running film podcast.

This program is presented as part of the National Evening of Science on Screen where theaters nationwide present unique programming pairing a current, classic, cult, or documentary film with a lively introduction by a notable figure from the world of science, technology, or medicine.

Science on Screen® is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.