Genius Premiere


” I hope it hooks you!” Director Ron Howard joked as he introduced Episode 1 of National Geographic Channel‘s upcoming global event series Genius at last night’s premiere. And with a winning formula of Howard at the helm, Academy Award-winner Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein and an opening title sequence scored by none other than Hans Zimmer National Geographic’s first foray into scripted content  is not only emblematic of the current leadership’s new creative vision for the channel, it’s also destined to be a hit.

Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein in Genius

Howard directed Episode 1 which premieres on Tuesday, April 25; and through his deft use of flashbacks, he seamlessly blends the parallel journeys of young Albert (played by Johnny Flynn) in search of truth and himself, and sage, aged Einstein (Geoffrey Rush), in search of humanity in an increasingly hostile, Hitler-influenced Germany.

“Ron Howard directs the film and manages to humanize a complex character in a way that’s accessible and juicy,” Executive Producer Brian Grazer said prior to the screening. Through Howard’s lens, and from a script based on Sir Walter Isaacson’s book, we see Einstein – flaws and all – as an enigmatic man who is meticulous with numbers, yet, oftentimes, careless with people’s hearts.

Johnny Flynn as young Albert Einstein in Genius

Compelling camera angles articulate the documentary-style vision that Howard revealed is so critical to the authenticity of the Genius anthology; and understated interior lighting boldly contrasts with vivid exteriors to bring 19th and early 20th Century Europe to life. Interstitial special effects also literally transport the audience into the mind and thought process of Einstein as he carefully considers complex notions about light, truth and the ether through which everything must move.  And a plot set against the backdrop of the rising Nazi party in Hitler’s post WWI Germany lend both historical context and uncanny contemporary relevance to what is nothing short of a riveting ride through space, time and the human condition.

Ambience at the premiere party for Genius


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