Castles to the Sky


Film Review
Paul Kopasz
LEO / May 14, 2003

Local filmmaker Ron Schildknecht should be familiar to those who follow the yearly progress of the Louisville Film and Video. Over the last few years, Schildknecht has scored with several films, including last year's "Heaven Above." Now, he is afforded the rare opportunity to screen his film in the environment for which it is best suited: a planetarium. From now through early September, "Castles to the Sky" will appear in 360 cinematic degrees of glory at University of Louisville's Rauch Planetarium. Schildknecht's ethereal visions - filmed on budgets that are austere to say the least - are easily as good as the most ostentatious visual pyrotechnics cranked out of the studios being leased in California by the Camerons and the Bruckheimers.

The truth is that Schildknecht has a masterful hand and a very certain camera eye when it comes to this stuff; even his forays into the dodgy realm of "historical re-creation" are watchable and enjoyable. Some pretty nice glimpses of events like the building of the Stonehenge monoliths and the eclipses witnessed by the Anasazi Indians in Chaco Canyon are rendered indelibly, perhaps for the first time. "Castles to the Sky" - especially when presented in this format - is his best work so far. Louisville can point to him with pride while waiting for the next film to issue from his imagination.

Credit must also go to his collaborators (and facilitators), most especially UofL faculty members, specifically Scott Miller and John and Helen Kielkopf. In the words of the filmmakers themselves, the central question that must be posed is: How have we come to know WHAT we know about the universe? "Castles to the Sky" by no means answers this question, but it does a damn stylish job of getting the ball rolling.

The Rauch Planetarium is located at 108 W. Brandeis St. on the UofL main campus. Showtimes are Tuesday through Saturday, 12:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m., through Sept. 6. For ticket prices and more info, call 852-6664.


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