Madness and Genius

Madness and Genius

Sloan Foundation Film

Release Date



  • Ryan Eslinger


  • Tom Noonan
  • David Williams
  • David James Hayward


  • Hamptons International Film Festival, 2003

Despite his near-photographic memory, Jordan is failing college, so he decides to steal the ideas of his professor, a brilliant thinker turned recluse with a dark past. 

An aging, embittered college professor (Tom Noonan), driven mad by the results of his work on the Manhattan Project, sits on his research into a machine that could cure cancer and other diseases with sonic waves. As the story unfolds, two students, a prodigy suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease (David Williams) and an underachiever with a photographic memory (David James Hayward), come across the professor’s research and confront him with it.

Possible Topics

  • How realistic is the machine depicted in the film?
  • Is there a link between madness and genius?
  • The scientific legacy of the Manhattan Project