What to Watch If You Can’t See the Total Solar Eclipse


At long last, the day has finally arrived. The North American total solar eclipse that has inspired endless chatter for weeks is set to dominate the sky Monday afternoon, causing an astral event that hasn’t been visible from this-here land in 38 years. Perhaps you’ve heard about it! Perhaps, in your research about this event, you also realized you live in one of the states that is not in the path of totality—i.e. you’ll be sending an e-mail to the sun’s manager to demand a refund. Or perhaps you are in the path of totality, but you forgot to pick up a bunch of eclipse glasses like your mom asked, and now they’re all sold out, and you have absolutely ruined this once-in-a-lifetime event for your entire family.

Never fear, for you have other options! From the plentiful livestreams that are springing up online, to the various eclipse-themed movies that have dominated pop culture, here are eight things to watch instead.

The NASA livestream

God bless NASA. Just as you’d expect, the agency is livestreaming the solar eclipse in a number of ways, including on their Web site, on Facebook Live, on YouTube, and more, and is also doing pre-show coverage for all you giddy eclipse heads out there.

A Year in Space

Time followed astronaut Scott Kelly during his historic year in space, creating a wondrous online docuseries about the astronaut’s time floating above Earth. It’s a nice little something for all you nu-solar nerds who want to keep up that astronomical kick with something educational.

Barabbas

The 1961 film about a man released from crucifixion instead of Jesus Christ was shot in Italy during an actual solar eclipse. The celestial event was woven into the plot, with director Richard Fleischer staging the crucifixion to take place in the eerie shadow of the eclipse. You can watch a clip of the extraordinary event above, around the 2:45 mark.

Little Shop of Horrors

If your plants start acting up during the eclipse, don’t say Rick Moranis didn’t warn you. In the classic musical, solar eclipses are revealed to be the catalyst for rather strange behavior. Keep an eye on your pothos and flytraps, and anyone named Audrey.

Contact

Because everyone in the path of totality will be on Facebook later doing their own version of Jodie Foster’s breathless “They should have sent a poet!” line.

The X-Files

This one’s for those of you disappointed that we haven’t yet discovered (or been discovered by) aliens, who click on every new NASA update with a flutter of hope that’s quickly stamped out by alien-free reality. There, there, you unidentified flying oddball—the F.B.I. adventures of Scully and Mulder are available to stream on Hulu Plus.

Twilight: Eclipse

Listen, if the Twilight series is good enough for Stevie Nicks, it’s good enough for you!

The 1979 solar eclipse

If you’re already feeling nostalgic by the time this eclipse ends, watch the last time this spectacular event happened back in 1979. ABC News covered it then on February 26, 1979, with feeds showing the eclipse as it reached totality. Come for the vintage, grainy footage; stay for the bittersweet final moment, when host Frank Reynolds makes this hopeful closing remark: “So that’s it, the last solar eclipse to be seen on this continent in this century. As I said, not until August 21, 2017, will another eclipse be visible from North America. That’s 38 years from now. May the shadow of the moon fall on a world at peace.”

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Full ScreenPhotos:16 Heist Movies That Will Forever Thrill You

Ocean’s Eleven

Sometimes it’s O.K. to favor a remake over an original. Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 redux is a nice touch-up on the 1960 Rat Pack heist film, with a glittering cast to match. George Clooney leads a street-smart gang (which includes Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and more) through a clever high-wire heist of a highly protected Las Vegas casino.

Photo: From Warner Bros/Everett Collection.

*Dog Day Afternoon*

Dog Day Afternoon

The 1975 Sidney Lumet drama starring Al Pacino and John Cazale was based on a true story, and though the heist was relatively small in the scheme of things, what it represented was something much bigger. The simple bank robbery quickly turns into a tense hostage situation that raises questions about love, justice, and antiheroes who aren’t as bad as they seem.

Photo: From Everett Collection.

*How to Steal a Million*

How to Steal a Million

Audrey Hepburn shines in this Parisian delight, which tells the story of a woman whose father is addicted to creating and selling faux artworks that he passes off as long lost pieces by Van Gogh and Cellini.

Photo: From 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection.

*Inside Man*

Inside Man

Denzel Washington is an N.Y.P.D. negotiator trying to thwart the “perfect robbery” in this high-stakes Spike Lee-directed joint. Clive Owen plays the eerily even-keeled thief who toys with every authority figure he meets.

Photo: From Universal/Everett Collection.

*Rififi*

Rififi

The 1955 French drama is still a standard-bearer of the heist genre, a critically acclaimed film noir about a reformed jewel heist aficionado who decides to do one more job.

Photo: From Everett Collection.

*The Sting*

The Sting

Speaking of caper classics, The Sting has been a hit since it first came out in theaters in 1973. The period piece about a couple of devilishly handsome con artists (played by Robert Redford and Paul Newman) was a major success, picking up seven Oscars, including one for best picture.

Photo: From Everett Collection.

*Reservoir Dogs*

Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Tarantino’s bloody feature-length debut is a perfect assemblage of talent, with a tight plot revolving around a diamond heist gone horribly wrong. Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tarantino himself, and more make up the slick-talking mobster cast that can’t catch a break.

Photo: From Miramax/Everett Collection.

<em>Ocean’s Eleven</em>

Ocean’s Eleven

Sometimes it’s O.K. to favor a remake over an original. Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 redux is a nice touch-up on the 1960 Rat Pack heist film, with a glittering cast to match. George Clooney leads a street-smart gang (which includes Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and more) through a clever high-wire heist of a highly protected Las Vegas casino.

From Warner Bros/Everett Collection.

<em>Dog Day Afternoon</em>

Dog Day Afternoon

The 1975 Sidney Lumet drama starring Al Pacino and John Cazale was based on a true story, and though the heist was relatively small in the scheme of things, what it represented was something much bigger. The simple bank robbery quickly turns into a tense hostage situation that raises questions about love, justice, and antiheroes who aren’t as bad as they seem.

From Everett Collection.

<em>How to Steal a Million</em>

How to Steal a Million

Audrey Hepburn shines in this Parisian delight, which tells the story of a woman whose father is addicted to creating and selling faux artworks that he passes off as long lost pieces by Van Gogh and Cellini.

From 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection.

<em>Inside Man</em>

Inside Man

Denzel Washington is an N.Y.P.D. negotiator trying to thwart the “perfect robbery” in this high-stakes Spike Lee-directed joint. Clive Owen plays the eerily even-keeled thief who toys with every authority figure he meets.

From Universal/Everett Collection.

<em>The Italian Job</em>

The Italian Job

Say it with me: “You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” In 1969’s The Italian Job, a young Michael Caine plays Charlie Croker, a thief who starts planning a heist to the tune of $4 million. Come for the Cockney slang, stay for the vintage Mini Coopers.

From Everett Collection.

<em>Set It Off</em>

Set It Off

The 1996 drama directed by F. Gary Gray is about a quartet of down-and-out best friends who start robbing banks. Some do it for personal glory, some for vengeance, and some to ultimately better their lives. The perfect cast includes Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox, and Kimberly Elise.

From New Line Cinema/Everett Collection.

<em>The Usual Suspects</em>

The Usual Suspects

Take five criminals in police custody, add a juicy heist, some clever dialogue, and one of the most memorable plot twists in modern cinema, and you get The Usual Suspects, the 1995 thriller with a bang-up cast that includes a nimble Kevin Spacey and Benicio Del Toro.

From Gramercy Pictures/Everett Collection.

<em>Heat</em>

Heat

Michael Mann’s crime drama is legendary for two reasons: Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Do yourself a favor and watch it just to see the two legends parry on-screen together for the first time.

From Warner Bros/Everett Collection.

<em>The Fast and the Furious</em>

The Fast and the Furious

It’s the 2001 film that started a street-racing empire. The original Fast and Furious, starring Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, and more introduced us to the glorious underworld gang of drag racers who live on the edge and love boosting electronics from trucks.

From Universal/Everett Collection.

<em>Bottle Rocket</em>

Bottle Rocket

Wes Anderson’s directorial debut (and Owen and Luke Wilson’s acting debut) revolves around a trio of bumbling wannabe thieves following an absurdist 75-year plan to complete a series of successful heists. If that’s not enticing enough, let Martin Scorsese convince you—the legendary director thought it was one of the best films of the 90s.

From Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection.

<em>Snatch</em>

Snatch

Step into this super British, Guy Ritchie-crafted world about the search for a precious diamond gone missing. Bonus points for a fast-talking Brad Pitt playing a ruffian boxer and earnestly doing his best impression of an Irish accent.

From Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection.

<em>A Fish Called Wanda</em>

A Fish Called Wanda

The comedy revolves around the most classic theft of all: the jewelry heist. Two Americans and two Brits join forces to successfully steal a load of diamonds, before inner turmoil brings it all down.

From MGM/Everett Collection.

<em>Point Break</em>

Point Break

This movie has it all: bank-robber presidents, criminal surfers, and a lucid Gary Busey. Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze star in this Kathryn Bigelow-directed film about an F.B.I. agent hot on the trail of absurdly successful bank robbers dubbed the “Ex-Presidents,” thanks to the masks they wear during thieving hours.

From 20th Century/REX/Shutterstock.

<em>Rififi</em>

Rififi

The 1955 French drama is still a standard-bearer of the heist genre, a critically acclaimed film noir about a reformed jewel heist aficionado who decides to do one more job.

From Everett Collection.

<em>The Sting</em>

The Sting

Speaking of caper classics, The Sting has been a hit since it first came out in theaters in 1973. The period piece about a couple of devilishly handsome con artists (played by Robert Redford and Paul Newman) was a major success, picking up seven Oscars, including one for best picture.

From Everett Collection.

<em>Reservoir Dogs</em>

Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Tarantino’s bloody feature-length debut is a perfect assemblage of talent, with a tight plot revolving around a diamond heist gone horribly wrong. Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tarantino himself, and more make up the slick-talking mobster cast that can’t catch a break.

From Miramax/Everett Collection.



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