Measuring the World
Measuring the World (original title Die Vermessung der Welt) is a German-Austrian movie from 2012, directed by Detlev Buck. It is based on the best-selling novel of the same title by German author Daniel Kehlmann and is filmed in 3D.
The film re-imagines the lives of German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777 – 1855) and German geographer Alexander von Humboldt (1769 – 1859).
The spanking scene
In the very beginning of the film, we see Gauss, who was a child prodigy, as a schoolboy (played by Lennart Hänsel). His teacher Herr Büttner (Karl Markovics) is apparently a great proponent of corporal punishment. The scene opens as he is just caning another child from Gauss. The boy is bent over a wooden trestle that is placed right in front of the blackboard. His trousers are pulled down for the caning (M/m), but only far enough to expose his bare bottom to about three quarters.
The boy returns to his seat, and Herr Büttner gives his class a calculation task: to sum up all numbers from 1 to 100. Thinking that this arithmetic problem will keep everybody busy for a long time, he is surprised when Gauss presents the correct result (5050) within seconds. The boy says that the task was quite easy, and explains his method: One can get to the result by forming 50 pairs of numbers that are 101 in sum: 1+100, 2+99, 3+98 and so on until 50+51. 50*101=5050. The teacher is enraged at the boy's talent, which is obviously greater than his own, and gives him a caning in the same manner of the other boy.