At the end of this month, 17 independent U.S. theaters will celebrate the connection between movies and science with "Science on Screen." Science-themed movies will be paired with a related lecture from a scientist. Check the schedule to see if there's an event in your town!
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation describes the events:
With Science on Screen, theaters pair a variety of filmswith science and technology experts. Each film serves as a jumping-off point for the expert speaker to explore a related scientific or technological topic in a way that engages general audiences – from time perception (Inception) to the theoretical neurobiology of zombies (The Night of the Living Dead). Science on Screen began in 2005 at Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, MA and has since expanded to other independent cinemas through a grant initiative funded by the Sloan Foundation and administered by the Coolidge. Over the past four years, the two organizations have awarded a total of 48 grants to 32 independent theaters nationwide for use in creating and presenting their own Science on Screen programming.
Here's the schedule:
NATIONAL EVENING OF SCIENCE ON SCREEN – Monday, March 31
PROGRAMS AT A GLANCE
Times and ticket prices may vary
Starred (*) films have received the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize given annually to outstanding feature films focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist, engineer or mathematician as a major character.
Amherst Cinema — Amherst, MA amherstcinema.org
*Grizzly Man — Director Werner Herzog chronicles the life and death of grizzly bear activist Timothy Treadwell, who with his girlfriend was killed by grizzlies in October 2003 while living among the bears in Alaska. Before the film, Dr. Richard Halgin, clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at UMass Amherst, explores the question: Was Treadwell a nature lover, an eccentric narcissist, or a person with an unusual psychiatric disorder?
Athena Cinema — Athens, OH athenacinema.com
Soylent Green — In an overpopulated, polluted, and resource-depleted New York City of the future, a detective (Charlton Heston) uncovers a shocking secret about a mysterious synthetic food while investigating a murder. After the film, Ohio University Russ Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Dr. Gerardine (Gerri) Botte discusses clean, renewable energy sources and technologies, followed by Q&A.
Athens Ciné — Athens, GA athenscine.com
Walter: Lessons from the World's Oldest People — Inspired by a visit to Walter Breuning, then 113 years of age, documentarian Hunter Weeks and his fiancée, Sarah Hall, embark on an adventure to capture the stories of several supercentarians. Before the film, University of Georgia gerontologist Dr. Leonard W. Poon discusses well-being in the "oldest old" – people aged 85+.
BAM — Brooklyn, NY bam.org
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind —Heartbroken over their failed relationship, Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) turn to medically-induced amnesia, only to fall in love all over again—and repeat the same mistakes. Joseph LeDoux, director of the Emotional Brain Institute at New York University and author of The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life, discusses emotion and memory following the screening.
Belcourt Theatre — Nashville, TN belcourt.org
For All Mankind — Director Al Reinert's Oscar-nominated documentary tells the story of the Apollo missions from the perspectives of the astronauts who made the harrowing but breathtaking journey from the earth to the moon. A panel discussion with space shuttle astronauts Dr. Rhea Seddon and Capt. Robert "Hoot" Gibson, NASA engineers Brooks Moore and Al Reisz, and Tom Schwartz, professor of history at Vanderbilt University, follows the film. Tracie Prater, an aerospace engineer at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, moderates.
Boedecker Theater at the Dairy Center for the Arts — Boulder, CO thedairy.org
The Lookout —A former high-school hockey star (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) whose once-bright future has been dimmed by a severe head injury is recruited to help rob the same bank where he works as a janitor. Kathryn Hardin, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at University of Colorado Boulder, discusses traumatic head injury before the film and answers questions afterwards.
California Film Institute/Smith Rafael Film Center — San Rafael, CA cafilm.org
Journey of the Universe — Written by cosmologist and evolutionary philosopher Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker, a senior lecturer in religion and the environment at Yale University, this award-winning documentary tells an epic story of cosmic, Earth and human transformation from The Big Bang to today. A panel discussion and Q&A with Swimme, Tucker, and directors Patsy Northcutt and David Kennard follows the film.
Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe — Santa Fe, NM ccasantafe.org
Panic in the Streets— In director Elia Kazan's 1950 film noir, a physician from the U.S. Health Service (Richard Widmark) and a police detective (Paul Douglas) race against time to prevent an outbreak of pneumatic plague in New Orleans. Before the screening, biologist, epidemiologist, and Santa Fe Institute Omidyar Fellow Samuel Scarpino discusses the history of public-health response to infectious disease.
Coolidge Corner Theatre — Brookline, MA coolidge.org
Paths of Glory —Stanley Kubrick's antiwar classic stars Kirk Douglas as a World War I French colonel who takes on ruthless generals when his men are accused of cowardice after failing to complete an impossible mission. Before the film, Harvard experimental psychologist and acclaimed author Steven Pinker discusses human nature and why – as implausible as it may sound – we are living in the most peaceable, least violent era in human history.
Enzian Theater — Maitland, FL enzian.org
*The Diving Bell and the Butterfly — At age 43, former French Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby suffered a stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome – unable to speak or move any part of his body, except for his left eye. Using that eye, he blinked out the memoir on which Julian Schnabel's stunning film is based. Evan Allen, MD, medical director of the Neuroscience Institute at Florida Hospital Orlando, speaks before the film about locked-in syndrome and the relationship between mind and brain. Q&A follows the film.
The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul — Minneapolis, MN mspfilmsociety.org
*Robot & Frank — In the near future, an ex-jewel thief (Frank Langella) receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team. University of Minnesota Computer Science Professor Maria Gini speaks before the film about artificial intelligence and robots, including robot pets.
Hollywood Theatre — Portland, OR hollywoodtheatre.org
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure — Two totally excellent dudes (Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter) travel back in time to learn from influential historical figures for a history report. James Butler, a physics professor at Pacific University, and Todd Duncan, PhD director of the Science Integration Instituteand physics instructor at Portland Community College, introduce the film with a talk entitled "Einstein's Excellent Adventure: The Physics of Time Travel."
The Little Theatre — Rochester, NY thelittle.org
*Another Earth — On the night of the discovery of a duplicate Earth in the solar system, an ambitious young student (Brit Marling) and an accomplished composer (William Mapother) cross paths in a tragic accident. After the screening, Adam Frank, professor of astrophysics at University of Rochester and co-founder of NPR's 13.7 Cosmos and Culture blog, discusses parallel universes, followed by Q&A.
Michigan Theater — Ann Arbor, MI michtheater.org
Particle Fever —Physicist-turned-filmmaker Mark Levinson's riveting documentary follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, built to recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and to find the Higgs boson, the so-called "God particle". Producer David E. Kaplan, a particle physicist heavily featured in the film, explains why the Higgs boson matters, and takes questions, following the screening.
Nickelodeon — Columbia, SC nickelodeon.org
*Computer Chess — Writer/director Andrew Bujalski transports viewers back to 1980 with this comedy set at a provincial hotel that's simultaneously hosting a weekend tournament for chess software programmers and a New Age therapy convention for couples. Joshua Cooper, an associate professor of mathematics at University of South Carolina, discusses the concept of combinatorial explosion before the film.
SIFF — Seattle, WA siff.net
Earthquake — One of the biggest of the disaster films of the 1970s, 1974's Earthquake features an all-star cast led by Charlton Heston as a construction engineer who must restore order after a catastrophic earthquake hits Los Angeles. Washington State seismologist and University of Washington Professor John Vidale speaks before the film on different kinds of earthquakes that affect the Pacific Northwest, quake early-warning signs, and preparing for when "the big one" hits Seattle. Q&A follows the screening.
The State Theatre of Modesto — Modesto, CA thestate.org
Avatar — Indigenous residents of the planet Pandora battle the invading forces of Earth, who covet the mineral resources that exist beneath Pandora's surface. Before the film anthropologist Andrew Hayes discusses the history of magical practices in indigenous cultures and the relationship between science and magic.