Science in Film

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Science in Film

2022 Series
SCIENCE. ART. FILM

Science, art and film are among the most powerful cultural institutions we have developed to understand, shape and envision our world. Come to these specially curated film screenings to discover what scientists think about the cultural meanings of science and explore what artists see in films about art.

Presented by the NFSA, Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, and the HRC, SCIENCE. ART. FILM is a new series that uncovers wacky, weird and wonderful facets of science and art in films – in discussion with artists, ANU scholars from different disciplines and film fans, including… you!

See the series poster at end of this page.

In 2022 the series will present and discuss the following films:

 

MARS ATTACKS!

Film screening and discussion
Thursday 18 August, 6pm
Arc cinema, NFSA
Book in person or book tickets online here

Discussion topic: Far out! Comic Science from Outer Space
Have you always wondered what an alien scientist looks like and what their science might be? An astronomer and a pop culture scholar interested in the cultural meanings of science will introduce you to the spaced-out science from outer space in Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! The discussion following the film will look at the popular image of science in space cinema, our cultural fascination with clowns and scientists in space stories, and why it matters to study all this.

Speakers: Dr Anna-Sophie Jürgens and Dr Brad Tucker (ANU)

 

CONTAGION

Film screening and discussion
Thursday 1 September, 6pm
Arc cinema, NFSA
Book in person or book tickets online here

Discussion topic: Beware the bat in the pig farm...
While we have all certainly had our fill of viruses in our everyday lives over the past few years, there has not been enough cross-disciplinary, science-based debate about our cultural fantasies about infectious diseases and why they play a significant role in our current pandemic. Together with ANU virologist Professor David Tscharke and Professor Meru Sheel (University of Sydney) we will watch "Contagion" and discuss both the actual science and the general "mood" or feel of pandemic times - and what it means that films about viruses have an uncanny attraction.

Speakers: Professor David Tscharke, Professor Meru Sheel, and Dr Anna-Sophie Jürgens (all ANU)

 

MARTHA

Film screening and discussion
Thursday 27 October, 6pm
Arc cinema, NFSA
Book in person or book tickets online here

Discussion topic: Public art on urban surfaces
The origins of graffiti and street art are commonly traced back to 1970s New York, the decade’s anti-commercialism and its subcultures – and the 2019 film Martha: A Picture Story offers fascinating insights into the genesis of art in urban environments. Such early, subversive expressions of public art included graffiti on the sides of subways, walls and public buildings. While illegal artworks continue to populate urban spaces, there is a trend towards legitimising and celebrating urban artists as promoters of community connection and contemporary placemaking. In many cities, e.g. in Australia, street art has become a very popular form of public art. This evening brings together a range of perspectives – including those of artists who transform streetscapes and neighbourhoods with their artwork, and researchers studying artistic expressions on urban surfaces – to talk about the evolution and change of graffiti and street art over time internationally and in Canberra.

Speakers: BOHIE, Jinks, ACT Government graffiti management coordinator Dr Lisa Petheram and Dr Anna-Sophie Jürgens (ANU)

 

The Steinach Film 

Film screening and discussion
Thursday 3 November, 6pm
Arc cinema, NFSA
Book in person or book tickets online here

Discussion topic: Exploring sex and hormones in the early 20th Century
The Steinach-Film is an innovative 1922 silent documentary about the discovery and significance of the sex hormones by endocrinologist Professor Eugen Steinach’s team in 1910s Vienna. This German-Austrian co-production was also produced in an international version, and only a few copies exist around the world today, including the one to be screened from the NFSA collection. It begins by exploring themes of sexual difference in animals and humans, before delving into scientific experiments on laboratory rats undertaken by Steinach’s team, seeking to “feminize” and “masculinize” animals via castration, testicle and ovary implantations, and hormone manipulation. The film then explores possible applications in humans, showing how scientists at the start of the twentieth century were starting to explore intersex, trans, and same-sex bodies and identities, as well as the potential for hormone research to “rejuvenate” the ageing and ill.

* Please note that the film includes graphic depictions of surgical procedures. It also shows naked human bodies as scientific objects in ways that today would no longer be considered appropriate. The involvement of these individuals, however, was voluntary and conducted in the interest of increasing scientific knowledge about sexual and gender diversity.These themes and the film’s historical context will be explored in the accompanying panel discussion.

Speakers: Birgit Lang (University of Melbourne); Katie Sutton (ANU).

 

Updated:  13 July 2022/Responsible Officer:  Head, Centre/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications