University of Exeter academics head to the cinema for special screenings and debate
ACADEMICS at the University of Exeter are to be linked with cinema-goers through "great films and great debate".
A programme of talks and film screenings will be taking place at Exeter Picturehouse with the aim of prompting audiences to see a chosen film in a new way.
Each screening includes a brief introduction to the film, and time for an informal discussion with audiences afterwards in the Picturehouse bar.
By introducing a film like Hitchcock's Psycho from an expert in Film Studies or exploring Dustin Hoffman's character in Rain Man from a Medical History perspective, the approach to the films selected create a starting point for an informal post-screening discussion of ideas.
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Films that address mental and physical illness such as obesity, psychiatry or patients who suffer from autism, will be introduced by academics from a range of university departments including English, sociology, and medicine.
Dr Victoria Bates, from the university's centre for medical history said: "Our introductory talks will look at modern day and historical medical issues, such as the award winning film A Beautiful Mind starring Russell Crowe as a mathematical genius with mental health issues. Based on the true story of John Nash, the film depicts the process of paranoid schizophrenia."
She added: "There are many differences between the 'real' story of Nash and the film. For example, in real life Nash apparently sought to self-regulate his illness and only took medication for a short period under duress. However, in the film when Nash appears to be more balanced and receives his Nobel prize in Economics, he states that he does take medication. It is interesting that in the context of 1990s America, there were concerns about the responsibility of the filmmaker and fears about promoting an anti-medication position, unlike in the 1970s when Nash chose to reject medication and when anti-psychiatry was rife."
The Screen Talks are scheduled on Monday evenings, starting at 6.30pm sharp in Exeter Picturehouse.
The 'Sickness On The Screen' strand launches with A Beautiful Mind on Monday (March 11) &ndash.
This will be followed by Rain Man on April 22. In-between, there will be a screenings of the Italian classic Rocco And His Brothers led by modern language expert Dr Danielle Hipkins on March 28. Shakespeare's Richard III gets recalled not from a car park in Leicester but on the screen with Sir Laurence Olivier leading the way on April 8, this will be led by English literature expert Dr Jen Barnes.
Screen Talks is in partnership with Picturehouse Cinemas and was set up and coordinated by Dr Helen Hanson from the University of Exeter. The project has recently been funded through an Arts Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Cultural Engagement Fellowship, awarded to Dr Bates from the University's Centre for Medical History.
Dr Hanson said: "Working in partnership with Exeter Picturehouse on the Screen Talks programme offers academics great opportunities to share research ideas with wider audiences in an informal setting. Engaging and exchanging ideas through film and responding to an audience, enables new ways of seeing film, and fresh angles on research ideas."