Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sciencey Movies

I admit it ... I love movies. This is one of the reasons I was so excited about Chicago's 45th International Film Festival taking place at the same time as the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) conference. Of course, SfN being SfN with all of it's bustling and busyness, I never had a chance to go :(

For me, it can't be just any movie. I'm not a big fan of special effects and everybody/everything blowing to pieces before the film is over. And they can keep the girl-gets-guy/guy-gets-girl 'romantic comedies' ... no matter how hard Hollywood tries to approach reality in this genre of film, the star *always* gets their love interest (or some other, better lover that they didn't notice until later) by the end ... not exactly reality.

Yesterday, however, I was reading a blog post by Sabbi Lall from Nature magazine, and learned about the Imagine Science Film Festival recently held in New York City. These are my kind of movies! I just wish this festival would travel south for the winter :)

Below are just a few of the films that grabbed my attention ...

One of the films screened at the festival, entitled "In Search of Memory", documents the life of Eric Kandel, who is one of the most influential people in the field of neuroscience. And as an added bonus, Kandel was present for a question and answer session following the screening.

Animated Minds offers a glimpse into the lives of people who suffer from mental illness. An example of four different disorders are portrayed: obsessive-compulsive disorder, manic depression, anxiety, and psychosis. A particularly interesting story is told through the person who has obsessive-compulsive disorder. This man believed that each time he thought about Saddam Hussein, he was contributing to the Gulf War. It reached a point where, if he thought about Hussein while partaking in daily activities such as talking, eating, and walking, he had to go back and repeat the task.

Dreams of a Scientist is one of a series of animated shorts about the dreams that scientists have at night. A quick Google search will bring up clips of the film.

PCR Rap, by The Science Rapper, tells the story of the polymerase chain reaction from both the scientific and historical point of view. It promises to make you feel like it's your first time to replicate DNA!

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