Playing God Film Series 2015

PGP15AHow do we anticipate and comprehend worlds just beyond our grasp? How do we find ways of understanding and portraying the interplay between science and religion on film? As part of the Wellcome Trust funded Playing God Project the Science Entertainment Lab at the University of Manchester will host a film series in the spring of 2015 consisting of six films that confront questions about the nature of and connections between science and religion. Screenings will be on Thursdays across March, April, and May in the historic Engine House at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester. These events are free and open to the public. At each film screening an expert speaker will provide a brief introduction at 6.30pm and then lead a post-screening discussion with the audience. The evening will include an opening reception from 6.00pm where drinks will be available for purchase.

Annex - Karloff, Boris (Bride of Frankenstein, The)_025th March, 6.30pm – The Bride of Frankenstein (Whale, 1935)

A scientist “plays God” by creating an unnatural creature (and his bride) in this classic from the golden age of science fiction horror cinema.

Introduced by cinematic science expert Dr David A. Kirby (University of Manchester), author of Lab Coats in Hollywood

TheExorcist19th March, 6.30pm – The Exorcist (Friedkin, 1973)

Science and faith are both put to the test as two priests confront their personal convictions and spiritual beliefs in this ground-breaking horror film.

Introduced by renowned horror film scholar Professor Mark Jancovich (University of East Anglia), author of Rational Fears and The Horror Film Reader

2planet of the apes 9a16th April, 6.30pm – Planet of the Apes (Schaffner, 1968)

Religion puts science on trial in this science fiction landmark featuring Moses himself Charlton Heston. Go ape!

Introduced by science fiction researcher and Planet of the Apes expert Dr Amy C. Chambers (University of Manchester)

1972 Solaris (fra)30th April, 6.00pm* – Solaris (Tarkovsky, 1972)

Andrei Tarkovsky’s science fiction masterpiece is a contemplative exploration of the connections between art, the individual, and the life of the spirit.

Introduced by filmmaker and writer Sean Martin, author of Andrei Tarkovsky and The Gnostics

* Please note that this film will begin at 6PM (5:30PM for drinks reception)

5780414th May, 6.30pm – Creation (Ameil, 2009)

Charles Darwin struggles with his religious faith after the death of his beloved daughter Annie in this moving historic drama.

Introduced by theologian Professor Peter Scott (University of Manchester), author of Anti-human Theology: Nature, Technology and the Postnatural; and historian of science Professor Joe Cain (University College London), author of Descended from Darwin

altered-state21st May, 6.30pm – Altered States (Russell, 1980)

A psychologist explores religious experience through sensory deprivation, loses his mind, and genetically regresses into a primordial state.

Introduced by historian of science and media scholar Dr William R. Macauley (University of Manchester)

clockwork_orange_eye_by_iimadrbx-d67tx1gHow to get to the Engine House at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation:

The venue is on the corner of Cambridge Street and Hulme Street. Hulme Street is a turning off Oxford Road.

Full address:

International Anthony Burgess Foundation
Engine House, Chorlton Mill
3 Cambridge Street
M1 5BY

By rail – the Engine House is very close to Manchester Oxford Road (5 minutes walk), Manchester Piccadilly (15 minutes) and Manchester Victoria (15 minutes) rail stations.

By tram – The nearest Metrolink stop is St. Peter’s Square or Deansgate-Castlefield (5 minutes walk).

By bus – Many local buses serve Cambridge Street and Oxford Road, including numbers 15, 16, 41, 42, 43, 44, 48, 50, 85, 86, 99, 101, 104, 108, 109, 111, 130, 142, 143, 145, 147, 191, 197, 250, 251, 253, 263, 290, and 291.

By car – There is very limited short-stay on-street parking immediately outside the Engine House. There is also an NCP car park opposite the building on Hulme Street.

This information was taken from the ‘visiting us’ section of the IABF website

clockwork_orange_eye_by_iimadrbx-d67tx1gFurther details will be posted in due course here on the Science and Entertainment Lab blog and Twitter account, and other digital media. In the meantime, please contact us if you require further information. 


Here’s a copy of our poster, please download and share with people who may be interested:


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