Playing God Film Series 2016

PGP16AHow 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 new film series in the spring of 2016 consisting of six films that deal with questions about connections between science and religion. Screenings will be on Thursdays across March, April, May and June in the historic Engine House at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in central 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 and snacks will be available for purchase.

the-man-with-x-ray-eyes17th March, 6.30pm – X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (Roger Corman, 1963)

If thine eye offends thee… A scientist turns himself into a medical experiment when he gives himself x-ray vision but there are consequences to “Playing God”.

Introduced by historian of medicine Dr Jesse Olszynko-Gryn (University of Cambridge)

273767th April, 6.30pm – Inherit the Wind  (Stanley Kramer, 1960)

Spencer Tracy stars in a thinly disguised rendition of the 1925 ‘Scopes monkey trial’ in America where a science teacher is put in trial for teaching evolution.

Introduced by science and theology scholar Dr Scott Midson (University of Manchester).

omega221st April, 6.30pm – The Omega Man (Boris Sagal, 1971)

Biological warfare turns humans into zombies. Charlton Heston plays one of Earth’s last survivors. What sacrifices does he make to become humanity’s saviour?

Introduced by science fiction researcher Dr Amy C. Chambers (University of Manchester)

33d1fb769723e8498a1515c1f68b0c7e12th May, 6.30pm – Pi (Darren Aronofsky, 1998)

Darren Aronofsky’s directorial debut is a surrealist psychological thriller that explores faith, spirituality, and the relationship between the universe and mathematics.

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

rec2-poster126th May, 6.30pm – [Rec]2 (Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza, 2009)

A specialist team go to a quarantined site to get a blood sample from zombie patient zero. But why is a scientist from the Ministry of Health also a priest sent by the Vatican?

Introduced by horror studies scholar Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes (Manchester Metropolitan University) and microbiologist Professor Joanna Verran (Manchester Metropolitan University)

quatermass_and_pit_poster_0116th June, 6.30pm – Quatermass and the Pit (Roy Ward Baker, 1967)

An artefact in the London Underground begins to possess people. Is it of human, alien, or divine origin? The intrepid scientist Prof. Bernard Quatermass is on the case.

Introduced by cinematic science expert Dr David A. Kirby (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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