People think of movies as mindless entertainment, but there is some real brain food up there on the big screen. The Jerusalem Cinematheque is celebrating that fact with a week of movies and lectures devoted to examining the way full-color movies can illuminate the gray matter.
Some of the highlights include Andrew Niccol’s science-fiction film, Gattaca, about a society in which genetic engineering is everything, features Ethan Hawke as an outsider trying to break in, and Uma Thurman as one of the genetic elite. Professor Chaya Kalcheim will give a talk on Brain Development: Reality and Dreams.
Perhaps the funniest idea for a lecture- film combination is Hal Ashby’s cult classic Harold and Maude, about a very young man and a very old woman who fall in love, scandalizing everyone around them, which is paired with a lecture called, How Do You Smell? The Sensory Processing of Scents by Professor Noam Sobel.
Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, the story of a socialite who has lost her fortune (and her husband) and must relocate and reinvent herself, will be screened and will be the focus of a lecture called Reactions to Stress Take a Toll by Prof. Hermona Soreq.
This series provides a rare chance to see Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece of Seventies paranoia, The Conversation starring Gene Hackman as a wiretapping expert who becomes convinced his life is in danger, on the big screen. The lecture that goes with it will be What Was Said and What Wasn’t by Professor Yosef Grodzinsky.
There will be a program for children, with the Disney film, Fantasia. Professor Eitan Globerson will talk to kids about The Musical Brain.
In addition, the Cinematheque will feature a special cartoon exhibition, including drawings and caricatures on the subject of mind and brain. This exhibition is part of the flagship project of the Israel Cartoonists Association – the “Shpitz” project.
Every evening, before the lecture and film, different laboratories from the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences will present their latest discoveries in the field of brain research. These presentations in the Cinematheque lobby will be presented to the public by ELSC’s promising young scientists.
For more information, go the Jerusalem Cinematheque website at www.jer-cin.org.il