Movies on your mind

The Jerusalem Cinematheque gives viewers something to think about at Cinema and Brain Week.

‘The Immitation Game’ movie (photo credit: PR)
‘The Immitation Game’ movie
(photo credit: PR)
For film buffs, all movies are brain food, but the Jerusalem Cinematheque’s annual Cinema and Brain Week spotlights movies that particularly illuminate the way the brain works.
This year, it will run from March 7 to 12. It is sponsored by the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Every evening, between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., before the lecture and film, researchers from different laboratories from the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences will present their latest discoveries in the field of brain research.
The festival features classics, recent films (among them, two 2015 Oscar winners) and movies for younger audiences.
The opening night film is The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum, which won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay (by Graham Moore). It tells the triumphant and tragic story of Alan Turing, the mathematician who cracked the German Enigma code during World War II. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role as the tormented genius who had to fight bureaucrats to create the world’s first computer. Prof.
Naftali Tishby of Hebrew University will speak on the topic “Breaking the Neural Code, Alan Turing and Our Understanding of Our Brain.”
Guillaume Gallienne’s Me, Myself and Mum features the writer/director playing both lead roles, as a difficult mother and a young man struggling to understand his sexuality. Prof.
Daphna Joel of Tel Aviv University will speak on the topic “Are There Male and Female Brains?” The 1951 Disney Alice in Wonderland will be shown, and Dr.
Dorit Cohen-Carmon of Hebrew University will speak on the topic “Sailing on the Waves of Imagination: The Power of the Brain.”
In a special youth event, not open to the general public, Dr. Yaara Lefler of Hebrew University will speak on “Lighting Up the Brain” at a screening of the Ridley Scott film Blade Runner.
Prof. Leon Deouell of Hebrew University will speak at a screening of Her, the Spike Jonze film in which a man falls in love with his phone’s operating system, on the topic “From Turing to Siri: Consciousness and Emotions in Humans and Machines.”
The movie takes what could have been a laughably one-note situation and makes it into a serious drama, almost a true romance. Joaquin Phoenix plays the hero, and Scarlett Johannson voices the operating system.
Federico Fellini’s 8 ½, the story of a movie director who gets lost in flights of fantasy to escape his messy life, is the unlikely-sounding jumping-off point for a lecture by Prof. Itzhak Fried, of the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Tel Aviv University on “Brain Surgery: Medical Journey into the Stream of Consciousness.” Many consider 8 ½ to be Fellini’s best film.
Marcello Mastroianni plays Fellini’s anti-hero/alter ego, and it co-stars Claudia Cardinale and Anouk Aimee at their most beautiful and mysterious.
James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything just won an Oscar for Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of a young Stephen Hawking. Prof. Yifat of the Hebrew University will give a talk with the title “And Yet, It Moves.”
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s film Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Innocence) took home the lion’s share of the top Oscars this year: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography.
The trippy story of a washed-up actor known for playing superheroes who is trying to make a comeback, it stars Michael Keaton in the semiautobiographical role of a lifetime. Dr.
Shahar Arzy of the Hebrew University will speak on “The Possibility of Being Double.”
There will be an art exhibition by Eyal Peled called “iPhasia” on display at the Cinematheque.
For more information and to order tickets, go to the Jerusalem Cinematheque website at