X Close



UCL events news and reviews


‘Under the Caribbean’ On The Big Screen, Film Night at The Grant Museum

James M Heather25 January 2012

It’s only January, and I think I’ve met my Speedo quota for the year already. I’ve not been hanging out at the Lido, but watching the latest movie aired on the Big Screen at UCL, with Dr Joe Cain and the Grant Museum of Zoology.

Cramming into a lecture theatre after hours doesn’t feel so surreal this time around, but this month’s film certainly does. Under the Caribbean (or Unternehmen Xarifa in its original German) made a splash when it aired in 1954, hooking an Oscar among other accolades, for bringing dramatic underwater footage to the silver screen for perhaps the first time.

This film follows the exploits of the handsome couple of Hans and Lotte Hass. Along with a plucky crew aboard the sturdy yacht ‘Xarifa’, the Hasses sail their way from the Caribbean to the Galapagos Islands in search of sperm whales.

All sounds well and good, except that it’s completely barmy.


‘The Blob’ On The Big Screen, Film Night at The Grant Museum

James M Heather16 December 2011

Without a doubt, Film Night at the Grant Museum was the most entertaining event that I’ve attended at UCL. On 6 December, they screened the 1958 sci-fi/horror cult classic, The Blob.

Dr Joe Cain holds court. A senior lecturer at UCL by day, he is an avid film fan by night. And possibly by day at weekends.

This is the first ‘On The Big Screen’ event at UCL that I’ve attended, despite this being the 21st showing. However, it’s clear that the event attracts a regular following, and by the time I arrive the large Darwin Lecture Theatre is almost full. All ages are represented in the crowd, and the mood is both jovial and excited.

In what seems to be a regular feature, Dr Cain gives a short but engrossing introduction of the film we’re about to watch. He’s clearly done his homework, as he talks us through the background of the production, the foibles of the film, and gives us tips on what to look out for.


Lost treasures, cocaine and intimacy at the Open City film festival

Ben Stevens H P Stevens21 June 2011

“Buzz” – a film festival can have the best programme imaginable, but if it lacks this all-important ingredient, it has a mountain to climb. Thankfully, buzz is the only way to describe what I felt on entering the Open City hub in Malet Place last Friday.

The Open City London Documentary Festival, the first event of its kind in the capital, took place 16–19 June in venues across the UCL campus, packing 160 films into four days.

UCL was the festival’s main sponsor, while Dr Michael Stewart (UCL Anthropology) was its director. Further support came from an array of cultural institutes, film distributors and corporate sponsors.