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Smoking at the Odeon: Memories of British Cinema-Going of the 1960s

Clare S Ryan14 May 2013

Cinema screen, by m4tik on Flickr

Cinema screen, by m4tik on Flickr

What are your most vivid memories of going to the cinema? Perhaps childhood visits to see cartoons, or seeing a film on a date? A new UCL project is asking people about their experiences of cinema-going in the 1960s, and, in doing so, raising interesting questions about what we remember about seeing films, and why.

As part of UCL’s Festival of the Arts, Matt Jones (UCL History) gave a talk about how he is researching people’s response to 1960s cinema.

The project is interested in how people remember films, what part cinema played in their lives and whether films have shaped their memory of the time.

Going to the cinema seems to evoke strong memories in all of us. Even though I wasn’t around in the 1960s, my own memories – like most people’s – of going to see films are mixed up with memories of who I went with, how old I was and where I saw the film.

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Why UCL needs a Festival of the Arts, by Professor Jonathan Wolff

Lara J Carim2 May 2013

UCL’s inaugural Festival of the Arts kicks off on Tuesday 7 May. For ten days, venues around campus will come alive with poetry readings, debates, film screenings, bite-sized lectures, exhibitions, and many more events designed to showcase the range and calibre of UCL research and creativity.

Listen to Professor Jonathan Wolff, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Arts and Humanities, explain what’s on offer and why we should put our hands together for the arts.

View the full programme and book your places on the UCL Festival of the Arts website.

The Valley of Gwangi (1969) on the Big Screen

Katherine Aitchison28 June 2012

It started with a tiny horse. The tiniest horse you’ve never seen. Probably because it died out 50 billion years ago and was actually a living fossil which pointed the way to a valley full of bloodthirsty dinosaurs ready to break out into the real world at the first sign of human intervention.

No, this wasn’t the latest breakthrough in genetic engineering; it was in fact the penultimate event in the Grant Museum’s Silly Season and the latest film to be given the “on the Big Screen” treatment.

Introduced by Dr Joe Cain (UCL Science and Technology Studies), The Valley of Gwangi is a moralistic tale of what happens when greed gets the better of us and makes us deaf to the warnings of slightly crazy, blind gypsy ladies and sends us off looking for things which shouldn’t exist. Think Jurassic Park with cowboys.

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‘The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms’ On the Big Screen

James M Heather28 March 2012

What better way to round off the end of term than with a nice movie night? How about a nice, free movie night?

I’m a recent convert to the ‘On the Big Screen’ events, but the three I’ve been to have all been fantastic. Organised by Jack Ashby from the UCL Grant Museum, and introduced by Dr. Joe Cain from UCL Science & Technology Studies, these film nights draw in a big crowd of regulars, who pack out one of the lecture theatres to enjoy some retro cinema.

This last instalment brought the 1953 Harryhausen classic ‘The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms’ to Bloomsbury.

As per usual, the ever-knowledgable Dr Cain provided an entertaining breakdown of the film to come, giving the audience pointers to look out for and generally fleshing out some details required for deeper appreciation.

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