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UCL events news and reviews


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

By James M Heather, on 16 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.


‘War of the Worlds’ screening

By Frances-Catherine Quevenco, on 18 October 2011

On 3 October, at 6:30pm in the Darwin building of UCL, film enthusiasts, science historians, historians, scientists and a collection of many others gathered to watch the screening of Byron Haskin’s The War of the Worlds (1953).

It is an invasion film based on the popular novel written by H.G. Wells. In fact, it was apparently one of the earliest adaptations of the novel and actually won an Oscar for its special effects. That unfortunately did not stop some of the audience snickering at the killer laser beam attacks of the aliens, nor did it stop fans of the Wells novel criticising the film for making the alien machines hover rather than move in a tripod-like fashion in the novel. This was one of the many fun facts that Dr Joe Cain, Head of UCL Science and Technology Studies and Senior Lecturer in the History and Philosophy of Biology, shared with the audience before the movie.