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Science Literacy Week @ McGill: Science cinema

Events happening across campus, September 18 - 24, 2017

Science cinema

Science cinema

Join us for popcorn and a movie at the Library - no registration required! 

When: Monday to Friday, September 18-22, 5:30 pm

Where: Research Commons, Room A, McLennan Library Building

These science documentaries were selected from the Kanopy streaming video service.


Google and the World Brain

Monday: Google and the World Brain (93 min)

In 1937, the science fiction writer H. G. Wells imagined a "World Brain" containing all of the world's knowledge, accessible to all people, that would be "so compact in its material form and so gigantic in its scope and possible influence" that it could transcend even nation states and governments. Seventy years later, Google set about realizing Wells' vision, launching a massive project to scan millions of books from university library collections -- and triggering a fierce backlash in the process. When it was discovered that over half of the first ten million books Google scanned were still in copyright, authors from around the world joined together to wage a fierce legal battle against the Internet giant, culminating in a dramatic courtroom showdown in 2011.

In gripping detail, Google & the World Brain tells the fascinating story of this complicated struggle over intellectual property and access to human knowledge, offering crucial insights into broader debates surrounding data-mining and privacy, downloading and copyright, fair use, freedom and surveillance.


I dream of wires

Tuesday: I Dream of Wires: The Machine that Shaped Electronic Music (97 min)

I Dream of Wires is a documentary about the rise, fall and rebirth of the machine that shaped electronic music: the modular synthesizer. The film explores the synthesizer's remarkable history, revealing how innovators like Robert Moog, working at Columbia University's Computer Music Center, helped built the foundation for the machine. It shows how cheap foreign imports destroyed the synthesizer's reputation. And it tracks the phenomenal resurgence of high end modular synthesizers being used by a new generation of musicians, many of them the progenitors of the electronic dance music genre.

Inventors, musicians and enthusiasts are interviewed about their relationship with the modular synthesizer -- for many, it's an all-consuming passion. Established musicians such as Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Gary Numan, Morton Subotnick, Carl Craig and John Foxx show off their systems and explain why they opt to use this volatile but ultimately rewarding technology.

Meanwhile, a new generation of dance and electronica artists including Clark, James Holden and Factory Floor explain why they've embraced the sound and physicality of modular synthesizers. Innovative companies like Modcan and Doepfer, driven by a desire to revive modular synthesizers, discuss how they planted the seeds that have grown into a major cottage industry. What started out as a "vintage-revival scene" in the '90s has evolved into an underground phenomena, with users and aficionados craving ever more wild and innovative sounds and interfaces.

Today, the modular synthesizer is no longer an esoteric curiosity or even a mere music instrument -- it is an essential tool for radical new sounds and a bona-fide subculture.


Queen of the sun

Wednesday: Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? (83 min)

From Taggart Siegel, director of the award-winning documentary The Real Dirst on Farmer John, comes a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis. Queen of the Sun takes us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive.

This engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world, including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva. Together they reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.


Top Secret Rosies

Thursday: Top Secret Rosies (57 min)

In 1942 a secret U.S. military program was launched to recruit women to the war effort. But unlike the efforts to recruit Rosie the Riveter to the factory, this clandestine search targeted female mathematicians who would become human 'computers' for the U.S. Army. From the bombing of Axis Europe to the assaults on Japanese strongholds, women worked around-the-clock six days a week, creating ballistics tables that proved crucial to Allied success. Rosie made the weapons, but the female computers made them accurate. When the first electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed to aid the Army's calculation efforts, six of these women were tapped to become its first programmers.

Top Secret Rosies is the as-yet-untold story of women and technology that helped win a war and usher in the modern computer age. This is the chronicle of four very different women who worked as human computers at the University of Pennsylvania from 1942-1946. Capturing the opportunities and exhilaration of the times and exploring the moral dilemmas inherent in their work, Top Secret Rosies follows their efforts as they labored night and day to create the mathematical computations that made every Allied bomb and bullet more deadly.


GTFO

Friday: GTFO: Get the F**k Out - Women in Gaming (76 min; explicit language)

Sparked by a public display of sexual harassment in 2012, GTFO pries open the video game world to explore a 20 billion dollar industry that is riddled with discrimination and misogyny. Although half of all gamers are women, females are disproportionately subject to harassment and abuse from other gamers, and are massively under-represented in the video game design world. Through interviews with video game developers, journalists, and academics, GTFO examines the female experience in gaming and begins a larger conversation that will shape the future of the video game world.

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