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OSE's Summer Film Festival Returns

The popular Science in the Cinema — a free 6-week film festival open to the public — is about to begin. Following each film, a guest speaker with expertise in the film's subject area will comment on the science depicted in the film and entertain questions. The program runs Thursday evenings from 7 to approximately 9:30 in the Natcher Bldg. Auditorium. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. This year's selection features an interesting variety of films and renowned guest speakers:

At First Sight, July 15 — Amy, an architect from New York, falls in love with Virgil, a blind masseur. She convinces him to undergo experimental surgery to restore his sight after a lifetime of blindness. Virgil must then learn to deal with the changes that being able to see brings to his life. Based on a story by Oliver Sacks. Starring Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino and Kelly McGillis (1999, Rated PG-13). Guest speaker: Dr. Scott M. Whitcup, clinical director, National Eye Institute

Permanent Midnight, July 22 — True story of Jerry Stahl, a recovering heroin addict remembering his past. Stahl was a TV sitcom writer making a $5,000-a-week salary, while feeding a $6,000-a-week drug habit. While in rehab, he recalls the story of his descent into drug addiction. Starring Ben Stiller, Elizabeth Hurley (1998, Rated R). Guest speaker: Dr. Alan I. Leshner, director, National Institute on Drug Abuse

Mask, July 29 — Rocky, a boy with a fatal congenital facial deformity, attempts to live a normal life with the help of his biker gang mother, Rusty. The film is based on the real life story of Rocky Dennis, a likeable teenager who defies doctors' expectations of how long he had to live. Starring Cher, Eric Stoltz (1985, Rated PG-13). Guest speaker: Dr. Harold C. Slavkin, director, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Hilary and Jackie, Aug. 5 — Based on the true story of renowned cellist Jacqueline du Pre, who developed multiple sclerosis when she was at the height of her success, the film explores the complex relationship between Jackie and her sister, Hilary, from their childhood through adulthood. Starring Emily Watson, Rachel Griffiths (1998, Rated R). Guest speaker: Dr. Henry F. McFarland, chief, Neuroimmunology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Lust for Life, Aug. 12 — This biography of the painful life of artist Vincent van Gogh was adapted from the bestselling novel by Irving Stone. The film explores the relationships the tormented genius had with his brother Theo and with fellow painter Paul Gauguin. It shows many of van Gogh's paintings and the environments and emotions that inspired them. Starring Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn (1956, not rated). Guest speaker: Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, professor of psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Longtime Companion, Aug. 19 — In July of 1981, an obscure story appeared in the New York Times about an outbreak of a rare form of cancer called Kaposi's sarcoma in a number of gay men. The film tracks a group of seven friends in New York City, beginning on that day, continuing through the '80s, and ending after AIDS has affected all of their lives. Starring Campbell Scott, Bruce Davison (1990, not rated). Guest speaker: Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Now in its sixth year, Science in the Cinema is sponsored by NIH's Office of Science Education. For more information, visit or contact Ellen Dobbins, phone: 402-2828, email:

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