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Science Education Connection

'Science in the Cinema' Begins July 24

Right before your eyes at NIH this summer, a man gets cloned, an alcoholic vows to drink himself to death, and a talented pianist suffers a mental breakdown. These things all happen in the movies, of course, and are part of the "Science in the Cinema" film festival.

This free series of movies -- all related to medical science -- begins its fourth season at NIH on Thursday, July 24. A movie will be shown once a week for 6 weeks at 7 p.m. in Natcher Auditorium. Following the screening of each film, a guest speaker with expert knowledge of the film's subject area will lead a discussion with the audience about the film.

Opening night will feature The Elephant Man, the 1980 film based on the true story of John Merrick, who suffers from a disfiguring disease, likely Proteus syndrome. John Hurt portrays the title character, so nicknamed during his degrading life as a circus freak.

On July 31, moviegoers will see the 1940 classic Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet. This film stars Edward G. Robinson as real-life German doctor and researcher Paul Ehrlich, who, against the will of his colleagues in the medical establishment, develops a vaccine for syphilis.

Multiplicity will be screened on Aug. 7. Michael Keaton and Andie McDowell star in this comedy about an overworked contractor who clones himself so he will have time to spend with his family.

Shine, the 1996 film for which Geoffrey Rush won the Academy Award for best actor, will be the feature on Aug. 14. Rush portrays Australian pianist David Helfgott, who suffers an emotional breakdown following a concert.

On Aug. 21, the heartbreaking story of baseball legend Lou Gehrig, The Pride of the Yankees, will be screened. Gary Cooper portrays Gehrig, who retires from the game after he learns he has a fatal neurological disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The film series closes on Aug. 28 with Leaving Las Vegas, the wrenching story of a depressive alcoholic who goes to Las Vegas, vowing to drink himself to death. Nicolas Cage won the 1995 Academy Award for best actor in this role.

The films are sponsored by the Office of Science Education. Anyone can come on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information call 2-2469.

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