Physics film night

27 January 2015

On 29 October, with autumn weather starting to set in, the Institute of Physics Derby centre held its first ever physics film night, a free public screening aimed at raising the awareness of physics in the wider community.

Tempus Fugit
Credit: Alan Cleaver

The venue of choice was the Quad in the cultural heart of Derby, the cathedral quarter. The chosen film was Primer, a sci-fi film exploring the implications of time travel. Released in 2004 with a total production value of just $7000, Primer is far removed from the Hollywood blockbuster. 

Primer was a critical and commercial success, taking $424,760 at the box office, and has gone on to gain a cult following for its excruciatingly complicated plot, bursting with issues of causality and paradox, not to mention some heavy technical dialogue that the director “refused to simplify for the sake of the audience”.

The event was a sell-out, with over 50 people filling the cinema. As the credits rolled the audience broke out into a chorus of explanations of what they had just witnessed. Having seen the film once before I expected to leave more enlightened after a second viewing, but, as previously, I was left trying to iron out the creases in my brain. However, having had a post-film debrief over drinks, I was left with a sense of satisfaction at finally being able to explain (at least to my own contentment) the events of those brilliant 90 minutes of cinema.