West Virginia Universitys DarwinFest , a celebration of naturalist Charles Darwins 200th birthday, is evolving to include a film series.
The DarwinFest Film Series includes showings of movies with themes related to Darwins theory of evolution. WVU faculty members will lead discussions following each film.
- Feb. 23Inherit the Wind. Directed by Stanley Kramer, this 1960 film dramatizes theScopes Monkey Trialof 1925. The trial ensued after biology teacher John Scopes was arrested and charged for violating Tennessees Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of Darwins theory of evolution.
- Feb. 24Altered States. In writer Paddy ChayefskysAltered States , Harvard professor Eddie Jessup (William Hurt) researches different states of consciousness with the aid of mind-altering, hallucinogenic drugs and an isolation chamber. During his experiments, he begins to experience disturbing physical changes in his body that point toward an evolutionary regression.
- March 2Gattaca. Inthe not-too-distantfuture when genetic engineering of humans is common and DNA plays the primary role in determining social class, Vincent (Ethan Hawke) is conceived and born without the aid of this technology. Suffering from the nearly eradicated physical dysfunctions of myopia and a congenital heart defect, as well as being given a life expectancy of 30.2 years, Vincent faces extreme genetic discrimination and prejudice. The only way he can achieve his lifelong dream of becoming an astronaut is to break the law and impersonate avalid,a person with appropriate genetic advantage.
- March 3Angels and Insects. Directed by Phillip Haas, this 1996 film follows William Adamson (Mark Rylance), a poor naturalist who returns home to Victorian England after having spent years along the Amazon River studying insects. William is penniless, having lost all his possessions during a shipwreck. Nevertheless, he manages to befriend Sir Harald Alabaster (Jeremy Kemp), an amateur insect collector and botanist. Sir Harald hires William to teach his younger children about insects. Note: The film contains themes of eugenics and incest.
More on the Net: http://darwinfest.wvu.edu