Primary Image

Discover The Science Behind Your Favourite Films

The film is over, the credits roll but you’re still sat in your cinema seat wondering if what you just witnessed could actually happen. Alien, Terminator, Shaun Of The Dead; these classic films are all based on science and while they remain just a theory for now, it’s interesting to wonder if the science behind the story is actually true.

Pop Up Screens is seeking to quench your thirst for scientific film knowledge with its special Science Flickton screenings at The Chelsea Old Town Hall this May. They’ll be showing some of the biggest blockbusters, from Apollo 13 to Good Will Hunting, along with a panel of scientists and comedians who will be discussing the truth behind the acting.

Each screening will start with a short intro answering some of the really important questions like why zombies can’t run or why face huggers hug, and then the commentary will continue into the movie. We definitely recommend you go to a screening of a film you’ve seen before as the panel will be pausing the movie to explain the science behind what you’re seeing, and that could get a little annoying if you don’t know what’s about to burst out of Kane’s chest…

You can snap up tickets for £18 (£12 for students and under 10s) at the Popup Screens website there’ll also be a full bar with snacks and treats to keep you going. Now for the really interesting bit, scroll down to see which films will be getting the Science Flickton treatment and who will be on the panel for each.

Alien - Friday 15th May (6.30pm)
The Scientist: Adam Rutherford. Adam has his own Wikipedia page, that’s how much of a big deal he is. He contributes to the Guardian, hosts BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science program, and is the author of Creation, a book about the origins of life.

The Comedian: Richard Sandling. Richard won So You Think You’re Funny in 2007 and has successfully been funny ever since, hosting the Perfect Movie comedy night and appearing in Peep Show, Miranda and Robin Ince’s London Book Club and Gifted Children shows.

Apollo 13 - Saturday 16th May (1pm)
The Scientist: Dallas Campbell. Dallas is the go-to guy for science stuff because he’s awesome; presenting the Gadget Show on Channel 5, Bang Goes the Theory on BBC1 and Horizon on BBC4 to name but a few. Plus Dallas won Celebrity Mastermind AND he is bringing a real life Russian space suit!

A Second Scientist: John Chase. As well as being a street scientist and CBBC presenter, John has created a science rap video for NASA. He also knows exactly how astronauts go to the toilet in space and isn’t afraid to tell you.

The Comedian: Helen Keen. Helen has a shelf full of awards, has appeared on Radio 4’s Infinite Monkey Cage, wrote and starred in It IS Rocket Science and as if that isn’t enough she also hosted the first ever Comedy Night at CERN.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day - Saturday 16th May (6.30pm)

The Scientist: Steve Mould. Steve has reached the dizzying heights of the One Show’s green sofa and that would be enough for most, but not Steve, he’s only gone and done the science bits on Blue Peter too. He’s also one third of the Festival of the Spoken Nerd.

The Comedian: Bec Hill. Bec is one of Time Out's top 10 funniest comedians on twitter, has a selection of cool hats and more 5 star reviews than any one person deserves from Edinburgh and Melbourne Comedy Festivals. She’s also the host and creator of cult comedy night Pun Run and will be bringing her infamous flip chart full of Back To The Future-ish fun.

Shaun Of The Dead - Sunday 17th May (1pm)

The Scientist: Karl Byrne. Karl is a virologist and zombie expert, which makes him doubly cool, and in his spare time he’s a scientific consultant on low-budget zombie movies and organises the Cheltenham Science Festival.

The Comedian: Nat Luurtsema. Nat has a BAFTA nomination. Nat is funny. Nat loves Zombies. Just in case that isn’t enough she’s also written books, appeared on the One Show and has her own comedy sketch show, Jigsaw, on Radio 4.

Good Will Hunting - Sunday 17th May (6.30pm)

The Mathematician: James Grimes. James is a mathematician from the University of Cambridge, but you’re more likely to have seen him on the 1,000,000-subscriber channel Numberphile on YouTube. He also genuinely understands the maths involved in Good Will Hunting, which is pretty impressive.

The Comedian: Dan Schreiber. Dan is a real life QI Elf, host and co-creator of the award winning QI podcast, No Such Thing As A Fish and the co-creator of the BBC’s Museum of Curiosity. He is well on his way to becoming a national treasure.

Psst… Pop Up Screens has a whole summer of screenings planned across London. Keep your eye on the website for more details.